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Sea Otter Classic - NE

USA, April 6-9, 2006

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Race 2 - Friday, April 7: MTB stage race #2, Time Trial

McConneloug and Naef take Sea Otter time trial

By Steve Medcroft

Mary McConnelough
Photo ©: Rob O'Dea
(Click for larger image)

Clean starts, bike handling and momentum were the keys to winning both the men and women's MTB time trial at Sea Otter on Friday morning. Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven) managed to finish the muddy, technical Sea Otter sub two-mile course 1.6 six seconds faster than world cross-country mountain-bike champion Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Multivan/Merida). In the men's race, Dahle-Flesjaa's team-mate Ralph Naef nipped yesterday's stage winner, Jean-Christoph Peraud (Team Orbea) by exactly the same margin.

Although the sun had been shining since Thursday afternoon, it did nothing to clear the time trial course. Held on the same grassy hillside as part of yesterday's Super XC, the course remained a boggy, sloppy mess that reeked like bilge water and completely disrupted the rhythm of even the most accomplished riders.

Departing the start house thirty-seconds apart (one minute for the top ten), riders knew a good position would increase their standings in the weekend's MTB omnium (riders earn points toward the omnium overall in each of the weekend's four events; which has its own prize purse of $4,000).

“I had a good start,” Naef said about the short. “I took the right line in the downhill. It felt perfect.”

McConneloug said she felt good in the challenging environment. “I only got two laps on the course in the morning but you could tell where the mud pits were. I charged up the hill at the start and took a really high line which dropped me into the final downhill before I knew it. I had a couple of places where I felt like I lost a second or two but overall, I think I did well.”

SoulCraft team rider Aren Timmel
Photo ©: Rob O'Dea
(Click for larger image)

Both racers put 1.6-second margins on the winners from yesterday's race, climbing their way up the omnium standings (McConneloug to third, Naef to second). And both say their early-season success has them optimistic about the rest of the year.

“Whether I do well on Sunday may depend on how many laps we do,” Naef said about his fitness. “I'm always strong in short races. In longer races, I always go down a little bit in the end. If we have to do two laps, and the course is this muddy, then it will take two hours and forty minutes or so. There are really strong guys here – like Bart, Peraud, Jose, and also the Americans. I'll just try to race tactically, try to conserve my energy and stay with the lead group if I can.”

Understanding the omnium

A number of riders seem to be confused about the new scoring rules for the Sea Otter stage race. Alison Sydor, second in the general classification, said “I've been reading the Sea Otter Web site and I'm not sure I have it figured out. It seems to make sense but someone was saying there were bonuses for the first few places and I didn't read anything about that.”

So here's how the scoring goes: For the weekend, riders had the option of signing up for only Sunday's UCI C1-rated cross-country race or for a separate four-race omnium prize purse (of $4,000). Racing as many or as few of the four races as they want, competitors earn points based on the number of people who registered for the event (as of the first stage). 106 riders signed up for the men's race, so the winner of each men's stage earns 106 points. Every placing afterwards earns one point less (105 for second, 104 for third, and so on all the way to last place). In the women's competition, 69 points go to the winner.

Peraud looked strong
Photo ©: Rob O'Dea
(Click for larger image)

The bonus structure Alison Sydor was alluding to awards 8 bonus points to first place in a stage, 5 to second, 3 to third. Points are awarded at the same level through each of the stages regardless of how many riders drop out or how many registered for only the Sunday cross country race.

For the Short Track, Stage 3, there will be two heats; heat one will be the bottom 50% of the field based on the GC from Stage 2. Heat 2 will consist of the top 50% of the field based on the GC from Stage 2. The top one-half of the points system will be awarded to the higher heat and the lower half of the points system will awarded to the lower heat. The same system is applied to the women's race, with points earned based on their final registration numbers. There will be only one heat for the women's race.

The person with the most total points after Sunday's cross-country wins the omnium.

