Sea Otter Classic

Thule Adventure Challenge Proves to Be Just That: an Adventure
Super Ds: Decker and Davison Dominate
Colavita/Sutter Home and Plowman-Craven Clinch Wins in the Sea Otter Road Race
Day 2 Video Highlights

 

Start of the Adventure Race
Off on an adventure
photo: brightroom.com

MONTEREY, Calif. (April 18, 2008) Surprise victories in the Thule Adventure Race and the Pro Men's and Women's Super D added to the excitement of each event while the wind posed a challenge to the road race.  Adventure race novice Lynn Trimble won his second-ever adventure race while Carl Decker (Giant) and Lea Davison (Trek/VW) each won the Sea Otter Super D for their first time.  In the road race, Dotsie Bausch (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Evan Oliphant (Ploman-Craven) scored victories in the second day of road race action.

Thule Adventure Challenge Proves to Be Just That: an Adventure

By JACKSON WEBER

It has been said that the meek shall inherit the Earth, and today the so-called meek certainly took the Thule Adventure Race.  In what was supposed to be a “light navigation” race, navigation errors cost initial race-favorites any chance of victory and left the door open for several unexpected victors.  In the end, Lynn Trimble, a 50-year-old from San Diego, Calif. crossed the line first, the look on his face one more of confusion and relief rather than victory.

The race started inauspiciously with the course designers demonstrating the “special challenges” that would cap the race off, which turned out to be an obstacle course that left much of the field believing that “it was going to be a breeze.”  Unfortunately, that casual air of the start cost the frontrunners and favorites, Sean Clancy and Mari Chandler of DART-nuun as well as Donato Polignone of Dirty Avocados Adventure Racing, who successfully missed one of the first course markers didn’t hear some kind souls behind them yelling that they went the wrong way.   Instead, they went from running the three-mile trail run to running the majority of 12-mile mountain bike course.

With the favorites out of the way, the race’s complexion changed dramatically.  A large group of unknown racers transitioned from the trail run to the mountain bike portion together, and then disappeared once again, leaving no one with any idea of who was going to win.  Then an hour later, right after the final runner made it to his bike, Lynn Trimble rolled into the transition area to drop off his bike and gingerly run through the obstacle course with no one else in sight.

End of the adventure
Specialized winning in stride
photo: brightroom.com

Crossing the lined bloodied (from bushwhacking the running portion) and looking mildly stunned, Trimble explained “I’m not normally adventure racer.”  Not that he wasn’t in shape; in fact, the Thule Adventure Challenge was probably a short jaunt for Trimble, an Iron Man triathlete who will be racing the Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon later this month.  Furthermore, Trimble said he “went too far on the bike,” overshooting one of the final turns, giving up several minutes of his lead figuring out where he went wrong, in fact Trimble explained “I thought there was a pack of riders ahead of me.”

But there wasn’t and instead, Trimble won his second ever adventure race nearly a minute-and-a-half in front of adventure race and Sea Otter newcomer, Joey DeSante of the 68 Hillbillies.  DeSante finished with a smile, “It was a fun course,” said the Salinas-native.  “I was just far enough behind [at the start] not to go the wrong way.”

The Corporate Cup team competition saw the two Specialized Riders’ Club teams take both first and second, with adventure racer-turned-endurance racer Rebecca Rusch leading Specialized’s Marketing Director Nic Sims and Riders’ Club contest winner, Dave Bell, to victory.  Sims had only good things to say about the course, quipping in his British accent that the race was “Good fun” and rather nonchalantly noting that “This [course] was easy and it was pretty well marked.”

In the end, despite the navigational mistakes, the racers were overwhelmingly positive about the course.  Even the chagrined favorite, Sean Clancy, whose early missed turned cost him the race, could only say good things noting that “the bike section was fun,” and that more importantly “We’ll be back for redemption.”

Super Ds: Decker and Davison Dominate

By ROZ PULEO

Super D
On course for the Super D
photo: brightroom.com

Known for producing strong adrenaline rushes, Super D joins cross-country and downhill racers together for one fast, pumped effort.  In the pro men’s race, Carl Decker (Giant) won convincingly over former World Cup downhill racer, Jurgen Beneke (Marin/Mercury Rev).

After the LeMans start, racers powered over a short climb before a high-speed descent to the finish.

“I wanted to be up over the top before Jurgen, who is very strong in the downhill,” said Decker, who was pleased with the location of the start, which was moved up from last year.

According to Decker, the course was fast, with plenty of water bars, so “you could really get some air.  It was windy in spots, though it was mostly a tailwind, and the chicanes were great.” 

This year, the slightly shortened course eliminated the long flat straightaway that favored cross-country racers in last year’s event.

Mike Garrigan (JetPower/Epic Ride) led briefly at the start, but dropped his chain in the first minute of the race and dropped back to fourth. 

“I fought my way back to second, but Jurgen caught me,” said Garrigan, who took the bronze.

The women’s race was a tight battle right from the start.  A group of ten women stuck together at the beginning and as the race continued, more and more dropped back until it was Lea Davison (Trek/VW), Kelli Emmett (Giant), and Jean Ann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain) to fight for first.

“It was a really hard effort.  I dug deep, though it was so much fun having everyone jockeying for the lead the whole time,” said Davison, who emerged as the victor, crossing the finish line beaming with joy.

“The course was more technical than I thought it was going to be,” said Emmett, who won last year’s inaugural event.  She led much of the race until Davison and McKirdy launched an attack. 

Davison grew up downhill ski racing in Vermont, so the Super D is an event well suited to her love for speed.  “It's like the Chinese downhill on skis, and I love it,” Davison said, who goes into the rest of the weekend's events with confidence after a tough race to the finish.

Colavita/Sutter Home and Plowman-Craven Clinch Wins in the Sea Otter Road Race (quotes only)

First-place for pro women, Dotsie Bausch (Colavita/Sutter Home):

"We had a headwind on the climbs - it felt like the whole day there were crosswinds and headwinds; it was deceivingly windy."

"I felt like crap the whole race. It was one of those days where if you feel really awful and you stand up, you can perform. Some days it can be a total sufferfest and you can win - that's what it was today."

First-place for pro men, Evan Oliphant (Ploman-Craven)
Wick, Scotland

"There's no racing in the UK at the moment."

This win was "redemption for Redlands."

"The break went on the first lap."
10-12 riders

"On the last lap I attacked...I got caught and went again at the bottom of the [finishing] climb."

"The wind wasn't too bad, mostly a cross wind.  Nothing like the winds in Scotland."

"I was just trying to hold on"
"I knew Simon was coming."

Second-place, Simon Richardson (Plowman-Craven)
Bristol, England

"We had a good couple of crits last weekend."
"I've done the Sea Otter mountain bike twice."

"Someone put in a big attack on the [first] climb."

"Evan insisted his legs were worse than mine today," so Evan attacked and "Whittled down the break on the last lap."

"The course was itself was quite tough."

Video highlights of Day 2 of the Sea Otter Classic include:

Downhill practice
Start of both the men's and women's road race
Dual Stunt

To download the Sea Otter Classic VNR, visit:

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About Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The 18th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 17-20, 2008 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, USA. The four-day "Celebration of Sport" is considered the world's largest cycling festival, hosting nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 50,000 fans. The Sea Otter Classic benefits the Davis Phinney Foundation, which supports Parkinson's disease research and wellness, and IMBA California, which organizes advocacy and trailbuilding efforts statewide and strengthens California mountain bike clubs. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.

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