IRVINE — The 10th Race Across America begins at 9 a.m. today at the Irvine Holiday Inn when a field of 37 cyclists of varying ability and motivation start on a 2,930-mile trek to Savannah, Ga.
The cyclists will ride as many as 300 miles a day, stopping to sleep for as little as two hours a night in hopes of reaching the finish line at Rousakis Plaza in Savannah in less than 11 days.
This will be the second consecutive year that RAAM has used this southern route. After leaving the hotel, the riders will enter the Santa Ana River trail, heading east. They will pass through Palm Springs and follow Interstate 10 to the Arizona border.
The route takes the riders through Flagstaff, Ariz., southern Utah and Colorado, across the northeastern tip of New Mexico and into Texas. From Texas, it's a straight shot through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Last year's winner, Bob Fourney of Denver, who completed the journey in 8 days 11 hours 26 minutes, is the favorite among the men's field of 29 riders.
Nancy Raposo of Newport, R.I., has not returned to defend her title. The field of four women are all first-time RAAM entrants.