Race notes

Pink Specialized S-Works Epic
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
(Click for larger image)

•  Specialized Factory team racers Christoph Sauser, Sabine Spitz and Liam Killeen rolled out to the time trial start on pink Specialized S-Works Epic frames. Identical to their team-issue bikes, the frames were coloured to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first mass-produced mountain-bike; the Specialized Stumpjumper. “The very first Stumpjumper was pink,” says Kevin Franks of Specialized. “We're using them here at Sea Otter and then at the Garda Festival in Italy later this month. After that, they're going into the Specialized museum.”

•  With the time trial being such a short day on the bike, many racers were looking for a little extra saddle time to make it a full training day on Friday. Many pros warmed up, did the time trial and pre-rode Sunday's nineteen-mile cross-country course. Think that would be enough right? Not if you're the current world champion and meticulous about your training regimen. As well as all of the above, Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa spent 60 minutes on a set of rollers at her team tent immediately following her 4:29 time trial.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Rob O'Dea/onetrak@gmail.com

Images by Steve Medcroft/Cyclingnews

  • Pink Specialized S-Works Epic as ridden by members of the company's sponsored team to commemorate the very first Stumpjumper.
  • Chloe Forsman demonstrates the delicate balancing act needed to get out of the start house at the Sea Otter Classic MTB time trial on Friday morning.


