|RAAM Report No.7: The leaders are on their way to break 26 years old record for the fastest RAAM|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012|
Here is the current leaderboard at TS no. 37 Effingham (IL).:
4. Tamas Jarvas is six Time Stations behind Gulewicz,
As can be seen from his deficit behind the leaders, unfortunately my sentimental favorite Gulewicz is more or less out of the reckoning for the victory this year. At TS 34 he was already more than 9 hours behind the leader. Both leaders are still riding strongly and provided they both last until the finish, they are very close to improving the oldest record in RAAM. It is the record for fastest average speed in RAAM, which was set in 1986 by winner Pete Penseyres and it stands at 15,40 miles/hour. The only rider who came close to this record was Dani Wyss, winner in 2009, who came agonisingly close with only 0,12 miles/hour slower avg. speed. In 2009 at the Time Station in Greenville Dani held an average speed of 15.66 miles/hour, and this year’s leader Schoch average at the same TS is 15.76 miles/hour, which is 0,10 miles/h faster than Dani!
Kurt Searvogel (aka Tarzan Rides) used his time trialing skills to good use and improved his position to fifth place. A big surprise for me is Hungarian rider Jarvas in fourth place, for whom I have never heard before this year’s race. In any case, the battle for fourth place will be interesting till the finish, as the riders from 4th to 9th place at the TS 28 are only divided by two and a half hours. The only story more interesting than this will be the fight for first place. The question is whether rookie Schoch can last until the finish of the race or will he succumb to pressure of the last year's champion Strasser. Yesterday Strasser held the lead in the race for some time, but that all changed when he went down for his long(-ish) sleep in the first part of the night (before midnight local time). According to the Strasser crew, who, of course, is watching their Swiss opponent very carefully, he is using a different sleep approach and sleeps only in short power-naps several times a day. So far this tactic pays off for him, and if he can hold such a pace for the reminder of the race, he deserves all credit, regardless who eventual winner will be. Only 870 miles remain in the race, a little more than 2 days of (fast) riding. And the last segment includes tha Apalachian Mountains which might as will decide the winner. At this moment, I would not dare to predict the winner, but given his experience (and experience of crew members) I would give a little advantage to Strasser.
In category of men over 50 the leader is Len Farkas (USA) in front of Paul Millar (CAN) by less than an hour. My favorite Valerio Zamboni is unfortunately already more than seven hours behind and only a miracle could bring him a victory.
In 4 man teams category the leaders are still German team Team twenty-six, in front of American team TDL - liv 4 Life, and in excellent third place Slovenian team IDRIJA HOMMAGE TO JURE ROBIC, an hour behind 2nd placed team and with one hour advantage on 4th placed team Team HTHH.
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