ships in a really good year.
Depending on the scheduling of other
cycling events around the world, the Sea
Otter can be a major competition or a
minor sidelight to the more important
races going on elsewhere on the planet.
In the past, the World Cup season has
sometimes conflicted with the Sea Otter
weekend, and some of the best riders in
the sport have had to skip the Sea Otter
for that reason. It’s usually a hit-or-miss
proposition when it comes to scheduling
the Sea Otter. Sometimes the Sea
Otter’s promoters get lucky; sometimes
This year, for the first time in ages, the
Sea Otter Classic wasn’t scheduled to
conflict with any World Cup races. The first
Ready to join the club: Three-time national champion Todd Wells (left) and six-time
national champion Ned Overend (right) flank teammate Howard Grotts in the pits. Grotts,
a former collegiate national champion, may share the honor someday, too.
Photo op: Trek’s Emily Batty was more
than happy to pose for a souvenir photo
with the Sea Otter mascot. The feeling was
World Cup Downhill of 2015 happened
the week before this year’s Sea Otter, so
those racers—including Aaron Gwin, the
winner of that event—had time to fly to
California for the Sea Otter, which is just
what Aaron did, much to the dismay of his
Meanwhile, a large field of pros in other
disciplines showed up as well, including
Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, the three-time
Elite Men’s cross-country world champion, and Catharine Pendrel, two-time Elite
Women’s cross-country world champion.
With beautiful sunny weather, world-class competition, and huge crowds of
fans and bike companies on hand, this
year’s Sea Otter really was a classic—one
for the ages.
Women’s sprint: Sweden’s Jennie Rissveds (206) waited until the end of the Pro
Women’s Short Track event to power to the front for the win. Rebecca Henderson (203)
and Lea Davison (205) took second and third.