Sea Otter Classic is always an exciting event for our team with a great combination of racing and meeting up with our great sponsors. We took a quick two day break after the Redlands Bicycle Classic before packing up the team cars and heading north for three more days of racing. Riders Thomas Jondall, Cory Williams, Fabrizio Von Nacher, Steven Davis and Joy McCulloch were able to make the trip and soak up the cooler coastal weather.
Criterium: Our riders lined up for the Sea Otter Criterium bright and early on Thursday as Joy raced the Pro1/2 women’s event at 8am, placing 9th. For the men, their event followed the ladies on the same course the ripped around the Laguna Seca Raceway and through the pit area with tight 180-degree turns. The men’s field quickly split into multiple pieces, with Fabi and Thomas representing our squad in the front group. In the final, Fabrizio sprinted to a 5th place finish.
The fun really started once we entered the massive expo and had the opportunity to connect with our fellow KHS Bicycles athletes with the KHS Factory Racing Team. Logan Binggeli and Kevin Aiello are two of the best Downhill Mountain Bike racers in the country and Quinton and Monique Spaulding run an amazing program. It is always awesome to spend time with this portion of the KHS family.
Road Race: The Sea Otter Classic Road Race is deceivingly challenging. The women covered 5 laps of the circuit and the men did 8. Each lap traversed rarely used roads on Fort Ord with cracks in chip seal with weeds growing through them. The lap had two dominant climbs that created selections in both of the races. Coming through the steep feedzone climb, riders had to fight for postiion as the atacks were being launched. The field for the men’s road race was very talented, with riders from Hincapie Devo, Kenda/5-Hour Energy, Garneau-Quebecor Cycling Team, and even the legend Ned Overend. As the laps whittled down, so did the field. Fabrizio and Steven maintained position in the front group where Steven finished 18th on the 3K climb to the finish.
Circuit Race: The Sea Otter Classic Circuit Race is one of the coolest events we can race. The riders were treated to loops on the Laguna Seca Raceway with a stiff climb leading into the fast and roller-coaster like descent of the corkscrew. For 90 minutes, Thomas, Steven and Fabrizio traversed the race track in another strong field with multiple riders each from Hincapie Devo, Kenda, and Garneau. Thomas and Fabrizio were active at the front of the race, following several moves that turned into breakaways that lasted several laps. With 6 laps to go, Fabi was in a break that looked to be solid with most teams represented. However, Kenda was not in the move and although they allowed the break to get 20 seconds on the field, they methodically strung the field back to narrow the time gap and eventually swallow up the dangling move with 200 meters to the finish line. Ty Magner of Hincapie won the race with Fabrizio holding on in the sprint for 7th.
Sea Otter was a great opportunity to reconnect with many of our great sponsors – thank you for all that you do to make our program a success!
Thank you KHS, Maxxis, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Shimano, Serfas, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, IRT Wheels, Xpedo, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Rennie & Associates, Q2, Bike Religion, Chamois Butter, WD-40 Bike, Bicycle Blue Book and the Management of IPA sports.