Sea Otter Classic, “A Celebration of Cycling”
LOCATION: Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California
OWNERSHIP: Sea Otter Classic, Inc., Frank Yohannan, President and CEO
The Sea Otter Classic is the world’s premier cycling festival. This four day celebration of cycling has all things having to do with bikes–races, expos, competition and more! Come camp, enjoy food and ride your bike with us and 75 thousand other cycling enthusiasts!
EVENT OVERVIEW: The 2021 Sea Otter Classic, “A Celebration of Cycling,” will be held at Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, USA. This four-day, action-packed cycling festival features a full schedule of amateur and professional events, as well as other activities for family members of all ages. The Sea Otter Classic also plays host to the world’s largest consumer bike exposition.
ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS: Racers make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in cycling’s best competitive and non-competitive events. Mountain bike races include an epic cross-country, dual slalom, downhill, and more. Road cyclists enjoy road racing on challenging area roads. And for those who want to bike in less-competitive fashion, Sea Otter offers two Gran Fondo routes, as well as a Mountain Bike Tour and a Gravel Grinder Tour on the surrounding fire roads and trails of the Fort Ord National Monument.
The Sea Otter Expo, the hub of the event, pulses with free bike demos, stunt shows, and live entertainment, plus special activities for kids 12 and under. Other Expo hotspots are an international food court, a beer and BBQ garden, and the Sea Otter exposition area. The Expo features hundreds of vendors who display new products, give out free samples, and offer terrific bargains. In the Sea Otter Expo, hundreds of professional road and mountain bike athletes are present to share their racing techniques with fans and to sign autographs.
FOR CHILDREN: Sea Otter Egg Hunt, Kids’ Carnival, Kids’ Bicycle Races, and Kids’ Zone
FOR RECREATIONAL BIKERS: Two scenic Gran Fondos, a mountain bike tour, and a gravel grinder tour
FOR AMATEUR RACERS: Nearly 200 classes of road and mountain bike racing for all ages and skill levels
FOR PRO/ELITE CYCLISTS: Pro/Elite Endurance Mountain Bike Races (Cross-Country) and Pro/Elite Gravity Mountain Bike Races (Downhill and Dual Slalom)
FOR MEDIA: Interviews with event organizers, local athletes, and world-class professionals can be set up through the Sea Otter press office.
Refer to Demographics page.
Future Sea Otter Classics are scheduled for the following dates:
April 7-10, 2022
April 20-23, 2023
April 18-21, 2024
April 10-13, 2025
April 16-19, 2026
The mission of the Sea Otter Classic is to make people’s lives better through participation in sport and recreation and through celebration of an active outdoor lifestyle. We will accomplish this mission without compromising the ability of future generations to enjoy the benefits of a sustainable environment.
After two decades of commitment to sustainable development, we are renewing our commitment with a promise to find yet more effective ways to sustain both the environment and economic growth. We are committed to fostering ideas, aspirations, values, and actions that can inspire and support all of us in becoming better stewards of the environment as we promote positive economic growth.
We understand that environmental protection does not preclude economic development and that economic development must be ecologically viable now and in the long run.
“You guys should put on a mountain bike race.”
That simple statement from a Monterey bike shop owner in 1990 was the genesis for the Sea Otter Classic.
Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 & 7, 1991. There was a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. Today the event hosts over 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans. In 1993 the event was renamed the Sea Otter Classic and is now universally regarded as the world’s premier cycling festival.
Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling,” Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. Hundreds of pro cyclists, including national, world, and Olympic champions, attend Sea Otter to race and meet with fans.
Most of cycling’s racing disciplines are represented including mountain bike cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and short track racing. Road cyclists compete in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Also offered are a number of non-competitive recreational events for riders of all ages.
The Sea Otter Classic also hosts the world’s largest consumer bike exposition in North America. The Expo holds hundreds of vendors who display new products, distribute free samples, and offer great bargains. The four-day, action-packed festival includes an international food court, entertainment, bike demos, stunt shows, and activities for children.
The Sea Otter Classic is located in Monterey County, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
In 2017, Sea Otter expanded to Europe with a festival in Girona, Spain. In only its second year, the event hosted over 50,000 visitors, 380 top-tier brands and 5,000 participants from over 50 different nationalities.
Sea Otter Europe brings the bike industry and bike lovers together in an area renowned for attracting pro teams for the excellent terrain and cycling culture. The event in Girona presents the widest range of opportunities for recreational and competitive cycling experiences in a region that embraces cycling on every level.
Sea Otter Canada launched in July 2019 at Ontario’s Blue Mountain Resort, just 90 minutes north of Toronto. Sea Otter Canada joins the ‘Classic’ and Sea Otter Europe as the third edition under the iconic Sea Otter brand.
Sea Otter Canada showcases Ontario’s best cycling region with races and rides across a wide range of Dirt and Road categories.
Our ‘festival’ offers something for everyone to enjoy including the ‘Expo’ featuring more than 100 cycling brands, bike demos, activities for kids, entertainment, local craft breweries and food vendors.
Sea Otter Canada is a Celebration of all things Cycling. It’s a festival for anybody who enjoys or appreciates the bike, no matter what their age or skill level.
Sea Otter Australia will bring “Celebration of Cycling” to Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra for the first time in 2021. Sea Otter Australia will be a unique four-day family friendly festival for you and your bike – rides, races, demo’s and Australia’s BIGGEST bike Expo.
The Sea Otter brand is the world’s most influential bicycle consumer, cycle tourism and adventure Expo, showcasing the latest product releases the bike industry has on offer and the enormous diversity of our cycling culture.