Sea Otter Classic 2006

Sea Otter Classic Wrap Up (Written in 2006)

I attended the Sea Otter Classic this past weekend and raced the Masters 30+ Cat 5 Circuit and Road Race. If you haven’t been to Sea Otter, I recommend going at least once. Riding the Laguna Seca Racetrack is great experience. It’s a tough circuit race that climbs 300 feet per lap in about a ¼ mile with the 2nd half of the climb being much steeper than the first half. Riding the corkscrew is like being on a roller coaster ride, you feel as though you are riding straight down a mountain. A fellow competitor’s computer said we were going 47mph by the time we hit the bottom of the corkscrew turn.

There were about 70 riders at the start of the 50 minute circuit race. The race started pretty tame and I wasn’t having any problems staying with the leaders on the climb and felt as though I was descending faster than the rest of the riders. I constantly found myself at the front of the pack after each descent and had to keep reminding myself to ease off and to stay off the front. I spent most of the race between the top 5-15 riders. With 3 laps to go we were down to about 20 riders and on the 2nd to last lap a rider attacked and we were down to about 11 riders going into the last lap. I backed off and was at the back of the small pack heading up the last climb. For some reason I lost some steam on the last climb and a rider attacked and broke up the pack. I felt pretty confident I could catch up on the descent so I kept a steady pace to the top of the climb. On the descent I quickly passed 3 or 4 riders and then worked with a couple more to catch what we thought was the leader of our race.

We caught the leader (or who we thought was the leader) about 100 meters from the final turn. I found myself in 2nd place going around the last corner and decided to slowly up my pace and accelerated off the front. I kept accelerating to the finish and no one caught me. Funny thing was that I thought I had won the race. Unfortunately, one rider was lost during the last attack and escaped on the descent. Since no one was pulled from the track during the race and we were passing a lot of lapped riders, he escaped and we didn’t realize it. So, 2nd place in the Circuit race and my first podium racing on the road. We completed 8 laps in under 50 minutes on the 2.3 mile circuit.

The next day was the 46 mile road race. The race had a full field of 100 and started with a 4 mile neutral start to the finish line which was uphill. I tried to pay attention to the hill as we went down but going down is much different than going uphill. The race consisted of 4 laps and each lap started with ‘the wall’ which was a decent climb, but not any tougher than the Tuesday/Thursday ride climbs. The course was great with good road conditions. The roads were closed and it was a rolling/twisting course.

Once again, it was a race of attrition. We went from a pack of 100 to 11 riders by the last lap. One rider attacked with about 1 ¼ laps to go and was able to get up to a 47 second lead on us. The winner of the previous day’s circuit race (Devon) was in our group and we tried to organize a chase but couldn’t get the group to work together. Devon would pull through and then I would pull through and the next guy couldn’t or wouldn’t pull through. It seemed as though Devon and I did most of the work on the front trying to chase the leader down.

We started the final climb with the leader about 30 seconds ahead and Devon was probably 10 seconds in front of the group. I traded a couple pulls with one of the other riders in the group and then went to the front to try to open a gap. I managed to open a gap a couple times but was chased down by two other riders within 200 meters of the finish. I was cooked and didn’t have any energy left for a sprint, but gave it what I had. I ended up finishing 5th. Devon managed to catch the leader and won by 2 seconds.

So, overall, two podium finished and I did Swami’s Bicycle Club proud!

Similar Posts