The CRC Events Team get to go to some pretty epic cycling events and locations around the world, but it’s no secret that the Sea Otter Classic is one of our favourites, and we’re proud once again to be this year’s title sponsor.
Those of you who haven’t heard of Sea Otter are wondering why it’s one of our favourites…
Well, firstly, the number of things going on at this festival. It is packed full of all things cycling, from Gran Fondos to speed and style contests, to downhill racing. This place has it all. Also the fact that it’s in California, is for us pale-skinned UK citizens a welcome change when on two wheels!
Here's our daily diary…
The sun came up even stronger on day four of the Sea Otter Classic. In truth it was going to be hard to beat the events and weather that took place on the Saturday, but turned out even the best days in biking can be bettered.
Sunday saw the professional road race and the professional downhill finals.
Sea Otter's not just about the dirt – the road race on the Laguna Seca race track was fast and furious.
The road race, using the world famous Laguna Seca raceway managed to produce one of the fastest races about with estimated speeds of up to 60mph around the corkscrew part of the course. Daniel Hollowell took the men's race win over a competitive field and for the ladies it was Jacqueline Crowell taking top spot on this sweltering hot day.
The CRC/Nukeproof train led by Sam Hill during downhill practice.
The Pro Downhill final was undoubtedly the centre piece of the day. The track was lined early with spectators in anticipation for a fantastically packed field of riders, with a large number of World Cup pros taking on the Sea Otter course. The loudest cheer of the day was shared between the man on home soil, Aaron Gwin, and the recently recovered Cederic Gracia. Unsurprisingly, Mr Gwin took the win in front of his crowd of countrymen, which prompted the loudest cheer of the day.
And with that Sea Otter Classic 2013 was over as quickly as it came. Undoubtedly one of the best biking festivals in North America, and certainly ranking in the top festivals in the world.
Chain Reaction Cycles had a brilliant time, meeting everyone and being part of this wonderful festival. Will we be back next year? You're right we will! Until then enjoy the pics and start your trip planning for Sea Otter 2014!
Today was the day we’ve all been waiting for: the final of the Speed and Style and the Dual Slalom. Not to take away from any other events running, but these two brought and held the crowds.
Martin Söderström flat out during the Speed and Style comp.
First up was the final of the Speed and Style with last year’s winner Martin Söderström coming back to fight off the opposition. He wasn’t going to get things all his way this year, with one of the tightest, and most fun contests we as an events team had ever seen. The crowd, the riders, the support staff made it one of the most memorable and fun times watching bikes one could want. Basically, we experienced what Sea Otter Classic was all about.
Dual Slalom always draws in the crowds, and this year was no different with thousands of race fans whooping and hollering!
Still on a high from that experience we moved over to the Dual Slalom finals, which we were especially pumped for as one of our team riders, Sam Hill, made the finals. The crowds were groundbreaking as the top 32 riders in the world took to the slalom course. It was rapid fire knockout, one-on-one action. Everything a bike racing fan, whatever discipline would want. After Martin Söderström kept us entertained in the Speed and Style, he hopped on an uplift and went to the final of the Dual Slalom.
Team CRC/Nukeproof's Sam Hill sends it on the Dual Slalom track.
Along with the top downhill riders in the world, along with Sam there was Brendan Fairclough, Frederic Gracia back from injury, Aaron Gwin and many more of the top downhill guys to make it one of the most unique races in the world.
Here's that Sam Hill interview we promised you earlier in our diary, courtesy of Pinkbike:
The action at the CRC booth was non-stop today, where we gave away another $250 voucher for a lucky winner to spend on the latest trick parts for the upcoming season.
After what was the most memorable day of event life we have had, we are stoked for tomorrow for the rest of the action.
Day two brought bigger crowds and higher temperatures here at the Sea Otter Classic. The Chain Reaction Cycles booth was filled from early morning with massive interest in both the team and the daily $250 voucher competition we have running.
There was plenty of interest at the Chain Reaction Cycles booth.
Outside of the attention of the CRC booth the fans turned their attention to the pro cyclocross. A genre of the cycling world that none of us can deny, is really gaining popularity. The women’s race was won convincingly by the UCI world champ Marion Vos, pretty impressive considering a couple of days ago she was competing a long way from this sunny part of the world.
The men’s race was a tighter affair with Scott 3-rox racing team member just taking the win over Lukas Fluckiger.
There was no shortage of media attention for Sam Hill at the Sea Otter Classic!
Big crowd pleasers on Friday morning were the Dual Slalom practises both the pro Downhill and the pro speed and style qualifying. The CRC team were out early and at the top of the Hill, riding the luck of the schedule as it turned out and missed the soaring heat that came in the mid day. The lads along with all the other racers in a shift to get the track dialled for Sunday's race. Which everyone is hoping the temps stay up and the winds stay down for.
Every day see’s the festival get busier and busier with people coming from all over the US to catch the coming weekend’s events. We are still high on adrenaline and its showing no sign of slowing down. In your lucky enough to be attending Sea Otter Classic call by, say hey and win a range of CRC Sea Otter offers over the weekend. From a very tired, yet ecstatic CRC events team…. Goodbye for day two, roll on tomorrow.
Day one was, as predicted, a scorcher. The crowds arrived in force, both spectators and riders alike. The action was mostly taken up by practice for the weekend’s upcoming events.
Sam Hill takes some chill time to read an Australian MTB mag.
With so much on and not a clue where to start, I’ll go with our downhill team, whom we were stoked at having here with us at Sea Otter. We do a lot of events but believe it or not, it’s not too often our paths cross. Sea Otter as the next stop for the guys straight off the back of a brilliant display at the first round of the BDS. “It’s great for the team to be here in the US, we don’t get to do many events here so we are enjoying every minute of it. The guys are all excited and motivated to start the season well.
It was all about Sam at the Pinkbike stand…watch out for an interview online soon.
Sea Otter is a great place for us to do that,” said CRC/Nukeproof Team Manager Nigel Page.
The first competitive action also took place tonight in the form of the stage one road race Criterium on the Laguna Seca raceway. The speed of these guys in the heat of the Californian sun was impressive to say the least. After stage one the top three guys are Cole House (first) Fabrizio Von Na Cher (second) and Ricardo Van der Velde. Racing was tight and the guys really motivated every other rider in every discipline to push themselves in this heat.
It wasn’t just racing action that went down today. All the top brands were out in force to display the newest kit of 2013, which is now available on our site at chainreactioncycles.com.
Sea Otter brings out the biggest brands in the industry and the first day is the day for showing off all the new gear that we’ll all be putting on our Christmas lists this year.
Just to help out we are giving $250 off every day of the festival to one lucky winner here at Sea Otter. We got so excited seeing the new 2013 stuff we had to do something extra to make sure you guys get it!
Troy Lee chats to Team CRC/Nukeproof Manager Nigel Page.
Day one certainly set us up for the weekend’s action. The anticipation is high in classic Sea Otter style so stay tuned for the day two report, images, results, inside stories and more!