Connor Patten at Sea Otter Classic

April 27, 2017 – Written by Connor Patten

Sea otter is probably one of the biggest cycling events in the nation. People come from all over to race, have fun, drool over new products, and enjoy the sport. The festival itself is in the center of it all. With almost 500 booths and fun activities happening daily, the venue is always bustling with energy. This year, Summit Bike Club had a booth among the sea of other brands, and many Summit athletes competed in events ranging from downhill to road.

For some, the weekend started out early with races on Thursday. Several people from the team made the long trek starting Monday to setup the team booth and prepare for the early races. My race, however, was Sunday, so I went out a little later. Though we split up the drive into two days, it still felt like we drove much more than 13 hours. In the days leading up to my race, I watched my teammates race, talked to some sponsors, and checked out some of the new product on display.

The pro men and women raced short track on Friday then cross country on Saturday. Their races were UCI HC, which attracted several big names including 2016 Olympic Cross Country winners Nino Schurter and Jenny Rissveds. The Summit athletes that raced had their work cut out for them, but still managed to come away with solid results and a good experience.

My time to race came early in the morning. A 7:30 start meant getting up early to eat and prepare for the single 28 mile lap. When the race began, the mass of 40+ racers left the line in a mad dash. Despite the quick jump off the line, the group stayed together along the race track and through the beginning road sections till we reached the first single track section. When the group arrived at the single track turnoff, the bottleneck caused quite a jam. Riders hopped off their bike and ran alongside the trail in an effort to stay with the pack. Unfortunately I ended up stuck behind several groups of riders.

Club member James Cesna earned a top five in his first race on the national stage.

I tried my best to work my way back up through the group but it went slowly, as the trail sections were tight and the road sections were quick. The pace was quick and it was’t long before we made it to the hike-a-bike. I was able to pass several people on the hike but it wasn’t enough to bridge the gap up to the group in front of me. Despite being able to see the group, I wasn’t able to close the gap and ended up finishing 8th. Coming off the ski season with only a month or so of riding, I am stoked with the results and even more stoked for the rest of the season. Up next for me is the Pro XCT race back in Utah!

Racing is hard when you’re up against Olympic Champions!

Photos thanks to PB Creative

A total of sixteen members of Summit Bike Club athletes traveled to Monterey, CA for cross country, short track, enduro, downhill, dual slalom and road events.

Results

Thursday Enduro

Lia Westermann    9th    Women’s Elite
Rachel Anders 13th    Women’s Elite
Amber Raby 20th    Women’s Elite
Kyle Helmke 94th    Junior Men 1-18

Friday Short Track

Sofia Gomez Villafane 8th Women’s Elite
Ellen Campbell 26th Women’s Elite
Jacob Sacket    35th    Men’s Elite
Mike Sampson 37th Men’s Elite
Zach Calton 57th Men’s Elite
Matt Behrens 58th Men’s Elite
Grant Simonds 72nd Men’s Elite
Rylan Schadegg ? Men’s Elite

Saturday Dual SL

Lia Westermann    DNQ    Women’s Elite
Amber Raby DNQ Women’s Elite

Saturday Downhill

Kyle Helmke 19th Cat3 Men 15

Saturday Road Race

Nolan Jenkins 1st Junior 15-16

Saturday UCI Cross Country

Sofia Gomez Villafane    9th    Women’s Elite
Ellen Campbell 34th Women’s Elite
Jacob Sacket 22nd Men’s Elite
Mike Sampson 37th Men’s Elite
Zach Calton 48th Men’s Elite
Rylan Schadegg 62nd Men’s Elite
Matt Behrens 67th Men’s Elite
Grant Simonds 90th Men’s Elite

Sunday Cross Country

James Cessna    5th    Junior Men 13-14
Cooper Seliga 25th Junior Men 13-14
Anika Heilweil 11th Cat1 Women 15-18
Connor Patten 8th Cat1 Men 17-18
Tristan Planelles 33rd Cat1 Men 17-18
Nolan Jenkins 11th Cat1 Men 15-16

Sunday Downhill

Lia Westermann 6th Cat1 Women