August 13, 2006
Race to Replace run as planned, Earth still on its axis
A.J. Smith, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, won the right to race at the US Pro championships September 1, by leading the 25-34 age group at Discovery Channel's “Race to Replace” Lance Armstrong at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Smith did 10 laps of the Brickyard in 52:42.4, an average of nearly 28.5 MPH. Smith and 364 other riders rode in the competitive half of the day, while perhaps 1,000 riders took the opportunity to do a “Lap with Lance.” Crowds were somewhat smaller than expected at the home of the Indy 500, where Armstrong drove the pace car in May.
The event raised money for the Indiana University Cancer Center and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Some commentators had suggested the mass-start Race to Replace would lead to total carnage, or that a rider selected through such a race might be dangerous at the US Pro Championships in Greenville, SC, next month, but there were no incidents reported on Saturday.
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Re:the history of bicycle racing at the Indianapolis 500 track - Race to Replace was not the first bicycle race there. It has been used before. For example: it was the venue for the Pan-American Men's Team Time Trial in 1987.
Posted by: Lisa Burr at Aug 13, 2006 11:13:06 AM
Lisa -- thanks for that. I thought it was pretty unlikely that it could be the first, which is why I added the "apparently" the first. Given the popularity of six-day races up through the '30s, it seemed likely bikes had seen the Brickyard before.
I should know better than to believe the local newscasts...
Posted by: TdFblog's Frank at Aug 13, 2006 11:41:58 AM