While the 4-rider RAW team “Monster Media Ultra Racing” is new, there are some familiar faces on the squad. Andrew Danly and Jeremy Gustin are both past members of Team Viasat’s 8-rider RAAM teams, Adam Bickett took second in the 2014 Race Across the West and was
last year’s Race Across America come-from-behind story with his 8th place finish (10 days, 15 hours and 53 minutes) AFTER having been stopped for over 36 hours in Colorado with lung issues. Bickett had planned on returning to RAAM this year, but as Danly explained in a recent phone interview, “He’s an engineer at Qualcom and cell phones rule the world and that job can rule his life. He realized that he probably couldn’t put his best swing into solo RAAM this year so he withdrew and as soon as I heard that I pounced and got him to do this with us.” And then there’s Michael Marckx (former Spy eyewear CEO and founder of the famous Belgian Waffle Ride), who Danly describes as, “A crazy athlete—a national champion in running and a state champion in cycling.
“We’re excited to have put together this really explosive 4-man racing team with some of the best racers,” Danly said, “The team runs really deep with RAAM experience and ultra relays and we’ve got a great crew. Almost everybody has raced and crewed RAAM. Another exciting element is we have a crack media crew headed up by David Su who’s made short films about Adam Bickett’s RAW and he did our 4-man Stagecoach films as well. We have Connie Hatfield taking stills and even have a guy piloting a drone. I think we’re all set up to have a very big, professional and fast experience. We get to see the country in a way that you otherwise never would, you’re looking at people eye-to-eye that are counting on you and you’re counting on them. It becomes this synergy of experience and passion for cycling. It’s something I’ve never found outside of ultra racing, so it keeps me coming back.”
Ultra-competitive athletes such as this quartet need a goal. For them motivation comes at the prospect of breaking the 4-rider Under 50 Male record set in 2012 by RoadWorx USA who averaged 20.02 mph, taking just under 43 hours.” My buddies that won 4-man RAAM last year ( ) I think their average at Durango was 22 mph. In 2012 we went through at 24 mph, so we feel as if that record is in reach. Of course it’s apples and oranges with weather and things can always go wrong. But every time we line up we want to win and set a record—that’s an overt goal that motivates everybody on the team. Under 40 hours would be a goal and something closer to 36 would be pretty awesome, which would put us rolling into Durango in the dark! But that’s the thing we enjoy; a road trip with brutality mixed in.”