As the British know all too well from history, conquering America is not an easy undertaking, and that became very apparent this week when a second British rider dropped out of the Race Across America, the world’s hardest bike race.

Halfway through the 3000 mile solo race, Simon Potter, 33, was riding in fourth place when the cumulative toll of heat, wind, sleep deprivation and time in the saddle caught up to the former elite road racer and he could no longer turn the pedals over in a full circle.

His support crew took him off course to a hotel for an ice bath, sleep and to rehydrate, hoping that would breath new life into Potter.

It didn’t and the RAAM rookie officially dismounted in Greensburg, Kansas, withdrawing from the race for health and safety reasons after encountering too many issues to overcome.

Crew chief Jim Rees told RAAM Media One, “Simon came here to race. Though you know, he started this race with a chest infection. Had he not had the chest infection I think he would still be at the front of the race. He was in fourth place when he slowed down. That infection—in the desert he was coughing up blood. And then he’s got the usual issues of a solo—early stages of Shermer neck from the wind in Kansas, heat spots on the foot. His saddle sores are significant.”

Potter added, ”Ultimately, with the chest infection, there was no opportunity for my body to recover—especially with the heat. Which is really frustrating for me because I started this race with a real good pace. So it’s really a bit heart-breaking to feel my body just shut down and get to the point where I couldn’t do any more.”

Potter is the second Brit to withdraw from the RAAM solo race after James Golding dropped out due complications from COVID-19. That leaves Joff Spencer Jones, who is currently riding strong in eighth place with 1000 miles remaining, as the only British competitor still in the solo race.

Swiss rider Nicole Reist is the RAAM overall leader, but less than 100 miles behind Reist is Czech rider Svata Bozak as the race enters the final run to the finish in Annapolis, Maryland.

Photos: RAAM