Pump Track Invitational - Sea Otter Classic 2017

Apr 22, 2017 at 1:49
by Scott McClain  
When I arrived Tuesday morning at the Sea Otter venue, I found several vendors donning slickers and rain boots trudging through their plots trying to make the best of what a couple days of rain had done with their lay of land. Heck, I was one of them, as I wandered the area soaking in the mist of the morning, I came across what was supposed to be the track for the annual Sea Otter Pump Track Invitational. I found this!

Pumptrack anyone

Pumptrack anyone? The crew from Action Sports Construction, got down and dirty Tuesday and they had their work cut out for them. With just three days left to the event, ASC President Alex Fowler was confident in his team to get the task handled. Even though the crew saw more rain the rest of the day Tuesday and Wednesday and even a little over night on Thursday the result was amazing.

As qualifying started the crowd was hyped and the riders gathered at the top
As qualifying started, the crowd was hyped and the riders gathered at the top.

As the first pair dropped in it was easy to compare and see the night and day difference the crew from Action Sports Construction had made after long days working on what looked like a mud wrestling arena with a bunch of humps in it just 3 days prior.

As the first pair dropped in, it was easy to compare and see the night and day difference the crew from Action Sports Construction had made after long days working on what looked like a mud wrestling arena with a bunch of humps in it just 3 days prior.

GT was well represented with Beerten Martin-Verhaaren and Foresta in the mix.
GT was well represented with, Beerten, Martin-Verhaaren, and Foresta in the mix.


Foresta looked fast during the qualifiers and after talking to him he seemed eager to take the win today.

Foresta looked fast during the qualifiers and after talking to him he seemed eager to take the win today. The young gun out of Salt Lake City Utah, came back to Sea Otter this year after a great year here last year, with high hopes.

Cody Johnson is coming off an 8th place finish at the pump track race in Rotorua. He remained focus despite battling dehydration and fatigue from his hectic schedule taking 2nd place today.
Cody Johnson is coming off an 8th place finish at the pump track race in Rotorua. He remained focus despite battling dehydration and fatigue from his hectic schedule, and qualified second.

The Power Couple Caroline Buchanan and Barry Nobles go heads up during the qualifiers. Both would qualify first but would not compete in the final. Barry would lend his bike to Hudson for him to compete as a bike was not available and Caroline reported bike issues.

The Power Couple, Caroline Buchanan and Barry Nobles, go heads up during the qualifiers. Both would qualify first, but would not compete in the main event. Barry would lend his bike to Hudson for him to compete as a bike was not available and Caroline reported bike issues.

Buchan showed insane speed out of the gate in her qualifying rounds agains the other women in the field. It s a shame she couldn t fix her bike in order to compete.
Buchan showed insane speed out of the gate in her qualifying rounds against the other women in the field. It's a shame she couldn't fix her bike in order to compete.

Bubba Gonzalez sat on the 10th seed but would go out first round after facing Caleb Minthorn.
Bubba Gonzalez sat on the 10th seed but would go out first round after facing Caleb Minthorn.

Jon Buckell vs Kyle Strait during the qualifying round. Strait would finish 3rd in qualifying while Buckell would be outside the top 16.
Jon Buckell vs Kyle Strait during the qualifying round. Strait would finish 3rd in qualifying while Buckell would be outside the top 16.

Tim Remick got a first round by after 3rd place Qualifier Kyle Strait bowed out of the competition for what was announced as bike issues.
Tim Remick, got a first round bye after 3rd place Qualifier, Kyle Strait bowed out of the competition, for what was announced as bike issues.

Martin Soderstrom did show up and after taking out first round competitor Stephen Smith he would also eliminate first round bye opponent Tim Remick.
However, Martin Soderstrom did show up and after taking out first round competitor Stephen Smith he would also eliminate first round bye opponent, Tim Remick.

The brackets were winding down putting Johnson against Hudson and Beerten agains Beecroft.
The brackets were winding down, putting Johnson against Hudson and Beerten against Beecroft.

