The tightest competition since Race Across America (RAAM) started coming through this area highlighted the Washington passage of the solo male (under 50) leaders Monday afternoon.
Reto Schoch, a 34-year-old resident of Speicherschwendi, Switzerland, was the first to reach Time Station 34 at Revolution Cycles, coming into the station at 4:57 p.m. (CDT).
While there, Schoch’s crew used the Revolution Cycles facilities for bike repairs.
Owner Joe Ferguson also earned praise for the pool put up in front of the store used by those following or working the race.
But before he was able to depart Washington via the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River, Schoch was pushed back to second place.
That’s because Graz, Austria, rider Christop Strasser, 30, who reached Time Station 34 at 5:36 p.m., passed Schoch in Washington. Strasser reached the Missouri River at 5:44 p.m. while Schoch followed at 5:58 p.m.
However, by the time the pair reached Time Station 35 at the Mississippi River, Schoch was back in the lead. Schoch arrived at 7:54 p.m. followed by Strasser at 11:58 p.m.
As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, Schoch held the lead at Time Station 37 in Effingham, Ill. Schoch reached that point at 5 a.m. while Strasser followed 58 minutes later.
Both solo riders were in danger of being passed by the first team to reach Washington. Team Beau & Babe, a 60-69 two-person mixed team, reached Washington at 6:20 p.m. That team passed Strasser during the evening and arrived in Effingham at 5:29 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Overnight, the following teams arrived at Time Station 34:
• Trix Zgraggen, solo female (under 50) leader; and
• Gerhard Gulewicz, solo male (under 50) third place.
One team, the Forever Young Pac Masters, was scheduled to arrive around noon Tuesday. Most of the rest are on time to arrive Wednesday with the final arrivals coming very early Thursday morning.
For updates, see www.raceacrossamerica.org.