|First, thanks to Paul Robinson for a whole bunch of kit and race reports:The Sea Otter Classic in Monterey is traditionally the season opener and many companies show off new products to the nearly 45,000 visitors.
SRAM were a main sponsor of the event and showed the new X.O kit. The derailleur looks fantastic – very skeletal – but the disk brake caliper and levers don’t look a patch on the Hope equivalents.
The Manitou stand showed an Intense Uzzi with the new 1.5″ head tube. It looked very well proportioned on the Uzzi with a single crown Dorado fork. The Manitou guy also showed a prototype Black fork with 1.5″ steerer. There were a few VPP frames seen – Intense and a Santa Cruz Blur on the Luna Chix team – but none actually on the Santa Cruz stand.
Merlin and Titus showed two different approaches to using carbon in frames. Merlin used titanium lugs with carbon tubes. Titus cut holes in their titanium tubes then filled them with carbon – the holes are real; its not just carbon look stickers like Pace used to make. The Titus guy said it shaved 1/2lb of a 3lb road frame. Unfortunately they can only do it to the down tube on FS frames due to the mid tube welding. Both frames looked great but both are prototypes so no availability yet.
Race SIDS are a hideous green colour this year but the fork seen most was the Fox, which is very popular over here.
To see the rest of the photos of all the above check out Paul’s Photo archive.
The WCP sent the GB Cross Country team to this year’s Sea Otter Pro Stage Race in Monterey – and they did rather well. The race is 4 stages – a road criterium around Cannery Row in Monterey, a time trail, short track and a 36 mile 2 lap cross country race at Laguna Seca.
Caroline Alexander won the cross country stage from Alison Dunlap to take second overall. Pretty good considering her sponsorship difficulties this year. Barry Clarke finished the cross country stage in 10th or 11th (I think). Oli Beckinsale did well in all the early stages but bombed in the cross country. Liam Killeen showed good form as well despite not racing in the team colours – lucky to be fully sponsored! Other team members Sue Thomas, Tim Morley, Phil Dixon, and Jody Crawforth showed the flag and finished well up. (Apologies if their photos aren’t titled correctly!)
Overall winners were Alison Dunlap and Roland Green – a bit predictable really.
I finished 120th in the Beginner class this morning and my back is hurting from the surprisingly tough course – so I’m off for a lie down !
Full results should be available at www.seaotterclassic.com when they get around to putting them up – not like good old Timelaps with same day results !
Thanks also for the following update from Heather:
GB National Champion & 2001 Downhill World Championship Silver medallist Fionn Griffiths was on the podium at Sea Otter in 4th position with only 0.7sec between 2nd & 4th. A great start to 2001 season.