Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pro Cycling News previews us, Robic

Andy McGrath of Pro Cycling News at mentioned us in his 2009 RAAM race preview ...

"Team Reaching Heights is raising money for a public schools foundation in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Team members Charlie Combs and Richard Waugh worked as crew members for 2008 runner-up and rookie of the year Mark Pattinson. Bitten by the RAAM bug, they have saddled up for the two-man challenge this year. Age is another hurdle to overcome, as they are the only competitors in the 50-59 category. Nevertheless, having crewed last year and covered the first thousand miles in training a few weeks ago, they are under no illusions as to the challenge facing them."

(By the way, if you'd like to know more about our beneficiary, Reaching Heights, visit the Reaching Heights Web page at In fact, look for their entry about Richard and RAAM on their home page.

Also in his preview, McGrath said Slovenian superman Jure Robic appears set for another solo title - his fifth in six years. Here's what McGrath says about Robic:

"When anyone says 'Race Across America' to me, Jure Robic is the first name that comes to mind. The four-time winner is effectively the modern 'Mr. RAAM', a legend in ultra-cycling. Both respected and revered by rivals and fans alike, the former Slovenian solider is gunning for a record fifth title. The 44-year-old may still have one eye on smashing Pete Penseyres’s 1985 fastest time of 8.09.47. However, the ever-improving standards he has set in recent years also force his rivals to push themselves ever harder – beating Robic is synonymous with winning RAAM itself."

McGrath advises keeping an eye on young Austrian Christopher Strasser, who at 27, is the youngest solo competitor this year. Strasser cites Robic as his hero and recently finished second to Jure in the Race Around Slovenia, a RAAM qualifier.

One of our racers, Richard, is looking forward to meeting and speaking to Robic to wish him luck at the start line of the men's solo race. Johanna Bajc, one of our crew members, will be there as well to wish her fellow Slovenian "screcno pot" (safe trip.) Look for photos of Johanna and Richard with the Slovenian superstar - we'll post them after the solo race takes off on Wednesday.

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