Sea Otter Classic, Cat 2.5 (Men)

USA, March 18-20, 1999

Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California

The Sea Otter Classic, known throughout the industry as one of the largest events on the cycling calendar, consists of professional stage-races for road racers and mountain bike racers in addition to a EDS Track Cup for velodrome riders. It has become one of the most popular events of the season. This event was the first of 8 UCI international races on the U.S. calendar, as well as the fourth stop on the 45-city USA Cycling National Racing Calendar.

The Saturn men’s and women’s cycling teams cleaned house this weekend at the 1999 Sea Otter Classic, taking first and third in the men’s event and sweeping the women’s event and winning both Team classifactions. Frank McCormack, 30, Leicester, MA, took top honors ahead of Gord Fraser (Mercury ) and teammate Levi Leipheimer, 26, Santa Rosa, CA. Saturn’s Anna Wilson, 28, Victoria, Australia, lead the Saturn women to a clean sweep with Lyne Bessette, 24, Knowlton, Quebec, Canada and Emily Robbins, 24, Littleton, Colorado, in second and third place overall.

Trent Klasna (Navigators) lead the race ahead of McCormack and Eric Wohlberg (Shaklee) after the opening Time Trial. In the first stage, Klasna missed the winning break that put McCormack into the overall lead ahead of Fraser, who won the stage. In the final stage, Saturn controlled the race with Mark McCormack, 28, North Easton, MA, finishing second in the stage just behind Mario Traversoni (Saeco).

The Saturn women’s cycling team won the 1999 Sea Otter Classic claiming the top three spots. Australian Anna Wilson lead the Saturn women to victory with Lyne Bessette and Emily Robbins in second and third place overall. In the women’s race, Wilson took a lead in the the first stage time trial that she never relinquished. Karen Dunne (Voler) took top honors in the second stage, just ahead of Marie Holjer (LeMond) and Timex’s Jennifer McRae. Wilson went on to win the third stage in a solo attack in the final ten miles and sealed her overall victory.

Trent Klasna of The Navigators Cycling Team got the 3-stage Sea Otter Classic off to a bang this week with a stage win in the 5.2 mile Robert Talbott Time Trial. His time of 10:34.29 bested the 154-rider field to take the lead in this race held in Monterey, California. Trent's time was 2 seconds faster than second place finisher Frank McCormack (Saturn) and 10 seconds faster than third place finisher Eric Wohlberg (Shaklee).

Wearing the yellow jersey of race leader, Trent and his Navigators teammates entered the next day's 96-mile road race with high expectations. However, the Navigators squad was unable to fully control the combined efforts of the other teams during this tough race in rainy weather. Heavily marked, Trent was unable to contain the lead group and after numerous attacks on the last of five laps he finished in 14th, 1:35 off the winning time with Frank McCormack taking the leader's jersey. The final day's 90-minute circuit race held on the world-famous Laguna Seca F1-Raceway saw a lot of defensive racing as the Saturn and Mercury squads tried to keep the field together for a sprint finish. Aggressive racing by Navigators' riders Trent Klasna, Paul Martin and Chris Baldwin kept the pressure on the field throughout the race in numerous breakaway attempts. Mario Traversoni (Saeco-Cannondale) won the ensuing field-sprint while McCormack held on to win the overall. Although disappointed that he couldn't score a repeat win of this event, Trent said afterwards "we raced a good race and my Navigators teammates did everything possible to win."

Stage 1, Men, ITT, 8.45 kms:
 1. Trent Klasna (USA) Navigators			10.34
 2. Frank McCormack (USA) Saturn			10.36	
 3. Eric Wohlberg (USA) Shaklee				10.44

Stage 1, Women, ITT, 8.45 kms:

 1. Anna Wilson (Aus) Saturn				12.11	
 2. Emily Robbins (USA) Saturn				12.16	
 3. Lynne Bessette (USA) Saturn				12.25	

Stage 2 Men:

 1. Gord Fraser	Mercury				      4.24.23 	
 2. David Clinger (USA) Mercury		
 3. Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury		
 4. Frank McCormack (USA)
 5. Levi Leipheimer (USA)				s.t.

