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Sea Otter Classic MTB Stage Race - D2
California, USA, April 14-17, 2005
Stage 1 - April 14: Super XC, 60 min
Brentjens, Dunlap victorious in Monterey
By Eric Wallace
The who's who and what's what of the bicycle industry converged on Laguna Seca Raceway for the fifteenth running of the Sea Otter Classic today. This annual pilgrimage has become equal parts bike race, expo and social gathering with nearly 60,000 spectators and athletes expected over the course of the four-day event. The mountain bike stage race comprises a Super XC, Time Trial, Short Track Cross Country and the Olympic Discipline Cross Country.
The Super XC kicked off the festivities with all the top names in the paddock. This event consists of a mass start, 60 minute timed race on a course that is predominately road - winding across the majority of the Laguna Seca Speedway including the infamous "Cork Screw" - but also a healthy dose of rough singletrack, dirt and gravel. With a par course of this design, proper equipment was critical to success with tire size and tread pattern occupying the majority of the athletes time leading up to the starting pistol.
The women's event rolled to the line under beautiful sunny skies and light wind, essentially perfect racing conditions. The group stayed somewhat complete as they rounded the first corner and hit the first asphalt climb. Up around the hillock and through the pedestrian gate the leaders Allison Dunlap (Luna Women's MTB Team), Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Lyne Bessette (Louis Garneau), Susan Haywood (Trek-VW) set the tempo with the full group comfortably in tow. Hitting the technical decent, the gaps started to open as Bessette, Dunlap, Kiara Bisaro (Gears Racing) and Wendy Simms (Front Runners) pushed the speed upward. Any planned attacks were ruled inconsequential as the group reeled back and forth, swallowing all antagonists and maintaining pack integrity for the next two laps. With three of the 14-minute laps completed and the riders receiving their "bell" warning signifying the final lap, the pack speed increased as each of the athletes prepared to jockey for position, podium spot and those coveted time bonuses.
Hitting the pavement and with nearly two miles left to slog, the attacks started to come fast and furious. Haywood tried a long-range flier that was immediately marked by Bessette and crew while the experienced roadies sat in and waited for the opportune moment to hit the afterburners. At the 400-meter mark, Dunlap blasted from the pack and screamed down the tarmac towards the line with Bessette, Sydor, Simms and ten other riders in the group on her wheel. At the line it was mere inches separating the top rostrum spots as the Luna riders claimed her umpteenth Sea Otter victory with Sydor taking silver and Bessette in bronze while Simms and Haywood rounded out the podium.
The men's race kicked off shortly following the women's finish. The larger group of 84 riders made tactics all the more important, favoring a smaller front group and a smaller threat of a large bunch sprint. The first lap sorted out the stronger riders as small accelerations in the front meant fewer riders hanging on the back. The main peloton moved en-masse up the climb and onto the dirt sections, but it was the elite group at the front dictating the pace and the tactics. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), Sid Taberlay and Liam Killeen (Specialized), Trent Lowe and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Bart Brentjens and Adam Craig (Giant), Jean Christophe Peraud (LaPierre), Ryan Trebon (Kona Les Gets) and Florian Vogel (Swiss Power) eventually separated themselves from the main field and started to gain time advantage. A few riders dangled back and forth, gaining and losing time as the elastic stretched and finally broke.
The elite group continued their charge status quo throughout the second lap with each of the riders taking their turn at the front. Heading out on the third lap, Brentjens rolled off the front all alone and immediately established a small lead. This move proved to be the decisive attack of the day as Sir Bart continued his advantage with no established reaction or chases coming from the group. Through the start/finish area, Brentjens maintained a lead of 15 seconds as Peraud chased futilely in no-mans land. The chase group slowly organized itself and started the process of reeling in the two escapees. Brentjens rode smoothly through the dirt sections and hit the speedway pavement to start the fourth lap with a solid time split of 20 seconds.
