New York, June 27: India’s Srinivas Gokulnat on Monday created a history as he becomes first cyclist from the country to complete 4,900-km Race Across America (RAAM) in the solo category. Notably, Race Across America considered being the toughest cycle race in the world to which Srinivas Gokulnat completed in eleven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.
On the other side, another Indian Dr. Amit Samarth of Nagpur also completed the toughest race but remained at number eight just behind Srinivas Gokulnat who stood on the seventh position amongst nine men who finished. The race was won by Christoph Strasser.
Lt Colonel Gokulnath after finishing the race successfully said, "I am relieved, that is the feeling I am going through right now." Gokulnath further said that he went through various emotions right from the start of the race, which he termed as a "relentless effort" from the moment one signs up for it.
In the three decades history of Race Across America, only three Indians had attempted RAAM solo, but no one could finish. However, only Gokulnath completed the race who is a doctor by training, is an aerospace medicine specialist working with the Army in Nashik.
Interestingly, Gokulnath was competing for the second consecutive year at RAAM as last year he was timed out last year after pedalling for nearly 3,000 km. But Samarth finished the race in his maiden attempt. Apart from Rizvi and Gokulnath, Sumit Patil from Alibag was the only one to have attempted the race in the past.