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Bicyclist dies during race from Utah to Wyoming

Sep 12, 2012 - The Associated Press

LOGAN, Utah -- A bicyclist competing in a race from Logan, Utah, to Jackson Hole crashed on a bridge in Wyoming and fell about 35 feet to his death into the Snake River.

Authorities say 42-year-old Robert Verhaaren, of Mesa, Ariz., was participating in the annual LOTOJA race when he swerved to avoid a pothole and crashed on Highway 89 about eight miles from the finish line Saturday afternoon.

Race spokesman Dave Bern says the 206-mile race also was marred by serious accidents in Idaho and Wyoming that sent two bicyclists to the hospital and by flat tires experienced by roughly 200 cyclists .

He says it's the first fatality in the race's 30-year history.

It's billed as the longest one-day bicycle race in the country sanctioned by USA Cycling.

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