1 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team                 3.45
2 Jean Christoph Peraud (Fra) ORBEA                            0.02
3 Sam Schultz (USA) U23 National Team                              
4 Geoff Kabush (Can) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari                        
5 Liam Killeen (GBr) SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING                    
6 José Antonio Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team       0.04
7 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Giant-Racing-Team                       0.05
8 Michael Broderick (USA) SEVEN CYCLES/KENDA                       
9 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain/ Business Objects               
10 Matt Kelly (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                         0.06
11 Karl Platt (Ger) Rocky Mountain Business Objects            0.08
12 Antonio Ortiz (Spa) Specialized Spain                           
13 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Australian National Team             0.09
14 Simon Richardson (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher                   0.10
15 Mat Toulouse (Can) Team Maxxis                              0.11
16 Matt Martindill (Can) NA                                        
17 Shaun Lewis (Aus) Australian National Team                      
18 Christophe Sauser (Swi) SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING              
19 Thomas Frishcknecht (USA) Sycip Racing                          
20 Ricky Federau (Can) TEAM R.A.C.E. COM                       0.12
21 Alban Lakata (Aut) SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING               0.17
22 Roddi Lega (Can) Norco Factory Team/United Cycle            0.18
23 Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team                        
24 Sid Taberlay (Aus) Dolphin Bike Team                            
25 Paolo Montoya (CRc) Santa Ana                                   
26 Ken Onodera (Jpn) Subaru-Gary Fisher                            
27 Michael Weiss (USA) SRM Simplon Team                        0.19
28 Tristan Schouten (USA) PCW Cycling team                         
29 Carl Decker (USA) Broadmark Capital                             
30 Bryan Fawley (USA) University of Montana                        
31 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Les Gets                             0.20
32 Adam Craig (USA) GIANT                                      0.21
33 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Les Gets Factory Team                   
34 Sam Jurekovic (USA) U23 National Team                       0.22
35 Todd Wells (USA) GT Bicycles                                    
36 Justin Robinson (USA) Cal Giant /Village Peddler            0.24
37 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) TREK/VW                                   
38 Tim Olson (USA) Unattached                                  0.25
39 Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Bicycle Butler/Rocky Mountain       
40 Clint Muhlfeld (USA) Sportsman Ski Haus-Cannondale              
41 Troy Misseghers (Can) Mountain Bike City                        
42 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team                      0.26
43 Dana Weber (USA) JAX Bicycle Center                             
44 Chris Eatough (USA) Unattached                                  
45 Nick Waite (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies                       
46 Jason Sager (USA) Hotel San Jose/Cannondale                     
47 Dallas Morris (Can) DeadGoat Racing                         0.27
48 Kris Holden (USA) Wheelsport                                    
49 Neal Kindree (Can) Kona Factory                             0.28
50 Walker Ferguson (USA) Scott/Spinner                         0.30
51 Perry Paolini (USA) Trek-VW West                                
52 Eric Ransom (USA) Tamarack Resort/ Intense                  0.31
53 Osvaldo Olmos (USA) BMC Racing Team                             
54 Colin Cares (USA) U23 National Team                             
55 Bjorn Jordas (Fin) Vemma Scandinavia                        0.32
56 Noah Singer (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team                 
57 Pierre-Yves Facomprez (Fra) A.S Fourchambault               0.34
58 Craig Richey (Can) Cove Bikes                               0.35
59 Nat Ross (USA) Subaru-Gry Fisher                                
60 Burry Stander (RSA) GT Bicycles                             0.36
61 Michael Lee (USA) TREK VW JBL                                   
62 Jeff Schalk (USA) Trek-VW East                              0.38
63 Charles Jenkins (USA) cytomax/KHS                               
64 Christian Favata (USA) campmor/hutchinson                       
65 Adam Snyder (USA) Balance Bar/DEVO                          0.39
66 Aren Timmel (USA) SOULCRAFT                                     
67 Patrick Bush (USA) clif bar                                 0.40
68 Brendan Macintosh (Can) Brendan MacIntosh                   0.41
69 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona/Clarks/LesGets                       0.42
70 Michael Andres (USA) Team Chico                                 
71 Matthew Cottrell (Can) On The Edge Race Club                0.43
72 Miles Venzara (USA) H & S Bicycles                              
73 B. Perrin (USA) Unattached                                      
74 Sean Donovan (USA) cytomax/KHS                                  
75 Cody Peterson (USA) 3D Racing/ SRAM/ LFP&Co                     
76 Anastasio Flores Jr (USA) Another Bike Shop .com            0.44
77 Tj Woodruff (USA) Litespeed/PCW                                 
78 Nick Martin (USA) Unattached                                0.45
79 Cale Redpath (USA) 3D Racing                                    
80 Andy Schultz (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team            0.47
81 Unknown Unattached                                          0.49
82 Bruce Muhlfeld (USA) TREK/VW                                0.50
83 Ben Thompson (USA) Santiam Bicycles / Breakaway Consulting      
84 Geoff Huber (USA) anvil/diamondback                         0.51
85 Hal Helbock (USA) Unattached                                0.52
86 Leonardo Sandoval (USA) Bicycle John's/KENDA/MGTEC          0.53
87 Lucas Musselman (USA) Cannondale                                
