As the team is off to Houffalize, Belgium for the first World Cup this will be a short update on Sea Otter that took place April 13 to 15.
The Sea Otter Classic has been a fixture on the North American schedule for 17 years. The festival features cycling disciplines including Road, Mountain, BMX and Dirt Jump contests, and attracts over 60,000 people to the beautiful city of Monterey, California.
This is always the International Season kick-off event for Mountain Bike teams from all over the world. World Champions and World Cup racers turn up to test their legs and show off their new colours for the season.
There are three days of racing and for the mountain bike teams featuring a time trial event against the clock, a short track and a traditional cross country event.
The Rocky Mountain Haywood team blasted onto the results sheet on day one with both Max Plaxton and Seamus McGrath finishing on the podium in 2nd and 3rd place. Alison Sydor was just shy of the podium in 6th position.
The second day’s event is a short track cross country. This is mountain biking’s criterium race. The racers attack multiple laps of a short circuit in which team tactics and screaming legs come into play for the short, but extremely intense half hour effort.
The additional feature for this year was torrential rain that turned the previously dry and bumpy course into muddy soup.
Max and Seamus had a great start and were immediately part of the front group. As the mud settled, the race ended with Max finishing in 3rd place and Seamus in 8th.
In the women’s race Alison Sydor finished in 8th.
The Team’s remaining events for the weekend were the men’s and women’s Cross Country and the women’s Downhill.
The weekend wrapped up with solid results for all. Max Plaxton put in another great performance in the cross country to finish 10th. Seamus McGrath had a disappointing 22nd place finish but has since been diagnosed with an infection that he will spend some time getting resolved. Pro Am team member Matt Hadley finished 24th.
Micayla Gatto had a stand out performance in her first Downhill Race as a senior. Micayla finished in 8th position with a very respectable time gap(small) to current World Champion Sabrina Jonnier of France.
Micayla was also the first of the Canadian women.
April 21 is our first World Cup Cross Country of the year in Houffalize ,Belgium. Marie Hélène Prémont will hope to challenge for the win there. Max Plaxton has his goal set as the win for the top under 23 (espoir) rider.
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