Sunday, April 16, 2006
After 27 days of rain in Montetery california, the Sea Otter Classic was set to begin. Boasting one of the strongest fields in recent years the cross country pro fields lined up to race with 69 women and 104 men. The women’s field contained reigning World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa of Norway and three time former World Champion,Canadian Alison Sydor as well as numerous National champions. Gunn-Rita went on to win 3 of the 4 events with American National Champion Mary McConneloug winning the time trial.
Day 1 was the Super cross country, an event unique to Sea Otter which involves racing for approximately 60 minutes on a course that is both off road and on. Unfortunately I was caught behind a crash in the first 5 meters losing contact with the main field and entering the single track in about 63 position. I was very pleased to be able to work my way up to 23rd by the end of the race.
Day 2 saw us churning up the mud on a sub 5min off road time trial loop. In this event I was able to move up to 19th, seconds from the top 10.
Day 3 presented the muddiest short track I have ever seen. Riders pushed through repeated laps of a 2 mile course fighting ever increasing mud holes which would swallow wheels and send riders superman style into the mud. This event was a big crowd pleaser! As did many, I succumbed to the mud finishing 25th.
Day 4 was the cross country event. For all riders this event was the most important and would allow the top 15 to earn points for their country and thereby help determine the size of our 2008 Olympic team. The race involved 2 laps of a 19 mile circuit traversing the rolling terrain surrounding the Laguna Seca race way. The race got off to a fast start and I was able to ride comfortably in the top 10 for the first 2+hrs of the race. At some point after this improper hydration began to take its toll and I slipped to 15th position with three riders less than 1 minute up. Overall it was a very positive race and strong start to the season for me.
Top female Canadian results came from Olympians Kiara Bisaro and Alison Sydor, both of BC, respectively finishing 4th and 5th overall.
Thanks to the Chase Café for the time off work as well as to Norco bikes for the great ride. I really love my bike!
For more information on this event visit: http://www.seaotterclassic.com/