Bikes, Athletes, Races & Hockey(?) at the 2013 Sea Otter Classic

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Nearly ten thousand athletes and some fifty thousand fans make the annual pilgrimage to Monterey, California for the mountain bike season opener, the Sea Otter Classic. Now one of the world’s largest bike festivals, the Sea Otter Classic began as a modest one-day event in 1991 after a local bike shop suggested that co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph put on a mountain bike race. A fantastic tribute to the power of suggestion…

This past weekend the cycling community took over the Laguna Seca Raceway for the 22nd edition of the festival and the sprawling Monterey hillside was pulsing with activity. From bike demos and exhibitions of the latest and greatest gear the industry has to offer to athlete signings and of course the races there’s hardly time to take it all even over the course of four days. The one thing you can’t miss at this event however is the sense of community among cyclist of all ages, genders, disciplines and abilities.

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the festival, the athletes are there as competitors first and foremost. They thrive on the energy and support of the crowds, channeling it into to power, speed and agility on the racecourse.

Oakley had a number of athletes from near and far who competed over the weekend scooping up more than a third of all the pro race podium spots. The women in particular, were on fire sweeping not one, two or three, but four full podiums owning the MTB Dual Slalom, Short Track, DH and XC races.

None of this would be possible however without the support of organizations like the Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA) that plays an integral role in trail maintenance or the creativity of Sea Otter legend, Keith DeFiebre who has been building the Dual Slalom course for the past 22 years. Countless hours go into the course build and deconstruction. Keith alone, spends 45 days perfecting just the Dual Slalom course.

It’s easy to forget that trails and courses don’t maintain themselves. For the sport to thrive, the cycling community has to play an active role in preserving the land they love to ride, which is why Oakley has made it a priority to not only support athletes, but also those leading the charge and wielding shovels in the name of mountain biking.

Interestingly enough, shovels weren’t the only things being wielded in Monterey this weekend…In the midst of a any festival you’re bound to stumble across things you’d never expected to see: a bike powered blender, people in weird costumes or a camera company daring fans to throw their equipment into a fishbowl full of water. This year however, we stumbled a across a true Sea Otter first… In addition to slaying it on the racecourse, we found some of our Canadian athletes including Geoff Kabush, Amanda Sin and Derek Zandstra of the Scott 3Rox Team playing a little pick-up game of ball hockey in the Scott booth on Sunday morning. Although typically bonded like family, as soon as those hockey jerseys were on, all bets were officially off! Needless to say, it was a fun surprise for onlookers as they roamed the festival.

As the 2013 Sea Otter Classic came to a close with an impromptu hockey game and the 2013 Mountain Bike season officially got underway, truck loads of bikes, gear and hoards of people exited the Laguna Seca Raceway excited to try the gadgets they purchased, hang the posters they got signed and re-inspired to go farther, faster and longer on the next bike ride.

Only 360 days until everyone returns to do it all again next year.

MEN’S RACE RESULTS:

MTB XC
1. Miguel Martinez
2. Geoff Kabush
3. Todd Wells

MTB DUAL SLALOM
1. Jared Graves
2. Steve Peat
3. Cam Cole

MTB SHORT TRACK
1. Geoff Kabush
2. Lukas Fluckiger
3. Emil Lindgren

CYCLOCROSS
1. Ben Berden
2. Troy Wells
3. Ryan Trebon

SPEED & STYLE
1. Barry Nobles
2. Martin Soderstrom
3. Jamie Goldman

WOMEN’S RACE RESULTS

MTB XC
1. Marianne Vos
2. Annika Lagvad
3. Catharine Pendrel

MTB DUAL SLALOM
1. Jill Kintner
2. Rachel Atherton
3. Anneke Beerten

MTB SHORT TRACK
1. Marianne Vos
2. Katerina Nash
3. Annika Langvad

MTB DH
1. Jill Kintner
2. Tracy Moseley
3. Anneke Beerten

CYCLOCROSS
1. Caroline Mani
2. Mical Dyck
3. Nicole Duke