Austrian Christoph Strasser yesterday won the 2013 Race Across America in fine style, becoming the first man to finish the race in under eight days and breaking both the race record and Michael Secrest’s coast to coast solo record in the process.
With a time of 7 days, 22 hours and 11 minutes and an overall average speed of 15.56 mph, Strasser also broke Pete Penseyes' record of 15.4 mph average speed set back in 1986.
After crossing the finish line Strasser said, “It's so great I can't even realize it, because the record—it was from back in 1986 when I was just 3 years old.
“It is unbelievable for me because I was not planning doing this record before the race, I was just trying to be as fast as possible.
When I was thinking that it can be possible if everything works out, but it was not my concrete plan to do it. So I am really surprised that it has worked so nice.”
Race owner Fred Boethling called Pete Penseyres during Strasser's post-win stage appearance.
“Christoph you are awesome!” said Penseyres. “That was the most incredible cross country ride ever,” Penseyres said in congratulating the man who had just broken his record.”
Asked how it felt to have his record broken, Penseyres replied, “I'm glad he did. He's a worthy champion. I'm just so happy it worked out for him this year.”
Last year’s winner Reto Schoch is now third after taking a long beak and being passed by Dani Wyss. Top Brit in the race, Mark Pattinson has moved up to fourth and less than 40 miles behind Schoch.
Maria Parker remains in the lead in the women’s category, some 50 miles ahead of Cassie Schumacher.
In the team competitions, the eight-man Allied Forces - Team 4Mil/Strategic Lions squad, which includes four British riders, had just over 300 miles to go at the last checkpoint. Their average speed of 24.51mph puts them on track to break yet more records. Ot only are they ahead of the pace of last year’s team winner ViaSat, but the 1989 all time RAAM speed record of 24.02 mph also looks in serious danger.
In the four-man contest, British team RAAM Fireflies is now in second place behind the German 4athletes powered by gateprotect squad. With over 500 miles still to go in tha contest, it’s certainly not all over yet.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.