The Sea Otter Classic is one of the biggest races if not the biggest race in the US. This year I was able to experience the craziness that is Sea Otter. I left home for the race on Tuesday being my race was on Friday. This was a big change from my racing I have been doing in the Pro XCT's which have been on Sunday. I was super excited for this race all year and finally it was time to shine. I rode the course on Wednesday and was able to figure out what I needed to do to kill it when race time comes. This races was not going to be like the US cups at all. Instead of a 6-8 mile lap being done three times, this was one long 20 mile lap which had tons or fire road. There wasn't too much single track, and when there was there was absolutly no passing. I figured my nutrition was going to be two bottles and two Hammer Apple-Cinnamon gels that would keep me going for the whole race. I would have Hammer Heed in the bottles and make sure they where nice and cold for this for sure hot race the following day. I started front row which didn't really matter because the first part of the lap was on the race track and no one wanted to pull. So it turned into a parade lap until about 200 yard to the first dirt section and then it be came an all out sprint. For the first quarter of the race I had a hard time finding my legs. Once I got on top of the super steep climb about three miles in(aka the wall), something clicked and I was ready to fly. I saw my teammate Ryan only 30 or 40 sec ahead of me and I knew I needed to catch him so we could work together on this course. Drafting was a huge factor in the race. If you were all alone you were done. I caught Ryan about 6 miles in and worked together for a little while giving each other a much needed break. At this point the group of three of four of us were fighting for fourth. One of the kids attack making me have to give everything I had to cover it. Near the end of the race there is about two or three miles of all fire road with some super gnarly climbs. I was able to stay with fourth all the way to the last climb. We had a great battle going, but on the last part he launched an attack that I was worried to cover because I didn't know how far we had till the end. I was afraid if I cover it and found out we had another 2 miles I would of been screwed. Of course the final descent was on top of the hill and I just let go of the breaks and hoped for the best. I finished the race in 5th and was super stoked. There was a total of 30 kids which is super rare.
My Trek 9.8 Elite was stellar for the course I loved how snappy I was able to be up the steep climbs were other kids were losing a ton of time. Another huge factor in the race was my all white Oakley Radars with Photochromic/ Transition lensess (http://www.oakley.com/products/6273/22889) which worked amazing. On this course we would be in dark trees at one point, then looking right into the sun at another. With the Photochromic changing constantly, I never was distracted my my sun or my lens being too dark in the shade. After the race I was able to check out all the cool vendors. Hammer nutrition is the biggest reason why I am not on the side of the trail cramping after crazy races like this one because they have every thing a racer need to keep them going in their race. From Ledville, to a fun weekend ride with your bros, Hammer has the nutrition for you. Defiantly check out Hammers new solids. They r made too keep you going after that 2 1/2- 3 hour mark. All you do is pop it in your mouth and let the fuel take you from there. Over all I had an amazing time at my first year in Sea Otter!!! I can wait for next year already. Now, its time to kick some butt at the Whiskey off road race in two weeks with my teammates from azDevo.