Martin Soderstrom throws some style for the crowd as he would not win over Cody in the Consolation Round.
Martin Soderstrom throws some style for the crowd as he would not win over Cody in the Consolation Round.

Johnson would make up fractions of a second against the deficit with Hudson but it would not be enough the same fate as Beerten agains Beecroft.
Johnson would make up fractions of a second against the deficit with Hudson, but it would not be enough, the same fate as Beerten against Beecroft.

Pump Track Invitational Sea Otter 2017

Collin Hudson raises his borrowed Airborne in victoryD
Collin Hudson raises his borrowed Airborne in victory!

1st Place Danielle Beecroft 2nd Place Anneke Beerten 3rd Place Kialani Hines
1st Place: Danielle Beecroft, 2nd Place: Anneke Beerten, 3rd Place: Kialani Hines

1st Place Colin Hudson 2nd Place Cody Kelly 3rd Place Cody Johnson
1st Place: Colin Hudson, 2nd Place: Cody Johnson, 3rd Place: Cody Kelley

Collin Hudson sits with the winning bike which he says is the only one of it s kind by Airborne. If it s in a testing phase it proved itself under the piloting prowess of the young Hudson.
Colin Hudson sits with the winning bike, which he says is the only one of it's kind, by Airborne. If it's in a testing phase, it proved itself under the piloting prowess of the young Hudson.

At the end of it all, the crowd enjoyed a good show on a course that was less than ideal, but considering what it started out as, I think it's important to recognize these guys for the hard work they put in, so the event could be called a success - Thanks, ASC!

The crew from Action Sports Construction got down and dirty Tuesday and they had their work cut out for them.


MENTIONS: @calledtocreation




46 Comments

  • + 58
 No mention of the protest by a bunch of the riders when they found out there would be no prize money for the pro invitational? Or did they all just have bike issues?

(Apparently they ended up throwing each winner $500 after the drama)
  • + 2
 I wonder if the prize budget went to the guys who cleaned up the track? They deserved a bonus for sure, and didn't try to make a political statement. I don't like when pros whine about prize money. It's no guarantee, and your sponsors probably paid your trip. You should put on a show for the fans regardless. Don't you know that's the real reason you're in business riding a bike! Make your statement after the riding....I lost a little respect for some legends today....
  • - 3
 @takeiteasyridehard: the fact that they protested by not competing is pretty weak.

I'll upvote you.
  • + 4
 Did Antifa show up too?

In all seriousness though, the pump track race seems to me to be purely for fun, I understand your point, but its not nearly as bad as if the UCI didn't pay cash for the World Cup racers, or something like that. And if the pros were really upset about it, wouldn't they refuse to race, or show their anger in some way?
  • - 14
flag Husker2112 (Apr 22, 2017 at 8:17) (Below Threshold)
 We ride bikes for fun, why not keep it that way? You don't expect prize money when you have a session with your friends
  • + 28
 @takeiteasyridehard: you didn't pay for a ticket to come and see riders, I'd love to see how you contribute to the sport. These are professionals trying to make living out of what they do. You watch their videos and race transmissions for free and you feel fkng entitled to sit them down? Get fkd man
  • - 19
flag Pedalen (Apr 22, 2017 at 8:24) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns:

