Friday, May 11, 2007

Rusch wins 24-hour Payton Stampede

Rebecca Rusch

Ketchum adventure racer Rebecca Rusch took first place last weekend in the elite women's class at the Payson Stampede 24-hour bike race in Arizona.

Rusch, who is no stranger to victory, placed fourth overall in the grueling event, completing 17 laps, four more than her closest class competitor.

Rusch wrote in her e-mail newsletter that racing the event was sort of a last minute decision, but she decided to do it to help with her overall point standing in the USA Cycling Ultra Endurance series.

Most riders chose the less demanding 12-hour event, but Rusch chose the 24-hour race, and wrote that night riding was a lonely vigil.

"There were full laps where I would not see a soul on the course," she wrote. "I did see two wild turkeys, some nocturnal rats and a lot more rabbits than bike riders. There was also very little competition in the women's field, so I had no one to battle with. I ended up wearing an iPod and just zoning out by myself. It was a enjoyable, but a very different race experience than what I am used to."

Rusch wrote that her next competition will be May 23 in Scotland for the Adventure Racing World Championships.

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