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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 3 - April 13: Mountain Cross, Laguna Seca

Kintner and Kovarik konquer klosing klash

By Jenn Ingersoll, PR Director, Sea Otter Classic

The SoBe Adrenaline Mountain Cross, the final event of the Gravity Omnium at the 2003 Sea Otter Classic, powered by SRAM, lived up to its rough and tumble reputation as both the men's and women's finals saw top riders hit the dirt. Jill Kintner (Staats/Fox) and Chris Kovarik (Intense Cycles) survived the wreckage and took wins in the event, in which 4 riders jockey for position on a short downhill track of jumps and berms.

The women's top seed, Katrina Miller (Jamis), avoided a crash in the first round, only to fall in the final, taking Jamie Lilly (KHS Bicycles) down with her. Miller would complete the course to take third place. Meanwhile, Kintner and Tara Llanes (Giant Bicycles) battled for the win, with Kintner, a BMX veteran and mountain bike newcomer, holding off the veteran Llanes. Kintner said afterwards, "I had the course pretty dialed."

The men's race featured an extremely deep field of the top 64 riders from Friday's qualifier. Early fireworks were provided by 10th seeded David Klassenvanoorschot (Intense/Spy), who thrilled the crowd with brilliant passes to advance through the first two rounds.

The finals, however, would be contested by four of the top five qualifiers: Kovarik, Eric Carter (Hyundai/Mongoose), Wade Bootes (Trek-Volkswagen), and Mick Hannah (Team Haro-Lee Dungarees). That race played out much like the women's final, with Bootes and Carter going down near the top of the course. Kovarik won easily after opening a lead on Hannah as they skirted the crash. "I got a bad start," the winner recalled, "… [Bootes and Carter] had a tangle and I passed on the outside."

The riders generally praised a late course change that avoided a speed-sucking mud puddle. "I really liked how they changed the course," said Kintner. Kovarik added, "there was more passing." Hannah described it as "much better than other courses I've seen," and said about the Sea Otter Classic, "it's the opener of the year, so everybody wants to win to scare everyone else."

Gravity Omnium Round-up

The SoBe Adrenaline Gravity Omnium, produced worthy winners in a series of three exciting stages. Eric Carter (Temecula, CA, Hyundai /Mongoose) and Leigh Donovan (Murietta, CA, GT-Fox) emerged triumphant in this new contest designed to find the best all-round gravity racer.

The SoBe Adrenaline Gravity Omnium is an aggregate of scores obtained in the SoBe Adrenaline Downhill, Dual Slalom and Mountain Cross events. Lowest score wins. In the Men's event, Cedric Gracia (France, Siemens Mobile - Cannondale) was heading for the overall win, having finished first in the dual slalom and second in the downhill. However, an early exit from the mountain cross left him in ninth position, making a total of 12 points.

Eric Carter, who was an instigator of this event, rode consistently through the three events, claiming second in the dual slalom, fourth in the downhill and third in the mountain cross. This steady form accrued him a meagre nine points - and claim to the title of the world's best allround gravity rider.

The evergreen Mike King (San Diego, CA, Haro/Lee Dungarees) finished third with an aggregate of 12 points.

In the women's omnium Leigh Donovan, making a foray out of retirement for this event, scored a win that she modestly said was undeserved. True enough, Tai-Lee Muxlow (Australia, Tioga - Orange) had appeared set for the win until a broken gear shifter in the mountain cross cost her nine points on top of the one and two respectively she had accumulated in the dual slalom and downhill events.

Both Donovan and Muxlow finished with 12 points, and Donovan won by virtue of having a lower high-score. Third place was claimed by the veteran Lisa Sher (Capistrano Beach, CA, Chumba Wumba) who was close on their heels with a very respectable 13 points.


1st place Men: Eric Carter (Temecula, CA, Hyundai/Mongoose)

"I've been pushing Rick Sutton to do this event. I first mentioned it two years ago, and I'm delighted that this year he has added it to the Sea Otter. The idea of it is to reward the guys who do all the events. It is a lot of hard work to compete in more than one gravity discipline, and it feels really good to be rewarded for it. They have a combined competition in skiing and I think it's great that one of the world's most significant cycling events has taken the initiative in cycle sport. I only hope that NORBA and the UCI take note of this."

