The title is so simple: the Sea Otter Dual Slalom. In a world where mountain bike gated racing barely exists anymore, the Sea Otter Dual Slalom race might just as well be called the Dual Slalom World Championships of the Universe. But that title might be a bit too high brow for the humble event that is probably the most fun of all the bicycle events held at the Sea Otter Classc, both for the spectators as well as the racers. I mean where else are you going to see Kirt Voreis come out of nowhere to bang bars with Cody Kelly? Or Cam Zink dust off his berm smashing skills? And why else would Kyle Strait have a DS course in his back yard? Because it's the kind of good time that leaves a smile on every face.
Jared Graves and Mark Scott scoping lines prior to qualifying. Kind of hard to believe that Graves ruled the gates for so long now that he's turned into an enduro machine, but one shouldn't forget that Graves took home more than one World Cup overall for 4X before taking the leap to enduro. He definitely still has the speed, but a loose corner would be his undoing today, getting sent home packing in the round of 16.
It's hard to imagine that Cous Cous is schralping the DS track on a 180 travel bike, but that new Polygon kinda turns conventional wisdom on its head.
Kyle Warner going up against eventual winner, Mitch Ropalato. Kyle didn't advance.
Martin Maes out of the gate and on fire.
Foresta vs Strait. Foresta has the edge here; but Strait had pure horses at the bottom that reeled him in.
Cody Kelley looked solid until a crash trying to play catch up cost him the round loss.
Kyle Strait on the blue course against Cody Johnson, both SoCal natives showed the Sea Otter crowd a great battle. Strait would move on
Kintner on a roll. The Norco rider was not to be denied, taking out Danielle Beecroft in the quarter final.
The blue course was decidedly slower than the red course. Debris in the mid section forced more than one rider to ease up on the throttle or slap HARD. Given the sun-baked nature of the berms, more than one rider took a long look, a couple pedal strokes, and then eased up.
Slavik vs Strait. Kind of just like old times ala 2009 or so, when Kyle and Slavik were both racing 4X--although Strait was way more into DH than 4X.
Ropelato gave it all on the final run and just edged out Maes for the win.
Women's podium (L-R) Caroline Buchanon (2), Jill Kintner (1), Anneke Beerten (3), Danielle Beecroft (4)
Men's Podium (L-R): Martin Maes (2), Mitch Ropelato (1), Kyle Strait (3), Thomas Slavik (4)