Nah, f*ck YOU Waki, SJW scum, back in the cuckshed you go.
  • - 22
flag Husker2112 (Apr 22, 2017 at 8:39) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: stop being such a liberal man. Bro out a little. Are you gonna start on how whites are over represented, and how there aren't enough blacks and Hispanics in the pro ranks? Calm down my dude. Biking is fun. Don't make it political. Coming from me that should say a lot
  • + 16
 @takeiteasyridehard: I see what you're saying and I totally thought that at first as well. However this isn't the MLB or the NBA. Unfortunately pros in our sport aren't getting paid millions of dollars to ride bikes, and are often having to work two or more jobs on top of being sponsored in order to compete. I can sympathize with their dissapointment in the sense that they were probably expecting a reward for their hard work and instead got nothing. I don't know if choosing not to compete was the right call, but I can understand their frustration.
  • + 27
 @takeiteasyridehard: they are professionals, that means they get paid, that is the literal definition of being a professional - that is the difference between a professional and an amateur. To host a "pro invitational' and not pay the professional competitors is a joke. It was billed as a "pro invitational" but it was not, the prize money is what makes it a pro event.
Few of us would go to our jobs if we were not getting paid.
  • + 1
 @ddd: some people have no bloody clue how world works. They are c*nts who want to get paid more for what they do, at the same time expect everyone else to sell them their products or services at ever decreasing price.
  • + 3
 @ddd: Paying out for a win doesn't mean the pros get paid, it only means the few fastest ones get paid, everybody else races for free. A pro mountain biker gets paid to show up and represent their sponsors, if they actually relied on the payout for winning, there would be no such thing as a professional mountain biker. I don't know all the details of the protest, but if they never advertised prize money, then I don't understand the protest. If they canceled the prize money last minute, then everyone should have boycotted.
  • - 5
flag takeiteasyridehard (Apr 22, 2017 at 13:12) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Sorry I was busy working at a bike shop like I have been the last 15 years. That's probably why I didn't have time or money to travel to sea otter. Sorry you have to be such a dick, but I do my best to support the industry....more than just being a troll...
  • + 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: Welp there's your answer. You don't ride professionally, you work at a shop. Your opinion about how professional riders should act is invalid. I don't blame them for being pissed. The organizers are making money off these events, some needs to go back to the riders seeing as how its a comp. after all.
  • - 1
 @scott-townes: opinions are like a*sholes, everyone has one. This is a free forum, so all opinions are valid. Also I do have a few buddies racing pro whom I've discussed this with. I love how my comment brought out my two favorite trolls....you guys have never said anything controversial..ha. Grow up. What do you do to support these pros you're so quick to defend?
  • + 3
 @takeiteasyridehard: erm yes, you can say whatever you want but the deal is, get ready to get sht for it. As for trolling, well, me and @scott-townes don't get along very well so you have two independent reference points... original point was: this is how these people get money, this is the difference between a professional and a fearless shthead who is all cool until he takes a hard digger. Whether the protest was good ca be debates. Maybe pros unhappy with no prize should have said it openly instead of saying a lame story about broken down bike, but they did deserve a prize for taken efforts and risks.
  • + 0
 I definitely question the choice of some to protest by sitting out the event. After all, the pros are supported by their sponsors in order to generate exposure for the various brands and, even given the circumstances, this seems like a missed opportunity.

At the same time, if a huge festival like Sea Otter is going to dub this as a "pro invitational", there needs to be more in terms of prize compensation than a participation medal and a bit of swag. Prize money in mountain bike racing has always been modest considering the expense of the sport so I wouldn't expect much especially for pump track, but they need to be racing for some cash incentive at this level.
  • + 2
 How many golf pros would show up if they did not have a purse available? About none. These are guys that are getting paid millions by their sponsors and then seven figures for a single event win.

How much do NFL guys make for showing up to the games? How many of them would show up if they weren't being paid? The list goes on and on and on.