2nd place Men: Cedric Gracia (France, Siemens Mobile)

"I didn't know anything about it. I was competing and enjoying all the events, and then they said to me, ‘hey you have to go to the podium again.' I am excited to have this category, it's a cool idea. I feel a bit sketchy, but I am strong. I have not been training, I have been skiing a lot, so it is good that I am riding well like this. I am happy."

1st place Women: Leigh Donovan (San Diego, GT-Fox)

"I just had a lot of fun. Tai-Lee broke a shifter in the mountain cross and that's why I won. Tai-Lee would have won it, but hey, I'll take the win! I just hope they're not mad at me!"


1 Jill Kintner (USA) Staats/Fox
2 Tara Llanes (USA) Giant
3 Katrina Miller (Aus) Jamis
4 Jamie Lilly (USA) Khs Bicycles
5 Leigh Donovan (USA) 
5 Melissa Buhl (USA) Khs Bicycles
5 Marla Streb (USA) Luna Women
5 Lisa Sher (USA) Chumba Wumba
9 Gina Barbosa (USA) 
9 Holly Kuhn (USA) Zooyork
9 April Lawyer (USA) Maxxis Tires
9 Kristen Powers (USA) 
9 Gale Dahlager (USA) 
9 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) Trek-Volkswagen
9 Tai-Lee Muxlow (Aus) Tioga Orange
9 Isabel Weis (USA) 
1 Chris Kovarik (Aus) Intense Cycles
2 Mick Hannah (Aus) Haro/Lee Dungarees
3 Eric Carter (USA) Hyundai/Mongoose
4 Wade Bootes (Aus) Trek-Volkswagen
5 David Klaassenvanoorschot (USA) Intense/Spy
5 Bas De Bever (Ned) Be One/Oakley
5 Mike King (USA) Haro/Lee Dungarees
5 Brian Schmith (USA) Hyundai/Mongoose
9 Mike Day (USA) 
9 Alexis Vergara (USA) Specialized
9 Fabien Barel (Fra) Kona Clarks 
9 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Haro/Lee Dungarees
9 Cedric Gracia (Fra) Siemens/Cannondale
9 Jared Rando (Aus) Giant
9 Rich Houseman (USA) Intense Tire
9 Kirt Voreis (USA) Fox Racing
17 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Wheeler
17 Amour Karim (Fra) Challenge 1
17 Adrian Cortina (USA) Cortina
17 Robbie Miranda (USA) Dk Bicycles
17 Kenji Takamatsu (Jpn) Schwinn Japan
17 Ryan Finney (USA) Wtb/Mud Machine
17 Dave Langford (USA) Yeti/Azonic
17 Caile Noble (USA) 
17 Brandon Meadows (USA) Specialized
17 Dustin Adams (USA) Giant
17 John Waddell (Aus) Intense Tire
17 Gary Houseman (USA) Intense Tire
17 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Iron Horse
17 Jiro Nakamura (USA) Wtb
17 John Kirkcaldie (NZl) Maxxis Tires
17 Julien Poomans (Fra) 
33 Curtis Beavers (USA) Final Cause 
33 Martin Ogden (GBr) 661/Diatech
33 Ezekiel Corson (USA) Karpiel
33 Ethan Mutoli (USA) Rotec
33 Matt Vujicevich (USA) 
33 Robin Baloochi (USA) Sobe/Cannondale
33 Aaron Chase (USA) Sobe/Cannondale
33 Billy Owczarski (USA) Final Cause 
33 Stephane Mailhot (Can) Balfa/Rocksh
33 Christopher Herndon (USA) Specialized
33 Todd Lyons (USA) 
33 Greg Smith (USA) 
33 Travis Collins (USA) 
33 Uthman Ray (USA) Wtb/Stealth
33 Darren Berrecloth (USA) Specialized
33 Shawn Collins (USA) Mountain Cycle
33 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Iron Horse
33 Jared Graves (Aus) Iron Horse
33 Sam Hill (Aus) Iron Horse
33 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Global Racing
33 Henry O'Donnell (USA) Intense Tire
33 Jason Codding (USA) Troy Lee
33 Todd Bosch (USA) Chumba Wumba
33 Lars Tribus (USA) Chumba Wumba
33 Heiko Hirzbruch (Ger) Krc Nikolai
33 Sven Martin (RSA) 
33 Chris Powell (USA) 
33 Colin Bailey (USA) Maxxis Tires
33 Ben Cory (Aus) 
33 Tim Krentz (USA) Chumba
33 James Door (USA) 
33 Trevor Ellingham (USA)