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THE MEN BATTLE FOR SECOND
6/10, Montezuma Creek, Utah, 14:11EST

Wow. What an eventful morning at the front of the solo men’s’ field in this 27th Annual Race Across America. To no one’s surprise Jure Robic is way out in front, some two time stations ahead of second, which is currently held by Julian Sanz Garcia of Spain.

Early this morning Austrian Gerhard Gulewicz, who had held second through most of yesterday, was caught by Sanz Garcia and the two played cat and mouse, with Sanz Garcia eventually getting by. Gulewicz later retook the second position, putting him back where he wanted to be by Kaenta, Arizona, the gateway to scenic Monument Valley. However Gulewicz’s plan went awry when he took a hard spill as he attempted to remove a jacket. The jacket reportedly got caught in his bike and went down, hitting his head. Sanz Garcia’s crew reported that Gulewicz was bleeding from his head.

As I left Kaenta this morning at 8:00am local time (11:00EST) a RAAM official told me that Gulewicz was in a nearby hospital being treated and that he was confident that he’d be able to continue. Bear in mind that I got all of this info regarding Gulewicz second hand and that there are surely more up do date reports elsewhere here on the RAAM Blogs.

Meanwhile, up the road in Monument Valley, another dispute over second place raged. Mark Pattinson of the UK had caught and passed Sanz Garcia. The two were separated by perhaps a hundred yards when I first caught them ten or so miles outside of Kaenta. As I leapfrogged ahead to shoot photos, it was evident that Sanz Garcia was closing on Pattison. Patti son’s crew used their PA system to keep their rider aware of his pursuer’s position, but eventually Sans Garcia got by and by the town of Mexican Hat, which marks the end of Monument Valley, Sans Garcia had about a half mile on Pattison.

Fortunately for the these two, today’s weather wasn’t the usual 90 to 100 degree temperatures common in past RAAM passes through Monument Valley. It was perhaps 80 with a cooling breeze that made it a fine day for a ride through one of the most beautiful places on earth. I wish I had to pull my own bike off the rack. But no, much to do ahead. After passing Sans Garcia I headed on. Up head are Robic, 60+ solo rider Richard Rupp and of course the women, Caroline Van den bulk and Janet Christiansen. Look for reports on those four later today. For now, I’m headed east.

PHOTOS
[GarciaPattisonBattle]
WE HAVE A RACE!
Too often in RAAM riders go for hours without seeing another rider. In Monument Valley today Julian SanzGarcia and Mark Pattison went neck and neck for miles.

[GarcicaSanzMonument]
A SPANISH REVELATION
Julian Sanz Garcia was an unknown quantity going into this RAAM. He’s opened some eyes with a strong ride that currently has him in second.

[PattisonMonument]
SOLID IN THIRD
Mark Pattison worked hard to keep Sanz Garcia behind him in Monument Valley, but is currently in third, with fourth place a long, long way back.
 
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