2006 men's podim for the SRAM NRC Elite Circuit Race, L-R: Karl Menzies, Matty Rice, Caleb Manion
image courtesy of brightroom.com
MONTEREY, Calif. - Pro road racing once again returns to the Laguna Seca Raceway with the SRAM NRC Circuit Race for elite cyclists on Saturday, April 14, at this year's Sea Otter Classic, a Celebration of Sport. Utilizing the same acclaimed and challenging course as last year, the Sea Otter will be a showcase for America's professional men's and women's road racing. The Sea Otter Classic will be held April 12-15, 2007 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, USA.
This year will feature standout men's and women's teams and riders such as Kodak Gallery presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. with Canadian champs, Dominique Rollin and Mark Walters; Healthnet presented by Maxxis with rising star and recent Tour of Taiwan winner, Shawn Milne; and the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling team with last year's Sea Otter winner, Matt Rice; as well as up-and-coming squads like Priority Health, Team Rubicon, Organic Athlete and the TIME factory team with still more teams entering even at time of release.
The women's NRC race looks to be a showdown of the very best that North American racing has to offer, featuring the reigning world and national time trial champion, Kristin Armstrong with TEAm Lipton; Dotsie Bausch fresh off a win in the Time Trial of the Geelong Tour with Colavita/Sutterhome, Presented by Cooking Light; and other national-level squads such as Aaron's Pro Cycling and ValueAct Capital.
2006 World and National Time Trial champion, Kristin Armstrong, will be looking for a repeat win at the Sea Otter Classic
image courtesy of USA Cycling
Despite rumors of scheduling conflicts with the Tour de Georgia, Robin Zellner, general manager of Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada emphatically explained how Sea Otter becomes the ideal platform to show off new squads each season.
"Sea Otter is a great spectator race to showcase our team," said Zellner. "The Sea Otter has become one of the longest standing races in the country and we always look forward to it. The competition this year will be greater and stronger."
The Laguna Seca Raceway is what makes for such a spectator-friendly event. Normally an auto racing track, the 2.3-mile raceway course is wide open for easy viewing and features a steep 300-foot climb followed by the renowned "Corkscrew" descent that sends racers plummeting past wildly cheering crowds.
"The Corkscrew is a twisting and turning descent," explained Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada rider, Ben Raby. "And when you're not in an F1 car or on a Superbike (motorcycle) that hill is rather challenging."
Since the men have to complete 31 laps and the women 22, "that hill" will prove to be a leg breaker despite its relative diminutive size. The Sea Otter circuit turns into a brutal race of attrition, where last year, only 24 male riders finished.
"It could be a sprinter's race, it could be a strongman's race," said Mark Walters of the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada team. "It depends on what happens."
In addition to the famed SRAM circuit race on Saturday, this year's Sea Otter will also feature an elite-level road race on Friday, April 13. A new course for 2007, the road race will take racers on an 8.5-mile loop round Fort Ord, with a finish climb up Barloy Canyon.
The Sea Otter Classic will take place on April 12-15 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. For racing schedule and more information, visit: www.seaotterclassic.com
If you still haven't signed up for a media credential, sooner is better since there is a limited number of credentials available to qualified media. To apply for media credentials, visit: http://www.seaotterclassic.com/index.cfm/media_credentials.htm
Jackson Weber contributed to this release
About Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The 17th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 12 - 15, 2007 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, USA. 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. The Cypress Youth Fund is the Sea Otter Classic's philanthropic arm. The Fund provides funding to organizations that benefit their communities in the areas of youth, sport, education, and environment. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.
Online version of this release can be viewed here: www.boohermedia.com/SOC/2007/07SOC_RoadRaces.htm