Last updated 6/15/2017 at 8:52am
Hailed as the worlds toughest bike race and bringing together competitors from at least 20 different countries, Borrego Springs welcomes Race Across America (RAAM) once again to the towns streets.
June 13 – 14 allows residents to see riders traveling through Santa Ysabel and Julian, before taking on the winding path of the Yaqui Pass and into Christmas Circle. Just a small section of their 3000 mile journey.
Comprising of solo entrants and teams, as well as support crews, they will be climbing more than 100,000 feet. Racers range in age from 13 to 75 with approximately 50% of the racers traveling through Borrego Springs from five continents including Australia, Asia, and Europe. Every year they bring an additional boost to the towns summer economy and a flash of color along the streets. This year will bee no different and with the town once again on the international stage, it is just another opportunity to highlight the deserts charms.
June 3 Fred Boethling President/CEO RAAM shared, “... as we’ve discussed, the impact the Race Across America has on Borrego Springs extends beyond the race itself. Many of the riders and their support crew train in Borrego. Riders from Europe and North America come early to acclimatize - to adjust to the desert heat - prior to the race. Some participants come as early as 2-3 weeks before RAAM.
Although we don’t track specifically who is in Borrego at any given time, we are aware of the following racers training there now:
Seana Hogan (6-time Solo Female RAAM winner). Seana is probably the most well know endurance bicycle racer in the world. She is from Northern California. She is a computer programmer/mathematician who has spent her entire professional career with IBM.
Christoph Strasser (3-time Solo Male RAAM winner). Christoph is from Graz, Austria. He is the current star of the ultra-bicycle racing world. He holds the current Solo RAAM speed record. The world is watching Strasser..
Sarah Cooper (last year’s Female and Overall Solo RAW winner). She has been breaking records everywhere. The wife and mother of 4 from Des Moines, Iowa has been attracting a great deal of attention - interviews, articles, social and mainstream media. Everyone in the sport is talking about Sarah.
Marko Baloh (5-time Solo RAAM finisher). The 24-hour world record holder is from Ljubljana, Slovenia. A few years back, the tall, soft-spoken family man left his position in the Slovenian Department of Agriculture to become a full-time coach. He is widely respected throughout the sport.
Chris “Hoppo” Hopkinson (3-time Solo RAAM finisher). A bit of a crazy man, the music teacher from Great Britain is one of the most popular guys in the sport.
Hogan, Strasser, Baloh and Hopkinson have all raced the 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships. Hogan, Strasser and Baloh have all won the WTTC. Baloh is a former record holder. Hogan is the current female 24-hour WTTC record holder. Strasser is the current male and overall 24-hour WTTC record holder.
Of course, those are not the only ones training in Borrego Springs. But, I thought you’d like to know about them. Some may be there with their families.”
Be watching for the support crews with their RV’s and pace vehicles to be parked around Christmas Circle for several hours Wednesday June 14 and Saturday June 17, while awaiting the arrival of their riders. Members of these crews will be on the streets stopping by stores and restaurants. A number of nations are represented in this international competition and you can expect to have film crews in town as well to capture the race. All support vehicles are directed to Christmas Circle, Borrego Springs by RAAM as their first stop after Oceanside, and you will find them at the Circle putting the final checks on their vehicles, equipment and supplies in readiness for the grueling race ahead. Come out, say hello and cheer on these amazing riders as they pass through and their crews as they hang out around town.