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Racing News:

Starykowicz, George Win Road America
Men's race decided on final hill

By Planet staff
Saturday, June 2, 2007
(updated Sunday to correct name of third-place woman)

Peter Starykowicz was not only the organizer of today's Road America 20K. He was the winner.

The 20-year-old skater from Long Grove, IL, out-sprinted Matt Robinson on the final grueling hill to claim victory in the second annual event at Wisconsin raceway.

The winner of the women's race was Rebecca George, who rolled onto the Midwest racing scene last year with a win in the Hayward Inline Marathon.

George, 23, of Baxter, MN, finished with one of the men's chase packs. Finishing further back in second place was Kara Peterson of St. Paul, MN; Lizzy Loeb of Santa Monica, CA, was third.

A large lead pack of about 30 skaters drafted together on the first lap of the 10 kilometer Great America racetrack.

On the second lap, Starykowicz, a former cross-country runner, took the lead with a burst of speed at the base of one of the racetrack's three large hills.

Seven skaters were able to stay with him.

By the third and final lap, only five skaters were left: Starykowicz, Mike Anderson, Tom Peterson, Matt Meyer, and last year's Road America winner Matt Robinson.

The five leaders arrived at the base of the final hill together with the chase pack gaining on them, about a 100 yards back.

As the leaders started up the hill, "we were just crawling," Starykowicz said. "But then I put in a big sprint."

Only Robinson was able to keep up. He pulled even with Starykowicz a few times. But Starykowicz pulled away near the top of the hill to beat Robinson by 10 meters.

Anderson finished third.

Eighty skaters participated in the event, which included a 13K. Rain threatened all day but none fell.

One skater, Team Rainbo's Jan Kopis, was injured when another skater accidentally pulled him down from behind. The fall cracked Kopis' helmet and opened a gash on the back of his head, which required 32 stitches to close.

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