Kelli Emmitt leads the way all the way to a win in Super D
photo: Chris Milliman
By WENDY BOOHER
MONTEREY, Calif. (April 12, 2007) Adam Craig and Kelli Emmitt (Giant) succeeded in outsprinting fast fields in the debut of Super D on Day One of the Sea Otter Classic. Rumors of a non-technical three-mile course quickly got blasted by Craig, who cited water bumps and high speed as a near-lethal combination to upset results.
"The guy in second place was first over the top," said Craig. "He was going crazy fast heading into the water bumps and boosting a ton of speed. My plan from there was just to pedal hard and don't be scared."
Both Craig and Emmitt remarked how hard the course was and, based on the punished looks on their competitors' faces, that became easy to believe. Emmitt seized the lead in the finishing stretch, where riders weakened by dizzying speeds, yielded to Emmitt's power burst that launched her over the line to win the first race of Sea Otter 2007.
Craig, who defended his national Super D champion's title today, needed to outpower and outpedal second place, Jurgen Beneke (unattached), third place, Chris Eatough (Trek/VW), and teammate Carl Decker (Giant) to prove that he is still national Super D champ material.
Hundreds of racers signed up to stretch their legs in the first-ever event and while it seems a no-brainer that gravity racers would flock to Super D, it was a field thick with cross-country racers that took aim at the $2,000 prize purse. Expect to see fields grow in the future of Super D once it emerges into the limelight as a race requiring fearlessness, skill, dexterity, and relatively common equipment.
Top 3 Men:
1. Adam Craig (Giant)
2. Jurgen Beneke (unattached)
3. Chris Eatough (Trek/VW)
Top 3 Women
1. Kelli Emmitt (Giant)
2. Mical Dyck (Trek/Terrascape Racing)
3. Mary-Ellen Ash (Easton/Specialized)
Comments from both Kelli Emmitt and Adam Craig can be heard via Sea Otter's new Video On Demand service here: www.seaotterclassic.com/index.cfm/media_video.htm Follow links for "VNR 2 - SEA OTTER CLASSIC - THURSDAY, 4/12"
Racing continues on Friday with the Thule Adventure race and the MTB Time Trial starting at 8 am. For race times and more information, visit: www.seaotterclassic.com
Cerebral Multi-Sport: The THULE Adventure Race
By JACKSON WEBER
Finding the fastest way from A-B in adventure racing
image courtesy of Big Blue Adventure
Do you know where you're headed? It's not a question you typically want to ask yourself in the midst of a race, but in adventure racing, that knowledge is what wins. Dubbed a "cerebral multi-sport," adventure racing is the newest addition to the ever-growing list of events offered at the Sea Otter Classic.
"I think it's a great opportunity for the sport of adventure racing to have exposure at a world class event like the Sea Otter Classic," explained race director and course designer, Todd Jackson.
Part of the Big Blue Adventure Series, the THULE Adventure Race is a 6-12 hour race for either solo racers or teams of up to four and features paddling, mountain biking, and hiking. Unlike normal races where competitors must follow a set path, adventure races merely give athletes a list of checkpoints and a map leaving it to them to figure out the best way to get to them to all the points. With no marked paths, arrows or other directions, racers must rely on orienteering skills like triangulation and declination, as well as plotting coordinates and following bearings to make it to the finish. Oh by the way, GPS receivers are strictly forbidden in adventure races.
The race will start Friday morning in Monterey Bay, where racers must complete a two-mile ocean paddle. At the end of that, they reach their first transfer point and hop onto mountain bikes for an estimated three-hour ride that terminates inside the Sea Otter expo area (ETA 12 pm), which should provide a rare glimpse of the racers. Sans bikes, the racers must then hike out of the Sea Otter venue to locate another set of checkpoints amongst the various foot trails in the surrounding area, finally racing back to the Sea Otter and finish line.
"It's a unique course," said Jackson. "What's cool is that it features a classic Californian coastal community as well as awesome mountain bike and adventure race landscape."
For spectators interested in witnessing the race, the best bet will be at the second transition area, finish line and special tests area all of which are located behind the Red Bull Dirt Jump. The first finishers should be crossing the line at 2 pm.
Cycles Gladiator Brings Wine Tasting to Bike Aficionados
BY MEGAN TOMPKINS
If wine ranks with bikes on your list of life's simple pleasures, Cycles Gladiator has the wine for you.
Monterey County winery Cycles Gladiator, owned by Hahn Estates, produces wines that feature an image from an antique cycling poster.
The winery has been tapping into the cycling community since it launched a year ago. Cycles Gladiator is the official wine sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic for the next two years. In addition, Cycles Gladiator winemaker Paul Clifton is a participating athlete.
"We have begun involving ourselves at cycling events. We were a booth sponsor at the Tour of California and we're the official wine sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic," said Sandi Coero, marketing and PR manager for Cycles Gladiator. "Sea Otter is a great fit because the wines are all Central Coast. We've been really having a lot of fun with it; cyclists and the cycling community have embraced it - they love the image."
The image that graces Cycles Gladiator wine bottles is of a mythological nymph riding her winged bicycle. The artwork is from one of the famous Parisian art posters of the late 1800s advertising the Cycles Gladiator bicycle. Only four of these original 1894 posters exist today.
Cycles Gladiator created a bottle necker that will hang on its wine bottles at local Monterey retailers, offering $1 off admission to the Sea Otter Classic. It also has printed a commemorative poster featuring its striking label.
"We're doing a special commemorative Sea Otter poster that we'll be giving away at our booth with a mailing list signup," Coero said. The winery also has T-shirts, sweatshirts and cycling jerseys made by Hincapie Sportswear that feature the artwork for sale at Booth 342.
The winery can't sell wine at its booth, but its wines are available at the food court and in the VIP/hospitality tent.- Courtesy of Sea Otter Classic Cycling Festival
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_Day1.htm