June 20, 2013

Team Organ Re-Cyclers     Photo: RAAM

Strasser Wins Race Across America

Second-place finished hours behind

Christoph Strasser of Austria set a new record in the men's individual category in the Race Across America (RAAM) Wednesday, finishing in a time of 7 days, 22 hours, and 11 minutes. With an overall average speed of 15.56 mph. VeloNews reports that his closest competitors finished several hours behind him.

Strasser is a two-time winner of the race and last year's runner-up, beat the previous speed mark of 15.4 mph set in 1986 by Pete Penseys. He also clocked in several hours earlier than Rob Kish's record time of 8 days, 3 hours which was set on a different course.

RAAM was first held in 1982 as the Great American Bike Race, and has since become one of the best-known ultra-endurance events in the world. Riders ride from the West Coast to the East Coast either alone or in teams. Unlike the Tour de France, RAAM has no stages, and riders compete continuously for days with little sleep. There have been two fatalities in the race's history, both involving vehicles.

Read more about the dangers facing riders in the Race Across America.

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    Photo: msn678/Flickr

Fishing Tournament Cheater Jailed

Has a history of fishing violations

A Minnesota man was sentenced to seven days in jail on Monday after pleading guilty to cheating in an ice-fishing tournament in February. Alfred "Tom" Mead told the court that he had brought two live pike to the Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Derby in an attempt to pass them off as catches from that event, the prize for which was a $10,000 ice-fishing house.

Mead, 72, has a history of fishing violations. In January 2009, he was fined $145 for fishing over the limit. A few months later, he was fined $35 for fishing "with two hooks or a treble hook not attached to an artificial lure."

In exchange for Mead's guilty plea to charges of theft by swindle, prosecutors agreed to drop another charge of transporting live fish. Besides the jail time, Mead faces four years of probation and will lose his hunting and fishing privileges for two years. He will also pay a $200 fine and fork out $75 as a public defender co-payment.

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Biking on the Yungas Loop Road via Shutterstock     Photo: Steffen Foerster Photography

Pro Cycling Challenge Announces Amateur Events

Mass ride and a running race

USA Pro Cycling Challenge organizers announced new amateur events on Wednesday, including a mass-start group ride, the Pro Challenge Experience, and a running race. The Pro Challenge Experience will take place in Fort Collins, Colorado, on Sunday August 11 with the 9K Sprint Challenge following in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday, August 25th.

“By growing the Pro Challenge to include these amateur events the whole family can get involved,” CEO Shawn Hunter said in a release. “The 9K Sprint Challenge and the Pro Challenge Experience give fans the opportunity to get in on the action and race on part of the course the professional athletes will utilize just days or hours later during the Pro Challenge.”

The Pro Challenge Experience will cover the remote Cache la Poudre Canyon and will be run in 30-, 52-, and 108-mile options. The rider with the fastest time up the Read Feather climb will earn a spot in the Vail amateur time trial before the pros start. The running race will have prizes for the fastest times and best costumes.

“We’re investing in the future of the sport and we want people to not only have the opportunity to witness the action of the USA Pro Challenge, but also experience it for themselves,” said Hunter. “We’re looking forward to bringing these and other events, in association with the Pro Challenge, to our fans for years to come.”

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Denver Fires Force Evacuation

Lime Gulch Fire creeps closer

Dozens of Denver, Colorado, homes were evacuated Wednesday as wildfires to the southwest of the city crept closer. The Lime Gulch Fire, which started in Pike National Forest, is estimated to be roughly 500 acres in size, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

"The good news is, it's a very sparsely populated area as far as houses go," County Sherrif Ted Mink told the Associated Press.

So far over 100 people have left their homes, with no injuries. “I grabbed a laundry basket and just threw stuff in it,” said evacuee Karalyn Pytel. “I don't even know what clothes they are."

According to Mink, the fire may have been sparked by a lightning strike late Tuesday, before high winds whipped it into an inferno on Wednesday. The U.S. Air Force Reserve has dispatched two C-130s to help combat the blaze.

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