Oceanside CA— On Tuesday, solo riders competing in the Race Across America(RAAM) crossed the start line at the Oceanside Pier en-route to Susan B. Campbell Park, City Dock in Annapolis, MD. The solo riders will travel over 3000 miles, across 12 states, and climb over 170,000 vertical feet with a maximum of 12 days to complete the journey. The fastest riders will finish in just under eight days.
Team relay riders will depart from the pier at 12noon, on Saturday, June, 16, 2018. They follow the same course but have a maximum of nine days to finish with the quickest teams able to finish in just over five days. Teams can be comprised of 2,4 or 8 cyclists. RAAM is in its 37th year and is the 13th year as Oceanside the point of departure. Racers have raised over $2 million per year over the past 5 years.
Four time Solo winner, Christoph Strasser, 36 of Graz, Austria returns this year with a goal of tying Jure Robic’s record of five RAAM wins. Strasser holds the record for the fastest RAAM, 7 days, 15 hours, 56 minutes, 16.42 mph average.
Race Across the West(RAW) competitors also left on Tuesday en-route to Durango, Colorado, a distance of 930 miles following the same course as the RAAM riders. RAW is open to all cyclists wishing to race solo, 2- or 4-person teams with riders from 10 countries competing in this years event. RAW is a qualifier for competing in RAAM.
This years RAAM and RAW races have 270 registered participants and 1,000 crew from 25 states and 20 countries. 27 -year-old Kyle Coon from Carbondale, CO is the youngest team rider with 77-year-old Herbert Lackner from Baernkopf, Germany the oldest .
The youngest RAAM Solo rider is 31-year-old Sumit Patil from Alibag, India. The oldest is Sergey Zimin, 74 from Moscow, Russia.
Blind racers on Team Sea to See will depart on Saturday as they pair up with sighted racers on tandem team bikes. Team Sea to See is committed to proving that people who are blind can succeed in any field. They believe that demonstrating this capacity to succeed is critical to empowering others in the blind community and changing society’s perceptions of the blind. They are illustrating this capability by building a team of high-achieving business people and athletes who are vision-impaired to tackle RAAM and conduct an accompanying media and outreach campaign.
You can follow live tracking of all the riders on the RAAM website: http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/live-tracking.html