The chasing group slowly reeled in the fading Peraud with their sights set on the lone breakaway. At the bell lap, Brentjens continued his solo assault charging for the maximum time benefit at the finish. The chasing group came onto the asphalt all together and prepared for the final sprint for silver as thirty seconds separated the leader to the pack. Coming down the pipe and all in a packed group, Vogel hit the line first with Taberlay just off his elbow for third and Lowe and Horgan-Kobelski rounding out the top five.
Racing continues on Friday with the Time Trial.
Eric Wallace is manager of the Maxxis Mountain Bike Racing team.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews
Men 1 Bart Brentjens (Giant Racing Team) 55.16 2 Florian Vogel (Swisspower) 0.28 3 Sid Taberley (Specialized) 4 Trent Lowe (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 5 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 6 Todd Wells (G.T.) 7 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Lapierre) 8 Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) 9 Andy Bishop 10 Adam Craig (Giant Bicycles) 11 Liam Killeen (Specialized) 12 Ryan Trebon (Kona Lesgets Factory Team) 13 Roland Green (Kona Lesgets Factory Team) 1.15 14 Simon Richardson (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 1.48 15 Barry Wicks (Kona Lesgets Factory Team) 16 Mathiew Toullouse (Team Maxxis) 17 Thomas Frischknecht (Swisspower) 18 Jason Sager (Hotel San Jose) 2.26 19 Cody Peterson (3D Racing/Sram) 20 Karl Platt (Rocky Mountain / Business Objects) 21 Rudi Van Houts (Merlanduo-Be One) 22 Andreas Hestler (Rocky Mountain/Business Objects) 23 Seamus Mcgrath (Haro Bicycles) 24 Chris Sheppard 25 Ricky Federau (Gearsracing.Com) 2.50 26 Steve Larsen (Cytosports) 27 Kris Sneddon (Kona Lesgets Factory Team) 3.21 28 Sam Schultz (U23 National Team) 3.26 29 Alan Obye (Mg Tech) 30 Peter Wedge (Kona Lesgets Factory Team) 31 Chris Eatough (Trek/Vw) 32 Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles) 33 Michael Broderick (Kenda/Seven Cycles) 34 Eric Jones (Biogen Idec) 35 Tim Olson (Trek/Vw) 3.35 36 Brent Miller (Wtb/Fox Racing/Santa Cruz) 3.37 37 Cameron Brenneman (Steven K Sports) 38 Nick Ranno (Trek Vw) 39 Andy Jacques-Maynes (Webcor/Specialized) 40 Mark Weir (Wtb/Fox Racing/Santa Cruz) 41 Guido Visser 4.52 42 Jay Henry 5.01 43 Roddi Lega (Norco Factory Team) 5.17 44 Steven Carwile (Anvil/Jamis) 5.33 45 Takahiro Ogasawara (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 46 Juan Carlos Hernandez 47 Charles Jenkins (Cytomax/Khs) 48 Andy Schultz (Cannondale Mtn Bike Team) 5.49 49 Andrew Kyle 50 Michael Lee (Trek/Vw West Coast) 51 Amon Pease (Intense Cycles/Fox/Shimano) 52 Michael Andres (Soulcraft) 6.14 53 Charles Pendry (Inland-Btd) 6.21 54 Warren Gravely (Dean Bicycles) 6.38 55 Perry Paolini (Amgen) 6.52 56 Sam Jurekovic (U23 National Team) 57 Thomas Skinner (Pacific Sport / Giant Bicycles) 58 Milton Miranda (Specialized) 59 Andrew Mills (Trek/Vw Jbl) 60 Brendan Macintosh 61 Cale Redpath (3D Racing) 62 Leonardo Sandoval (Bicycle Johns/Litespeed/Kenda) 6.58 63 Drew Mackenzie 7.01 64 Kristopher Holden (Wheelsport) 7.07 65 Arlo Buijten (Titus Cycles-Schwalbe Tires) 66 Sven Sturm (Abs Santa Cruz) 7.30 67 Ethan Harrison 7.43 68 Joey Thompson (Team Devo) 8.01 69 Aren Timmel (Soulcraft) 70 Hal Helbock (Cytomax/Khs) 71 Adam Snyder (Balance Bar/Devo) 72 Evan Plews (Santiam Bicycle) 8.14 73 Andrew Watson (Gearsracing.Com) 8.25 74 Ariel Lindsley 8.51 75 Nick Gould (Santa Cruz) 9.54 76 Justin Robinson (Another Bike Shop) 9.58 77 Duncan Meyers (Soulcraft) 10.15 78 Jesse Rents 10.19 79 Patrick Bush 10.46 80 Josh Powers (Red Rock Racing) 11.47 81 Steve Kinney (Steven K Sports) 82 Chanoch Redlich (City Cyling Club/Trek/Sram) 13.23 83 Eric Jellum (Ford/Giant) 14.40 84 Lucas Livermon (Pacesetters Steel Service) 85 Noah Holcomb (Cannondale) Women 1 Alison Dunlap (Luna Womens Mtb Team) 55.52 2 Alyson Sydor (Rocky Mountain/Business Objects) 3 Lyne Bessette (Louis Garneau Sports Expert) 4 Wendy Simms (Frontrunners/Brodie) 5 Susan Haywood (Trek/Vw) 6 Katerina Hanusova (Luna Womens Mtb Team) 7 Mical Dyck (Terrascape Racing) 8 Kiara Bisaro (Gearsracing.Com) 9 Patricia Sinclair (Scott Usa) 10 Dara Marks Marino (Ford Cycling) 11 Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 12 Heather Irmiger (Tokyo Jogs/Go Lite) 13 Kerry Barnholt (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 14 Kelli Emmett (Ford Cycling) 15 Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna Womens Mtb Team) 16 Mary Mcconneloug (Kenda/Seven Cycles) 0.16 17 Georgia Gould (Tamarack) 0.36 18 Barbara Howe 19 Kathy Sherwin (Biogen Idec) 20 Melodie Metzger (Velobella) 21 Megan Monroe (Pcw Cycling) 22 Jaqueline Mourao (Scottusa/Redbull/Exceed) 23 Monique Sawicki (Team Mata) 24 Gretchen Reeves (Rocky Mtn/Busn. Objects) 1.26 25 Beverly Harper (Bike Works Half Moon Bay) 1.31 26 Stacey Scanlan (Tamarack) 1.51 27 Stella Carey (Kelly Bike Company) 28 Zephanie Blasi (Kenda Tires / Backbone Adventures) 29 Jenna Zander (Cannondale Mountain Bike Team) 30 Tomarra Notch (Trek/Vw) 2.26 31 Carolyn Popovic (Big Swingin Cycles) 2.48 32 Josie Beggs (Starbucks Coffee Company) 2.52 33 Caitlyn Tuel (Trek Vw East Coast Factory Team) 34 Nina Baum (Cannondale Mountain Bike Team) 35 Danelle Kabush (Timex) 3.30 36 Shannon Gibson (Yeti/Crazy Cat) 3.51 37 Sarah Kerlin (Another Bike Shop/ Velo Bella) 38 Trudi Franzel (Scott Usa) 39 Megan Elliott (Bianchi Grand Performance) 4.23 40 Melanie Mcquaid (Orbca) 4.27 41 Heather Svahn (The Backcountry) 4.35 42 Theresa Richardson (Cannondale Mountain Bike Team) 4.48 43 Sue Trimble (Gearsracing.Com) 4.58 44 Kristen Downs (Clifbar) 6.38 45 Amanda Butler 7.14 46 Christy Love 7.52 47 Laura Bowles (Back To Dirt) 8.03 48 Abbie Lueders (Wtb) 8.07 49 Dorothy Wong (Kelly Bike Company) 8.10 50 Becca Blay 10.36 51 Abigail Hippely (Maverick)