• Thu June 23 2005
  • Posted Jun 23, 2005

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June 23, 2005 Robert Breedlove, a Des Moines doctor who is an accomplished endurance bicycle racer, was killed today in southern Colorado during the Race Across America. Race officials said Breedlove, 53, was struck by a pickup truck at about 10:15 a.m. MDT 28 miles west of Trinidad, Colo. Breedlove “apparently moved over into the oncoming traffic lane," race director Jim Pitre told "Nobody knows how or why he ran into an oncoming pickup head-on.” Pitre said the truck’s driver told authorities that Breedlove “appeared to slump down on his handlebars” before moving into traffic. “I can’t get my mind around what has happened,” Pitre said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me that a rider with that level of experience would drift into the other side.” Authorities were still investigating the incident. The race was traveling along Colorado Highway 12, a narrow two-lane mountain road, said June Torres of the Colorado State Patrol. “There is a lot of traffic on that road. It’s kind of remote,” she said. Breedlove passed a checkpoint in La Veta, Colo., at 8:20 a.m. The area is a rugged stretch just north of New Mexico and south of Pueblo, Colo. Breedlove, known for such feats as riding the weeklong RAGBRAI route in one day, in 2002 rode from Los Angeles to Atlantic City, N.J., in nine days, 19 hours and 47 minutes, setting a trans-America solo bicycle crossing record for an person older than 50. This year's cross-country race was his fifth solo ride across the United States. He finished second in the race in 1994. The Race Across America, a coast-to-coast bicycle ultramarathon, is the longest bicycle race in the world. This year's race started Sunday in San Diego, Calif., and is projected to end in Atlantic City nine days later. Riders race up to 22 hours a day. Breedlove recognized the risk of the ride. In his rider profile on the race Web site,, he answered the question "What intimidates you most about RAAM?" with "Illness, injury or death." A rider in the race last died in 2003 during a late night ride in a remote part of New Mexico. Dr. Bob Breedlove of Des Moines set a record for a 50-year-old riding his bike across the United States in July of 2002. Breedlove is an orthopedic surgeon married for 30 years. He and his wife, Gretchen, have four children: Molly Wince, 27; Ann Brown, 25; Erika Breedlove, 21; and Bill Breedlove, 20.
As posted on the dailypeloton's 'Pro Cycling News' this morning... 50+ race Bob Breedlove, from Des Moines, Iowa, has made an impressive start to his bid to win the category that contains three-times RAAM champion, Rob Kish, Port Orange, FL, who competes in his 20th consecutive RAAM this year. By Time Station Nine, Flagstaff, Breedlove was more than three hours ahead. However, as these most experience competitors know, history shows us that the race does not really begin until the Mississippi River. Sadly, for the third competitor in this group, Dave Kees from Grass Valley, Calif. the race ended early with asthma and dehydration related problems. After a hospital visit, Kees withdrew from the race, becoming the first DNF result for 2005.

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