MONTEREY, Calif. (December 3, 2007) The Sea Otter Classic, A Celebration of Sport, celebrates its 18th year April 17-20, 2008. Since 1991, the Sea Otter Classic has been the springboard from which companies launch innovative products and athletes boost pro racing careers, like those of world champion Tom Boonen and Olympic gold medalist Julien Absalon. Next year, the Sea Otter Classic will set an even greater stage for an audience determined to get the most out of what Sea Otter has to offer.
Racing – Challenge yourself. Mountain bike, road, BMX, and gravity racing spans all categories from teenaged juniors to masters 60 and over, beginner to elite and everyone in between.
Recreation – Do something for yourself. A Road Tour, benefiting the Davis Phinney Foundation, and an Off-Road Tour, benefiting IMBA California, each travel throughout the Monterey Peninsula and beyond and explore the scenic surroundings of the Monterey Bay area. Each Tour ends with a barbeque and a raffle overflowing with essential gear.
Demo area – See it, try it. A new pump track has been added to a redesigned demo area. Even better, the track's interior will hold one of Sea Otter's main attractions, the Ride Zone, where cyclists get a chance to try out their skills and gain new ones on a variety of carefully crafted obstacles.
Expo – Be the first to market. Sea Otter is often the first place where consumers get a look at never-been-seen before products. To accommodate the volume of exhibitors who bravely face 60,000 curious and/or veteran visitors to Laguna Seca over the four-day event, Sea Otter has had to expand again for 2008.
Kids' events – Play: there is plenty of active entertainment. Sea Otter's Kids' Carnival, Bike Rodeo, Sea Otter Egg Hunt, and Ride Zone promise to return weary children to grateful parents at the end of each day.
Julien Absalon, who will defend his Olympic gold medal in Beijing next year, came in sixth overall at Sea Otter in 2003
The Sea Otter Classic has always been an international zone for pro racers, some who have gone on to perform spectacularly on the world stage. Tom Boonen raced at Sea Otter before pulling on the rainbow stripes that distinguish a world champion. Julien Absalon finished sixth at Sea Otter in 2003 before he went on to claim the Olympic gold medal at Athens in 2004.
"The Sea Otter Classic is a big classic at the beginning of the season, same as Roc d'Azur in France is a classic at the end of the season," said Absalon. "We don't have a lot of races in the US. Sea Otter is the only international race of the season, so maybe it's the only chance to race in the US for European riders."
The atmosphere that some of the world's most celebrated athletes bring to Sea Otter can be felt throughout the event, especially when the random sighting or chance to ride elbow to elbow with some of these luminaries presents itself.
"Sea Otter thrives because the sport keeps evolving," said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO. "The dedication of cyclists to strengthen and grow the sport has inspired and motivated organizers of the Sea Otter Classic to respond in kind."
About Sea Otter Classic Inc.
The 18th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 17-20, 2008 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 Sea Otter Classic benefits the Davis Phinney Foundation, which supports Parkinson's disease research and wellness, and California IMBA, which organizes advocacy and trail-building efforts statewide and strengthens California mountain bike clubs. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.
An online version of this release can be viewed here: http://www.boohermedia.com/SOC/2008/08SOC_PR1.htm
Donna Brown (local media)