Vic Armijo / Montezuma, Kansas
June 19, 2011 6:55 a.m. EST
Last night the majestic silver machine that is the RAAM Media 1 van sped though the Kansas night, its occupants intent on catching the solo male leader, Christoph Strasser (Austria). We found him right at midnight just short of the Montezuma time station. We followed him in as he stopped at the station for a feed.
While Strasser is still looking great on the bike, like many RAAM riders before him, he’s reached a state where he’s fine on the bike, but needs help with everything else. As he stopped a crew member held the bike while another helped him lift his leg over the bike and then assisted him into the support van. A flurry of activity followed as Dr. Ranier Hochtatterer spoke with him.
One crew member pulled off his shoes and changed his socks, while yet another brought him food. Eventually Dr. Hochtatterer helped him to his motor home to “take care of business” and then returned him to the follow van to finish his meal. Just a few minutes later he emerged from the van, and Dr. Hochtatterer helped him toward his bike, which was being held up by a crew member. They helped him onto his bike and off he rode. The entire pit stop took less than 15 minutes. Impressive. 1375.5 miles down, 1,616 miles to go.
Strasser’s RAAM effort is as good as any that this reporter has seen. He all the equipment that anyone could hope for, has an experienced crew and perhaps foremost, he has Dr. Hochtatterer one of the best in the biz. Dr. is a renowned sports doctor and surgeon in his native Austria. He’s worked with some of the best endurance cyclists, including Gerhard Gulewicz (currently in 3rd) and 3-time RAAM winner Wolfgang Fasching.
According to Dr. Hochtatterer Strasser had two hours and 25 minutes of sleep on Saturday and after leaving Montezuma, was scheduled for another sleep break at 4:00 am. “When we get to Greensburg. How long, we’ll see,” Dr. Hochtatterer said. “He’s eating well. He’s had no problems with eating. No problems at all. He’s eating sandwiches, he drinks Ensure—a calorie drink—he drinks Coke, electrolyte drinks.” Hmm, add in Trader Joe’s almonds, dried fruit and of course coffee and it sounds a lot like my RAAM diet.