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.
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!
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.
|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|
|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|
|Lia Westermann||6th||Cat1 Women|