The reason the pros were pissed is because of the way it was presented to them. The Sea Otter event is a massive show that generates millions in revenue and Pump Track is a small part of that show. Personally based on the size of the crowds that show up I would say that Dual Slalom and DH should have the largest purses of the year, but unfortunately they don't. Any event billed as a Pro event should have a purse period for a minimum of the top 3 riders. Otherwise they should just call it a jam/session/anything else
  • + 2
 @takeiteasyridehard: The lack of logic and coherent thought in your posts is stunning.
  • + 2
 @takeiteasyridehard: The lack of logic and coherent thought in your posts is stunning.
  • + 35
 Very disappointed that the article does not mention the prize money controversy.
  • + 25
 Cmon pinkbike, you don't want to report on the underlying issue that occurred, even though some prize money was thrown in last minute, out of fear of offending the industry and the potential sponsors who support Sea Otter? Journalistic integrity first; and let me remind you that you are supposed to be the riders advocate and conduit between suppliers and us. That is why companies like Deity are industry leaders, because the rider comes first and their feedback is integrated into product development. Not big cash grabbing entities, that try to push what's convenient and profitable for them on the rider, exploiting riders to increase their bank accounts.
  • - 3
 big cash grabbing companies - you watched too much "On Deadly Ground". Get outside mate
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: don't even know what that is man. The only one making money at sea otter is the promoter. The companies pay out the wazoo to be there and they aren't going to pay the riders for a pump track event that brings in attendance? Same goes for interbike. A decent sized booth last year was running $50k for the week, not counting the buildout stuff that you shipped in as a company. This is why more and more companies are pulling out of these shows and scaling back; because the cost of raw materials used to manufacture these products, such as steel or polycarbonate, continue to rise. All the while most companies understand that the consumer spending threshold is already being tested and they cannot take a price increase. If anything a decrease is needed but margins are already running thin.
  • + 1
 At least the bike industry is that way - it's a fairly free market and has a more educated than average consumer (we know more about bikes than your average Joe buying your average random item), so companies like Deity who best satisfy the consumer do well. Unfortunately, sometimes it looks as if it's not going to stay that way
  • + 20
 What kind of gnarly bike issues can you have on a single speed hardtail? Must be a protest move.
  • + 17
 To all of you saying the Pro's should have just raced for fun... What kind of precedent does that set? Then other promoters will say "We don't need to give out prize money, they'll race for fun!" They are Pro's for a reason, most are paid very little and need every penny they can earn to pay bills and make a living. Just because it's something we all do for fun doesn't mean they should automatically do it for fun too. Look at what the guys at Rampage did a couple years ago, they got together and called out Red Bull saying they needed better insurance coverage and payouts and Red Bull responded the following year with both.

I know Pinkbike doesn't want to upset the promoters of Sea Otter but there should have at least been mention of the protest.
  • - 5
flag rewob (Apr 22, 2017 at 9:14) (Below Threshold)
 Seems like the riders should have asked about purse or prize money before driving themselves to the event.

If it's worth not riding for and making a deal out of... It's worth asking when you're invited right?
  • + 10
 @rewob: Most of them are there for other events as well, all of which have payouts. According to a few of the Pro's that protested they were sort of "blindsided" by the decision not to have a payout. The event has always had a prize purse in the past so they had no reason to think there wouldn't be one this year. Some of them were also arguing that if the promoters weren't intending to pay the Pro's they shouldn't have had a "Pro" category, just an "Open" category.
  • + 7
 @matmattmatthew: that makes sense, without prize money it is not a "pro" event.
  • + 18
 Caroline and Barry didnt race out of protest.
  • + 17
 Pinkbike joining the fake news ranks! Shame on them for not reporting the 'truth'
  • + 17
 A lot of bike issues for a 10 minute pump track session
  • + 12
 Screw this I'm going to the Black Sage Fest
  • + 2
 Yeah yeah yeah! Pumped for today!
  • + 7
 Also curious about the bike issues; what could go wrong with a bike for an event that doesn't need a chain or brakes that couldn't be fixed in time for the next round?
  • + 7
 Too many misspellings, run-on sentences, and commas in weird places. C'mon you guys.
  • + 2
 so nobody knew beforehand if there was any prizes, money or otherwise, involved.
congratufu*kinglations, well done everyone. lol
  • + 1
 If you're going to delete my comment atleast provide a comment/rebuttal. Theres a lot of young pups who would fill the pros shoes if they refuse to race. Hardly the most offensive comment here I'd say.
  • + 2
 if you got paid before then it is safe to assume getting paid the next time
  • + 1
 Props to Andrew Taylor for riding the event. Also, Cody Johnson is a super nice dude! And Kialani Hines is rad all around!!
  • + 1
 I am pumped (see what I did there) to see that picture of Joey and Dood dropping in together! Laketown represent!
  • + 2
 Nice job Collin!
  • + 1
 Martin Söderström!!!!!!!!!!
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