88 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Team Stifinner/Giant                       0.54
89 Jason Moeschler (USA) NA                                        
90 Austin Carroll (USA) TEAM DEVO                              0.55
91 Arlo Buijten (USA) TITUS-SCHWALBE                               
92 Cameron Chambers (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                   0.56
93 Lucas Livermon (USA) Cycling Spoken Here                        
94 Mitchell Peterson (USA) Balance Bar/ Devo                   0.57
95 Charlie Pendry (USA) Inland Construction/BTD                0.58
96 Daniel Corum (USA) Inland Construction/BTD                  1.01
97 Matt Freeman (USA) Team K&N Performance                     1.03
98 Paul Hanson (USA) NA                                        1.05
99 Warren Gravely (USA) California Giant                       1.07
100 Gordon Yanota (USA) Ellsworth Bicycles                     1.09
101 Josh Powers (USA) Unattached                               1.10
102 Jose Antonio Riquelme Gutierrez (Chi) GIANT CHILE          1.30
103 Noah Holcomb (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team           1.42
1 Mary McConneloug (USA) SEVEN CYCLES/KENDA                    4.27
2 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team    0.02
3 Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain/Business Objects           0.07
4 Wendy Simms (Can) Velo Bella - Kona                          0.08
5 Katerina Nash (USA) Luna Women's MTB Team                        
6 Jimena Florit (USA) Luna Women's MTB Team                    0.10
7 Georgia Gloud (USA) Luna Women's MTB Team                    0.14
8 Kiara Bisaro (Can) TEAM R.A.C.E. COM                         0.15
9 Sabine Spitz (Ger) SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING                0.16
10 Irmiger Heather (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                        
11 Sue Hayward (USA) Trek VW                                   0.17
12 Melanie McQuad (USA) ORBEA                                  0.20
13 Cecile Rode (Fra) Lapierre Factory Team                     0.22
14 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Lapierre Factory Team                       
15 Mical Dyck (Can) Terrascape Racing                          0.24
16 Nina Baum (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team               0.25
17 Jenny Copnall (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher                      0.26
18 Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Ford Cycling                     0.28
19 Catharine Pendrel (Can) Norco                                   
20 Kelli Emmett (USA) Ford Cycling                             0.30
21 Judy Freeman (USA) Cannondale MTB Team                      0.32
22 Lea Davison (USA) Unattached                                    
23 Stacey Scanlan (USA) Tamarack                               0.34
24 Pia Sundstedt (Ger) Business Objects/ Rocky Mountain        0.35
25 Kathy Sherwin (USA) Ford Cycling                            0.36
26 Asa Erlandsson (Swe) Subaru-Gary Fisher                         
27 Dara Marks Marino (USA) Titus/Kenda                         0.40
28 Patricia Sinclair (Can) Scott USA/Kenda                     0.43
29 Kristin Danielson (USA) Velo Bella - Kona                   0.44
30 Jenna Zander (USA) Cannondale Mtn Bike Team                 0.46
31 Krista Park (USA) Colavita/Addictive Cycles                 0.47
32 Jennifer Gersbach (USA) Tokyo Joe's                         0.48
33 Tomarra Muhlfeld (USA) TREK/VW                              0.51
34 Josie Beggs (USA) Starbucks                                     
35 Christine Misseghers (Can) Mountain Bike City               0.55
36 Rie Katayama (Jpn) TREK                                         
37 Ann Fitzsimmons (USA) Schwalbe Tires                        0.56
38 Willow Koerber (Can) Subaru-Gary Fisher                         
39 Megan Monroe (USA) Colo Preimier Training                   0.57
40 Chrissy Bono (USA) Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling                
41 Lara Kroepsch (USA) T-Mobile                                0.59
42 Kyia Malenkovich (USA) Headmethod.com                       1.02
43 Mandy Eakins (USA) NA                                           
44 Carolyn Popovic (USA) mtbchick.com/Cannondale               1.04
45 Christy Love (Can) Sugoi/Giant                                  
46 Cristina Begy (USA) Spot                                    1.05
47 Caitlyn Tuel (USA) Penn State                               1.06
48 Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) rocky mountain                    1.07
49 Shannon Holden (USA) Velo Bella - Kona                      1.08
50 Theresa Richardson (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team      1.09
51 Christie Pleiss (USA) Team K&N Performance                  1.10
52 Chloe Forsman (USA) Tokyo Joe's/Go Lite                     1.13
53 Mary-Ellen Ash (USA) 3 Rox Racing                           1.14
54 Meggan Flaherty (USA) Bicycle John's Serious Cycling        1.15
55 Niki Gudex (Aus) SRM Simplon Team                           1.16
56 Heather Svahn (USA) Reno Wheelmen/The Backcountry           1.20
57 Jennifer Tilley (USA) Velo Bella - Kona                         
58 Linden Kimmerer (USA) SOULCRAFT                             1.24
59 Erin Duggan (USA) Velo Bella - Kona                             
60 Kim Passafiume (USA) Velo Bella-Kona                        1.25
61 Christy Murphy (USA) SOULCRAFT                              1.33
62 Sami Fournier (USA) Velo Bella - Kona                       1.41
63 Noel Weddle (USA) Velo Bella - Kona                         1.42
64 Melanie Meyers (USA) Ford Cycling                           1.51
65 Teri Strayer (USA) Team K&N Performance                     2.00
66 Christy Roberts (USA) Paragon Ski & Sport                   2.30
Omnium standings after two races
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan-Merida             150
2 Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain/Business Objects        143
3 Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda/Seven                        138 
1 Jean-Christoph Peraud (Fra) Team Orbea                    224
2 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan-Merida                          217
3 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Team Giant                           210

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