HOW IT BEGAN THE MISSION THE EVENT PARTICIPATE NOW THE TEAM
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1. New York, NY - July 27
2. Keyport, NJ - Aug 2
3. Lancaster, PA - Aug 3
4. Chambersburg, PA - Aug 4
5. Pittsburgh, PA - Aug 5
6. Akron, OH - Aug 6
7. Cleveland, OH - Aug 7
8. Fort Wayne, IN - Aug 8
9. Chicago, IL - Aug 9
10. Champaign, IL - Aug 10
11. Quincy, IL - Aug 11
12. Macon, MO - Aug 12
13. Kansas City, MO - Aug 13
14. Salina, KS - Aug 14
15. Oberlin, KS - Aug 15
16. Yuma, CO - Aug 16
17. Denver, CO - Aug 17
18. Hot Sulphur Springs, CO - Aug 18
19. Craig, CO - Aug 19
20. Duchesne, UT - Aug 20
21. Nephi, UT - Aug 21
22. Baker, NV - Aug 22
23. Eureka, NV - Aug 23
24. Frenchman, NV - Aug 24
25. Reno, NV - Aug 25
26. Sacramento, CA - Aug 26
27. Point Reyes, CA - Aug 27
28. San Francisco, CA - Aug 28/29
THE TEAM

The cycling team consists of 5 amateur riders led by Jim Angelus, race organizer and team captain.

Without neglecting their professional and family responsibilities, the riders log countless hours of training in preparation. They are:

  • Jim Angelus, 45, of Hopewell, N.J., is the guiding force behind the "Race to Respond." He is the team leader and race organizer. Angelus, a native of New York City, is a longtime cyclist who has dreamt of cycling across the United States. A second generation Greek American, he will lead a team of five amateur cyclists from New Jersey to California beginning on Aug. 3, 2002. He and his wife, Lynn, have twin 10-year-old sons, Nicholas and Evan, who will accompany him on the race. They are members of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, N.J., and Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Mission in Rocky Hill, N.J.

  • Constantine "Dino" Davlantis, 30, of Oak Lawn, Ill., is an aircraft mechanic at Chicago Midway Airport. In his spare time, he enjoys scaling the lofty heights on a mountain bike, competing in triathlons and marathons, and cooking. Davlantis said he is looking forward to the different challenge of a long-distance ride. "Race to Respond will provide the opportunity to achieve my dream and, most importantly, to give others hope and a chance to make their lives better," he said. Davlantis has been training with a combination of cycling, running and swimming - about 130 miles a week. He attends St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Oak Lawn, Ill.

  • Konstantin Kanelis, 35, of Munich Germany, is an electrical engineer who enjoys cycling to work. His family came to Germany in 1960, and he grew up in the Stuttgart area. Kanelis has done cycling tours in the Alps and six marathons, but he said the Race to Respond may be "the most challenging sports event in my life." Calling cycling both a hobby and a mission, Kanelis said, "I think (the Race to Respond) is an effort that will be supported and embraced (by all Orthodox Christians)." He attends St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Munich.

  • Alex Mazarakos, 27, of Burbank, Ill., like his cousin Dino Davlantis, is an avid mountain biker, and riding cross-country has been a longtime dream of his. The two of them together decided to join the Race to Respond cycling team after getting an e-mail from race organizer Jim Angelus. "What better way to see the country than by bike?" Mazarakos said. When he's not training for the race, Mazarakos works with his brother and cousins at a hotel and banquet hall in Bradley, Ill. Two years ago, he got a taste for cross-country cycling by doing a 100-mile ride near Lake Tahoe, Nev. He attends St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Oak Lawn, Ill.

  • Michael Tsakalos, 26, of Phoenix, Md., is on the development staff of IOCC. A member of the Baltimore Bicycling Club, he has been interested in cycling since he was a child riding a Big Wheel. "I'm cycling across the country in honor of my two grandfathers, who overcame great challenges in life to achieve great things for their families and communities," Tsakalos said. "They both went on amazing journeys to realize their 'American dreams.' … In this same way, I hope to help those served through IOCC to realize their dreams of overcoming the effects of poverty, war and natural disasters." When he is not training for the Race to Respond, Tsakalos is studying to earn a master's degree in business administration. He attends Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Baltimore, Md.

Accompanying the riders will be a support-and-gear crew, a lead crew and an IOCC staff vehicle. The support team will closely monitor the cycling team, prepare meals, maintain equipment and provide advance scouting.

Support team members include crew chief Kerry San Chirico, a seminarian at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y., and bicycle mechanic Zack Burkett, a longtime cycling enthusiast and crew veteran of the Race Across America.

The purpose of the Race is to raise awareness and funds for the humanitarian mission of IOCC, which was founded in 1992 by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. Since then, the agency has done more than $130 million in programs in 21 countries.

Like any major undertaking, whether feeding an entire village in Bosnia or cycling across country, teamwork and solidarity are essential keys to success. The riders will rely on a well-prepared support team that will prepare meals, maintain equipment, and provide advance route scouting. Without the support of the volunteer crew, the Race To Respond would not be possible.
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