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Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
  Jure Robic Sore Loser

RAAM 2009 is in the books, and the controversy is just heating up. After leading the pack for most of the race, Jure Robic quit in Mt. Airy Maryland. Why? Although he arrived first well ahead of Dani Wyss, Jure had an hour of penalties tacked on, putting him firmly in second place.

RAAM has a lot of rules, most of the rules are for the safety of the rider (like stopping at Stop signs and stopping at red lights) but they are also there to assure a fair race. Yes, there are a lot of common sense rules, but in a 3000 mile race, sometimes common sense goes out the window. There are penalties associated with breaking these rules, the problem is on a 3000 mile race is that sometimes there aren't officials around to see it. They have some "undercover" officials. If you look at Robic's penalties, they were stupid and he should have known better.

  1. Peeing into a planter at the ride start surrounded by officials, cops, and spectators, not smart, especially given that there was a set of bathrooms to the side of the stage area and another set a short walk away.
  2. Passing on the interstate. It can be difficult out in the desert to find an exit ramp, but if you just got done talking to an official, you shouldn't do something illegal, because the official is right there, at least wait long enough for the official to get down the road a little ways.
  3. Going off course. If you go off course, you are supposed to return to the point you went off course and start from there. Yes, it sucks when you've ridden 20 miles in the wrong direction, but that's why you need your crew to pay attention to the directions.
There was one corner that tripped up a bunch of competitors both years I raced resulting in a 15 minute penalty for each, I believe it was the first stop sign on the course, they had 3 or 4 officials there, it was obvious that they were there to make sure everyone stopped completely. I put a foot down there because I knew they were watching (The rules say you can do a trackstand).

Robic has a video on his site that allegedly shows Dani Wyss running a red light by making a right turn at the light then immediately making a U-turn, then making a right turn back on course. It's clear from the video that he is essentially running a red light; but, is that what happened? Perhaps Robic's crew painted an arrow at the intersection and Dani thought he was supposed to go right and his crew corrected him before he got to far? I think Wyss should get a penalty for this, because he is essentially running a red light. If Wyss made a habit of running red lights and stop signs, then its a pox on the race organizers for not catching him. They definitely need more officials out on the course. They should also be drug testing these leaders, it's too easy these days to dope. I doubt Robic is racing clean.

 

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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