MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—The Sea Otter Classic celebrates its 18th year this April 17-20, 2008, and with it comes some new additions and expansion.
Since 1991, the Sea Otter Classic has been the springboard from which companies launch innovative products and athletes boost pro racing careers, like those of world champion Tom Boonen and Olympic gold medalist Julien Absalon.
Next year, the Sea Otter Classic will set an even greater stage for an audience determined to get the most out of what Sea Otter has to offer.
Racing will feature mountain, road, BMX and gravity, spanning all categories from teenage juniors to masters 60 and over, beginner to elite and everyone in between.
Recreation will feature A Road Tour, benefiting the Davis Phinney Foundation, and an Off-Road Tour, benefiting IMBA California. Each travels throughout the Monterey Peninsula and beyond to explore the scenic surroundings of the Monterey Bay area. Each Tour ends with a barbecue and a raffle overflowing with gear.
Demo area will feature a new pump track that has been added to a redesigned demo area. Even better, the track’s interior will hold one of Sea Otter’s main attractions, the Ride Zone, where cyclists get a chance to try out their skills and gain new ones on a variety of carefully crafted obstacles.
Sea Otter is often the first place where consumers get a look at never-been-seen before products. To accommodate the volume of exhibitors who bravely face 60,000 curious and/or veteran visitors to Laguna Seca over the four-day event, Sea Otter has had to expand the expo area once again for 2008.
There will once again be plenty of active entertainment for kids. Sea Otter’s Kids’ Carnival, Bike Rodeo, Sea Otter Egg Hunt, and Ride Zone promise to return weary children to grateful parents at the end of each day.
The Sea Otter Classic has always been an international zone for pro racers, some who have gone on to perform spectacularly on the world stage.
Boonen raced at Sea Otter before pulling on the rainbow stripes that distinguish a world champion.
Absalon finished sixth at Sea Otter in 2003 before he went on to claim the Olympic gold medal at Athens in 2004.
“The Sea Otter Classic is a big classic at the beginning of the season, same as Roc d’Azur in France is a classic at the end of the season,” said Absalon. “We don’t have a lot of races in the U.S. Sea Otter is the only international race of the season, so maybe it’s the only chance to race in the US for European riders.”
The atmosphere that some of the world’s most celebrated athletes bring to Sea Otter can be felt throughout the event, especially when the random sighting or chance to ride elbow to elbow with some of these luminaries presents itself.
“Sea Otter thrives because the sport keeps evolving,” said Frank Yohannan, president and chief executive officer of Sea Otter. “The dedication of cyclists to strengthen and grow the sport has inspired and motivated organizers of the Sea Otter Classic to respond in kind.”