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Sea Otter Home
2002 Sea Otter
Sea Otter Road

Sea Otter Classic - E1

Monterey, California, USA, April 10 - 12, 2003

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Race 1 - April 12: Dual Slalom, Laguna Seca

Muxlow and Gracia capture SoBe Adrenaline Dual Slalom

Crowd braves wet conditions at Sea Otter Classic

By Jenn Ingersoll, PR Director, Sea Otter Classic

Tai-Lee Muxlow (Tioga Orange Factory Team) and Cedric Gracia (Siemens-Cannondale) bested strong women's and men's fields in a rainy edition of the SoBe Adrenaline Dual Slalom event at the 2003 Sea Otter Classic, powered by SRAM.

Muxlow, a native of Newscastle, Australia, mastered the slippery conditions and advanced easily through 4 head-to-head match ups on her way to the top step of the podium. In the final pairing, Muxlow never looked back after opening up a gap of .920 seconds over Leigh Donovan (Hyundai/Mongoose) in the first heat.

Despite Muxlow's convincing win, Donovan had perhaps the most noteworthy ride of the afternoon, finishing second in her first race following two years of retirement. Paired in the quarterfinals against fellow veteran Tara Llanes (Giant Bicycles), Donovan squeaked into the semifinals where she cruised past top seed and third place finisher Katrina Miller (Jamis) before succumbing to Muxlow in the final. Obviously pleased with her result, Donovan gushed about the Sea Otter Classic, saying, "Rick Sutton and the crew do a great job."

In the men's race, an international field of over 125 riders was reduced to 32 qualifiers for Saturday's finals. In the end, Gracia, who repeated as Sea Otter Dual Slalom Champion, and Eric Carter (Hyundai/Mongoose) advanced to the final pairing, which was all but decided by Carter's crash in the first heat. "Cedric had a lead," Carter recalled, "and I pushed into the off-camber a little harder than I could."

The muddy conditions caused problems for many of the competitors, although Colin Bailey (Maxxis Tires) was undeterred. Bailey, the 17th seed, advanced past top seeded Chris Kovarik (Intense Cycles/Fox/Spy) in the quarterfinals and eventually finished fourth. Frenchman Karim Amour (Challenge 1) finished third after crashing in a semifinal match up against his countryman Gracia.

Gracia, muddied and smiling, said, "I was really surprised that people stayed with the rain" and lauded the Sea Otter Classic's "good track, good people, good timing, and good organization."


1 Tai-Lee Muxlow (Tioga Orange Factory Team)
2 Leigh Donovan (Hyundai/Mongoose)
3 Katrina Miller (Jamis)
4 Lisa Sher
1 Cedric Gracia (Siemens-Cannondale)
2 Eric Carter (Hyundai/Mongoose)
3 Karim Amour (Challenge 1)
4 Colin Bailey (Maxxis Tires)