Stage 2 Women:

 1. Karen Dunne (USA) Team Voler		      3.15.55	
 2. Marie Holjer (USA) Lemond		
 3. Jennifer McRae (USA) Timex		
 4. Anna Wilson (Aus) Saturn
 6. Dede Demet (USA) Barry
10. Lyne Bessette (USA) Saturn				s.t.
Stage 3 Men:	

 1. Mario Traversoni (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale	      1.30.55	
 2. Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn		
 3. Harm Jansen (Ned) Smartalk		
 4. Levi Leipheimer (USA)
11. Frank McCormack (USA) Saturn			s.t.

Stage 3 Women:

 1. Anna Wilson	(Aus) Saturn		
 2. Marie Holjer (USA) LeMond		
 3. Lyne Bessette (USA) Saturn		

Overall	Men:

 1. Frank McCormack (USA) Saturn		     6.05.39	
 2. Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury				0.22	
 3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Saturn			0.42	
 6. Chris Wherry (USA)

Overall	Women:

 1. Anna Wilson	(Aus) Saturn		
 2. Lyne Bessette (USA) Saturn		
 3. Emily Robbins (USA) Saturn		

Mountain Bikes

In both the men’s and women’s Sea Otter cross country stage race, overall victory came in the final minutes of the last event. After a strong finish in the time trial and Dirt Criterium, Cadel Evans (Aus-Volvo/Cannondale) sat just two seconds behind former World Champ Jerome Chiotti (Fra-GT) going into the final race, but many others closely followed. As the pace picked up at the end of the 32 mile cross country race only a few were able to hang. In the end, Thomas Frischknecht (Swi-Ritchey-Yahoo!) out-sprinted Evans for the stage victory. Evans held off the rest of the field, however, to claim overall victory for the second consecutive year. Volvo/Cannondale’s Tinker Juarez and Christoph Sauser finished sixth and tenth overall.

Alison Dunlap (USA-GT) took the early lead with a time trial victory in the first stage. She lost the leader’s jersey after a fourth place finish in the Dirt Crit. Taking charge in the last climb of the Cross Country, Dunlap stole the overall victory back with nearly 30 seconds to spare. Volvo/Cannondale’s Alison Sydor and Alla Epifanova finished fourth and seventh overall.

In the Downhill this weekend, top honors went to Jurgen Beneke (Ger-Giant) ahead of Volvo/Cannondale’s Brian Lopes and John Kirkcaldie (NZL-Schwinn-Toyota). Volvo/Cannondale’s Cedric Gracia (Fra) and Jöhan Engstrom (Swe) finished fourth and seventh overall, respectively.

Men's Time Trial:

 1. Roel Paulissen (Bel) American Eagle 			20.44.80
 2. Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Ritchey-Yahoo! 			20.45.93
 3. Rune Hoydahl (Nor) Giant					20.49.58
 4. Hubert Pallhuber (Ita) Diamondback				20.50.04
 5. Andres Brenes (CR) Ritchey-Yahoo!				20.56.75
 6. Dario Cioni (Ita) Mapei-Kona				20.56.77
 7. Gregory Vollet (Fra) Bianchi Martini			20.59.27
 8. Cadel Evans (Aus) Volvo-Cannondale				20.59.72
 9. Pavel Tcherkassov (Rus) Diamondback				21.03.71
10. Chris Sheppard (Can)					21.07.27

Women's Time Trial:

 1. Alison Dunlap (USA) GT 					24.09.78
 2. Chrissy Redden (Can) Ritchey 				24.38.52
 3. Caroline Alexander (GB) American Eagle			24.43.63
 4. Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) DBS					24.51.18
 5. Alison Sydor (Can) Volvo-Cannondale				24.57.50
 6. Laurence Leboucher (Fra) GT					25.04.84
 7. Annabella Strapporo (Ita) Volvo-Cannondale			25.17.34
 8. Jimena Florit-Juarez (Arg) Polo Sport			25.18.16
 9. Alla Epifanova (Rus) Volvo-Cannondale			25.19.49
10. Hedda Zuputlitz (USA) Be One				25.45.03

Men's Dirt Criterium:

 1. Jerome Chiotti (Fra) GT 				        21.34
 2. Cadel Evans (Aus) Volvo-Cannondale				 9.19
 3. Andres Brenes (CR) Ritchey-Yahoo!				12.58
 8. Tinker Juarez

Women's Dirt Criterium:

 1. Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) DBS 				        24.13
 2. Chrissy Redden (Can) Ritchey-Yahoo!				 1.74
 3. Caroline Alexander (GB) American Eagle			14.62
 5. Alison Sydor (Can) Volvo-Cannondale
 6. Alla Epifanova (Rus) Volvo-Cannondale
 7. Annabella Stropparo

Men's Cross Country:

 1. Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Ritchey-Yahoo! 		     1.56.28
 2. Cadel Evans (Aus) Volvo-Cannondale
 3. Bas Van Dooren (NI) Be One					0.27
 5. Tinker Juarez						0.27
 9. Christophe Sauser						0.27

Women's Cross Country:

 1. Alison Dunlap (USA) GT 				     2.25.06
 2. Caroline Alexander (GB) American Eagle			0.38
 3. Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) DBS					0.55
 4. Alison Sydor (Can) Volvo-Cannondale				0.55
 8. Alla Epifanova (Rus) Volvo-Cannondale			0.55

Men Overall:

 1. Cadel Evans (Aus) Volvo/Cannondale 			     2.38.52
 2. Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Ritchey-Yahoo! 			0.12
 3. Jerome Chiotti (Fra) GT					0.58
 6. Tinker Juarez (USA)
10. Christophe Sauser (USA)

Women Overall:

 1. Alison Dunlap (USA) GT 				     3.14.08
 2. Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) DBS					0.28
 3. Caroline Alexander (GB) American Eagle			0.38
 4. Alison Sydor (Can) Volvo-Cannondale
 7. Alla Epifanova (Rus) Volvo-Cannondale

Men's Downhill:

 1. Jurgen Beneke (Ger) Giant 					1.55.88
 2. Brian Lopes (USA) Volvo-Cannondale 				1.56.18
 3. John Kirkcaldie (NZL) Schwinn-Toyota 			1.56.32
 4. Cedric Gracia (Fra) Volvo-Cannondale 			1.56.88
 5. Oscar Saiz (Spa) 						1.59.57
 6. Gerwin Peters (Ned) Be One 					1.59.61
 7. Jöhan Engstrom (Swe) Volvo-Cannondale 			1.59.97
 8. Shaun Palmer (USA) Mt. Dew-Specialized 			2.00.51
 9. John Tomac (USA) Tomac-Manitou	 			2.00.64
10. Wade Bootes (USA) Trek-Volkswagen 				2.01.70

Women's Downhill:

 1. Marla Streb (USA) Yeti					2.15.11
 2. Tara Llanes (USA) Mt. Dew-Specialized 			2.22.08
 3. Sari Jorgensen (Swi) Tomac-Manitou 				2.26.51
 4. Missy Giove (USA) Foes-Azonic 				2.29.85
 5. Cheri Elliott (USA) Maxxis 					2.30.03
 6. Elke Brutsaert (USA) Schwinn-Toyota RAV4 			2.30.51
 7. Katrina Miller (Aus) Jamis 					2.32.31
 8. Heather Schmidt (USA) 					2.35.71
 9. April Lawyer (USA) Maxxis 					2.38.80
10. Daamian Skelton (USA) Rocky Mountain 			2.40.46