Monterey, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2009) – The Sea Otter Classic has added a fourth day of road racing to its schedule. A new criterium race, one of the most spectacular kinds of bike races to watch, will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2009, for nearly all amateur and professional categories.
|Photo: Nicholas C. Weaver|
"The additional race makes the Sea Otter Classic an even better value for road cyclists, who now have the opportunity to compete in three different events – road racing, circuit racing, and crit racing," said Jeff Frost, Director of Athlete Services. "We expect this event to be very popular."
Criterium races showcase the athletes in a short, high-adrenalin format requiring cornering skills, team strategy and high speeds as the racers lap the course up to 30 times. Fans have a front seat to all the action, as stronger players move up to the front and weaker ones are spit out the back of the pack.
According to U.S. national criterium champion Brooke Miller (TIBCO Women’s Pro Cycling), spectators can learn a lot about road racing by watching criteriums,
"The shorter the race, the harder we go," she said. "There is no warm-up, we go from the gun, and the cheering crowds really keep the energy high. They have all the drama and thrill of a full road race wrapped up into a viewer-friendly, hour-long event!"
The race will be held on the Laguna Seca raceway, with an uphill turn and technical turn-arounds at each end of the one-mile, hotdog-shaped course. Each race will last 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the category. Full Road Racing Schedule
Following the criterium races on Thursday, Sea Otter’s well-known circuit and road races will further test athlete endurance. Circuit races add climbing and descending challenges to another short, timed race of 50 to 90 minutes. Held along the entire 2.23-mile Laguna Seca raceway, the famous course includes a lung-busting climb of 300 feet, followed by a harrowing corkscrew descent. Finally, the road race, one of the best in California, takes competitors from the racetrack, along 8.5 miles of beautiful private roads of the former Fort Ord, to an exciting mountaintop finish.
Road Tours for the Non-Competitive Set
Athletes who prefer to pedal more leisurely through the countryside will enjoy the Bicycling Magazine Road Tour, held on Sunday, April 19, 2009. The road tour offers a century route through some of the most beautiful – and hilly – roads of the Monterey and Salinas Valleys, and a shorter route perfect for families.
"Sea Otter is an incredibly fun venue. It is hard to think of it as a bike race; since it’s so much more," said Miller, who has raced all of the Sea Otter road events and some of the mountain bike races as well.
About Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The 19th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 16-19, 2009 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, Calif. The four-day "Celebration of Sport" is considered the world's largest cycling festival, hosting nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 50,000 fans. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.
Donna Brown (local media)
Chris Worden (Web-related)