The Sea Otter is always a crazy weekend. Just a quick recap, I finished 5th in the STXC and 3rd in the XC. The racing seems to get closer every year and I think we were a solid line sprinting in the STXC for the top 6 places and I was 14 seconds down in the XC. That is pretty close since there is a big difference between the top step and all the rest.
It was awesome to have so many Euros come over for the race this year. For a lot of domestic guys it’s the only chance they get to race against these guys that are on top of the World Cup. I really wish we would go back to the two long lap format from years past at the Sea Otter and I think most of the pros feel that way. I know the UCI and PROXCT are trying to standardize XC into a short course 1:30-1:45 format and I get it. That format works great in Germany where there are 30,000+ paying fans at the races(think Belgie CX), but in the U.S. we have tried that format and it doesn’t seem to work. I think we need a mix of good new skool XC races but we also need to embrace the heritage of XC in the US and keep some of the classic races as they are like Sea Otter. On that note, I would also like to see the Sea Otter go back to a stage race format with a leaders jersey and an overall award.
That said, I was blown away this year at the Otter by the number of people checking out the venue, racing, riding and just enjoying everything that is the bicycle. It has renewed my faith that the MTB is alive and well in the US. When we rode the Specialized Gran Fondo on Sunday there was a steady stream of people on the 20 mile course, there had to be thousands of people out there taking part in an organized MTB event.
While I’m on the topic of what needs to change in our sport I think we need to bring the PROXCT and PROGRT back together like in the NORBA days. I was all for separating the two so XC could move to more urban venues to make it more spectator friendly but we tried it and it didn’t work. If you look at the last two events when the two where together, Fontana and Sea otter, you can see those were the top events. I don’t think we need to have all of them together but the majority would be great and make it cheaper for the teams and more likely for them to send their bigger setups if they can get twice as many people in one trip. I would really like to see the two groups work together and I can guarantee if would benefit the sport.
Enough preaching, I seems to always get this souvenir from Sea Otter
I used the Tecnu everyday after riding but that Poison Oak really likes me. We have a special relationship where we meet up once every year at Sea Otter. I even tried dodging her with some long sleeve jerseys a few days but she still got me. Oh well, it could and has been much worse in the past.
It was really nice to have the whole Specialized dirt team together in CA. It never gets old sitting at the dinner or breakfast table and hearing all the different languages and accents spoken from around the World, feel really lucky to be part of it.
I seem to have so much to write about but end up forgetting it by the time I get around to blogging. I was sad to hear the USGP was dissolving this year. The Super Cup did an amazing job back in the day and the USGP picked up where they left off and did it even bigger. TimmyJ and JPows have some ideas up their sleeves so I think this CX season could see something else exciting come in and keep the momentum of the sport going. I sure hope so because it’s great to see guys making a living off of CX and the level has risen so much here in the US it would be a shame to see it take a step backwards.
Well, I’m here at the Whiskey 50 for my 1st time and getting ready to go check out the course.
I wonder what Winsons doing right now……..