Largest Women's Field Competes In Race Across America (raam)
Top two women race 3,070 miles and finish just 1 hour 29 minutes apart!
By: KHS Bicycles
Race Across America, often described as the toughest cycling event in the world, is a non-stop bike race across the continental United States. Racers come from all over the world to attempt the route, often with half of the solo field dropping out along the way. Solo riders are accompanied by a crew of 6-10 that act as navigators, cooks, mechanics and cheerleaders as they balance sleep deprivation, safety and speed, often with the sole goal of finishing in under the 12-day time cut. Others, however, come to race.
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Leah Goldstein, a 50-year ultra-veteran and former RAAM champion from Vernon, British Columbia knew this year's competition would be fierce, but still set lofty goals of bettering her 2011 time, breaking the 50+ record, and winning the women's overall title. For the first 4 days, the top six riders battled across the Death Valley and 10,000-foot elevation of the Rocky Mountains, often separated by mere minutes. The lead changed a dozen times before two clear contenders emerged from the Kanas Prairies.
Goldstein, and 50-year old peer Daniela Genovisi of Brazil managed to outride their competitors through punishing heat, 3 days of rain and hail, cold elevations and sleep deprivation to hit the Appalachians in nearly a dead heat. Leah climbed like a machine through pitches up to 10%, often closing the gap to within 10-kilometers!
Goldstein, sponsored by KHS bicycles, beat her previous time by over 8-hours and crushed the 50+ record by a day and a half. Genovisi however, will hold that record for now. At the finish line, the 2 women embraced and thanked each other for the toughest race of their lives. "Where are all the young women?" asked Goldstein as they laughed. Both riders received huge respect from their fellow male competitors, with only 4 of the field of 30 beating these women!
"Why do you think women seem to do so well in Race Across America?" asked finish line announcer, George Thomas. Goldstein didn't hesitate. "We know how to suffer."