Jonathan Boyer, a 29-year-old from Pebble Beach, Calif., rolled across the finish line on the Boardwalk here Tuesday to win the bicycle Race Across America in a record-setting 9 days 2 hours and 6 minutes.
Michael Secrest, 32, of Flint, Mich., crossed the finish line in second place in 9 days 6 hours 8 minutes. Secrest had gained about eight hours on Boyer on Monday.
Boyer and Secrest beat the record of 9 days 13 hours 13 minutes set last year by winner Pete Penseyres on a course that was 80 miles shorter.
Secrest had a 36-minute lead when he crossed the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tenn., last Friday morning, but Boyer gained ground in the Tennessee hills to take more than a 30-minute lead by the time he reached Knoxville, race officials said.
Boyer beat a field of 25 racers who left Huntington Beach, Calif., on July 21. The 3,136-mile course to Atlantic City followed interstate highways, city streets and back roads through the southern portion of the country.
“I just gotta learn how to walk again,” said a dazed and exhausted Boyer, who had an average of two hours rest a day during the race.
“The hardest part was the first day,” he said. “The last couple of days I have been scared to death of two things--being bowled over by an irate policeman or going off course.”
In third place and expected to finish this morning was Michael Shermer, 30, of Hollywood, Calif.