Over 50,000 spectators and 10,000 athletes are gathering at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey, California for the 19th Annual Sea Otter Classic on April 16-19, 2009. The next 4 days, billed as the “Celebration of Sport”, is filled with a wide variety of bike races and fun rides for every kind, level and age of rider, an expo with more than 250 exhibitors, club zones, a product demo area, a ride zone, stunt shows, kids activities and a bike playground.
In the middle of the cornucopia of mountain bikers, downhillers, single speeders, and overall party atmosphere are three road races.
Thursday April 16 (today) brings the SRAM Criterium races held a 1km section of the Laguna Seca Raceway between Turns 2 and 11. The Cat 1/2/3 Women start at 1:30pm for a 50-min crit and the cat 1/2 men at 3:15pm for 60 minutes.
The SRAM Road Races on Friday start on Laguna Seca Raceway and travels down Barloy Canyon Road to the classic Fort Ord 8.5 mile+/- race loop, to end up with a climb back up Barloy Canyon to its crest for a mountain top finish. The Men’s pro/1/2 start at 12:05pm and do 8 laps of the Ford Ord loop for a total of 69 miles; the Women’s pro/1/2 start immediately after at 12:08pm and do 5 laps for a total of 47 miles.
Saturday is the traditional SRAM Circuit Race held on the Laguna Seca Raceway which includes a challenging 300-foot climb and the descent down the world-famous Corkscrew. The women start at 10:15am for a 50-mile race and the men start at 1:10pm for 70 miles in total. (Course maps available here)
With a gap of one month between races on the NRC schedule, teams come to Sea Otter to get more racing time in their legs and rev up the form before the upcoming races in May such as Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race.
Teams racing in some or all of the road events include full squads from Bissell, Land Rover-ORBEA, Garmin-Holoweko Partners-Felt, Colavita/Sutter Home, California Giant. The women’s teams include Colavita/Sutter Home, TIBCO, SugarCRM, Touchstone. (Complete pre-registered list here).
In the past few years, spectators and riders were hit by gale-force winds and cold weather, rain deluge, so what will mother nature throw at us this year? Meteorologists predict that it’s going to be sunny and warm/hot for Sea Otter. Sat & Sun in the 80s with little to no wind. Only time will tell…
Complete Road Events schedule here