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Idaho cyclist sets course record in Iditarod Trail Invitational win

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:38 am | Updated: 11:41 am, Wed Feb 27, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - An Idaho cyclist pulled away from three Alaska riders late in the race to win the Iditarod Trail Invitational in record time on Wednesday .

Jay Petevary, of Victor, Idaho, won the 350-mile human-powered race on the Iditarod Trail from Knik to McGrath in 2 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes, which shattered the previous course record by more than 10 hours.

Petervary finished  just 34 minutes ahead of Tim Bernston of Anchorage and 51 minutes faster than the Fairbanks duo of Jeff Oatley and Kevin Breitenbach.

It was the second Invitational win for Petervary, who also won in 2008. It was the sixth time he completed the race.

Petervary averaged 5.2 mph for the race and cut more than 10 hours off the previous course record of 3 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes set by seven-time champ Peter Basinger in 2008.

The four lead racers traveled together pretty much the entire race. Petervary seized the lead in Nikolai, 50 miles from the finish, by resting for 2 1/2 hours less than his rivals.

The four riders, along with Alaskan John Lackey, pulled into Nikolai together at 12:50 a.m. Wednesday but Petervary stayed in the village only 34 minutes before pushing on at 1:24 a.m. while the other four riders remained almost three hours.

Bernston, Breitenbach and Lackey, all Invitational rookies, left at 3:45 a.m. while Oatley, a one-time winner and perennial contender, followed at 3:50 in pursuit of Petervary. Bernston, Breitenbach and Oatley all made up time on Petervary en route to McGrath but not enough to catch him.

Petervary finished at 9:16 a.m., followed by Bernston at 9:50 a.m. and Brietenbach and Oatley at 10:07 a.m. Lackey had not arrived as of 11 a.m., according to the race website.

Forty-eight racers — 31 cyclists and 17 runners — started the race on Sunday and so far there have been no scratches. All 48 competitors were reported out of Skwentna, which is 90 miles into the race, as of early Wednesday morning.

The leading foot racer was Dave Johnston of Willow, who was in 15th place. Johnston left the Puntilla Lake checkpoint (Mile 165) at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Fairbanks cyclist Jay Cable, the only other local rider entered in the race, was unofficially in 12th place. He was reported out of Rohn en route to Nikolai but no departure times were available.

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