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RAGBRAI names new ride director

DES MOINESRAGBRAI is thrilled to announce its new ride director: Dieter Drake, who brings with him 16 years of competitive and non-competitive cycling event experience. RAGBRAI XLVIII takes place July 19 to 25, 2020.

With a specialization in technical cycling event production that includes adventure tours, recreational events, charitable rides and amateur and professional competitions, Drake most recently served as president of Anthem Sports Tours, a company he founded in 2015.

Drake took his degree in mechanical engineering and applied it to race and ride logistics and execution. He has directed more than 100 cycling events where he focused on technical operations, execution, staffing, tourism and route planning. Most recently, he owned, promoted and operated Tour of the Battenkill, Tour of the Catskills and Cycle Chile.

“Bicycling and organizing cycling events are my passions and I’m honored to have the opportunity to be a part of this great tradition in Iowa,” said Drake. “I appreciate the community that has been built around this event and the passion Iowans have for it and look forward to doing my part to preserve it.”

Drake currently lives outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife Amy and their seven kids, ages 22 to 3. They will relocate to Iowa for this opportunity.

“Our family is looking forward to being a part of RAGBRAI and moving to Iowa,” said Drake. “We’ve spent time visiting the county fairs when we lived briefly in Minnesota and can’t wait to see more of the state and meet more people.” 

Drakes official start date with RAGBRAI will be Monday, December 16.

RAGBRAI is also pleased to announce that Wes Hall, assistant director of RAGBRAI from 2007-2013, has signed on as a logistics consultant for RAGBRAI XLVIII. Hall will work closely with Drake and lend his expertise and time on the overall operational strategy, town communication, event timeline, and route planning.

“My decision to become involved with RAGBRAI the second time around is just an effort to help a tradition that has been going on for 47 years continue,” Hall said. “I have some historical knowledge of the event and how it operates logistically, and I hope to share that information to help the next ride director continue this great tradition.”

In addition to the new hires, the local team that has led RAGBRAI through the transition will continue to serve the ride. That team includes:

Anne Lawrie, senior marketing manager who stepped in as interim director, will continue her role as senior marketing manager. Lawrie has been with the Des Moines Register and RAGBRAI in several capacities for the past five years. Prior to that, she drove tourism and event marketing for Hershey’s Chicago and American Girl Place Chicago.

Suzanne Milosevich, RAGBRAI creative director, oversees the RAGBRAI brand. She is the designer behind the annual logos, merchandise, marketing pieces and overall brand strategy. Milosevich has worked on RAGBRAI since 2012 and has been with the Register in various marketing roles for 26 years.

Madison Stegman, merchandise and customer service coordinator. She manages merchandise inventory, order fulfillment and website development, along with registration fulfilment and shipment during peak season. Stegman has been with RAGBRAI for five years.

Nic Lovan, registration coordinator. He handles fulfilment and shipment during peak season. Lovan has been with RAGBRAI for two years.

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