Another day of warm weather and sunshine greeted attendees of the 23rd annual Volkswagen Sea Otter Classic powered by SRAM. Like-minded racers, riders and enthusiasts converged on Monterey’s Laguna Seca Recreational Area and the Fort Ord National Monument for yet another day of action and fun at the kickoff to the North American cycling season.
Friday was a day with a decidedly international flavor. Reigning UCI World Cyclocross Champion, Marianne Vos (Rabobank), rolled away with a convincing short track (STXC) victory just two days (and several thousand miles) after notching a win in the Flèche Wallone Feminine, her fifth trip the top of that particular podium. By official count, her win in today’s STXC is just her second podium as a professional mountain biker. Canadian Geoff Kabush (Scott-3 Rox) cited the course’s sand traps as a strategic challenge, at one point causing him to fall back to ninth place. Kabush settled in and rallied, ultimately taking the win just inches ahead of Switzerland’s Lukas Fluckiger (BMC).
There’s more on deck for tomorrow. More than 400 exhibitors representing leading brands from the bicycle and outdoor industry are on hand to talk to fans and enthusiasts alike. Kids’ activities are scheduled throughout the day including an Easter egg hunt, the Specialized First Gear Kids’ Area in the SRAM Ride Zone and free racing for children 12 and under. The celebrated Giro d’Italia Gran Fondo heads out from the venue in the morning, plus a tremendous day of racing with pro cross-country and dual slalom races on the schedule in addition to other events in downhill, road racing and the always incredible Speed & Style event.
Photo by Alex Strickland