Authorities say 42-year-old Robert Verhaaren, of Mesa, Ariz., was participating in the annual LOTOJA (low-tuh-juh) 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 early on.
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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