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Robert Forney Gains a Narrow Lead in the Bicycle Race Across America

June 27, 1987

Robert Forney of Evergreen, Colo., passed Michael Secrest of Flint, Mich., Friday night in Jefferson City, Mo., to take a one-mile lead on the sixth day of the Race Across America, a 3,117-mile bicycle race from San Francisco to Washington.

Secrest had a 57-mile lead over Forney Thursday when the riders passed through Benoit, Kan., but the two-time runner-up has been caught the last two years as the riders approached the Mississippi River. The riders expect to cross the river this morning in St. Louis.

Forney, who pulled an Achilles' tendon in Colorado, has been riding with a thin, plaster cast for two days. Michael Trail of Coleville, Wash., is in third place, 18 miles behind Forney, and Austrian Franz Spilauer is fourth, 45 miles behind.

Casey Patterson of Topanga continues to lead Cheryl Marek of Seattle as the women riders cross Kansas, but Marek has narrowed the gap to 36 miles from the 90-mile lead Patterson had coming out of Colorado.

Patterson, a top cycling hill-climber who built her lead in the Rocky Mountains, is hoping to maintain her lead on Marek until the two reach the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia.

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