Big Berms and Flat Turns: Sea Otter 2017 Dual Slalom - Photo Recap

Apr 23, 2017 at 6:00
by Colin Meagher  




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.


The Enduro guys scoping lines. 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 before taking the leap to Enduro. A loose corner would be his undoing today getting sent home packing in the round of 16.
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.
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.
Kyle Warner going up against eventual winner, Mitch Ropalato. Kyle didn't advance.

Martin Maes out of the gate and on fire.
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.
Foresta vs Strait. Foresta has the edge here; but Strait had pure horses at the bottom that reeled him in.

Cody Kelly looked solid until a crash trying to play catch up cost him the round loss.
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.
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.
Kintner on a roll. The Norco rider was not to be denied, taking out Danielle Beecroft in the quarter final.

The blue course was decidely 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.
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.
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.
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 .
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
Men's Podium (L-R): Martin Maes (2), Mitch Ropelato (1), Kyle Strait (3), Thomas Slavik (4)



20 Comments

  • + 38
 I miss DS, especially the flat corner tracks like this one. The format is so exciting to watch, fun to race and relatively easy to set up. I wish more events would have it.
  • + 1
 @TheYetiHelpsMeDig So i know that OBP has a DS coarse but will we see racing on it? Aso what about racing on the rest of the track?
  • + 1
 @bikeordie2772: Probably never going to see racing at OBP unless the city buys the land.
  • + 1
 DS is by far the most spectator friendly AND exciting form of MTB to watch. Yes DH is exciting to watch but seeing two people go head to head is way better to watch from an outside point of view and you can see the entire course. DS FOR LIFE. Also sea otter wouldn't be worth going to without it.
  • + 12
 Kyle Straight looks thirsty in that last pic
  • + 9
 The world needs more Dual Slalom! Such a good race format and relatively easy to find the space
  • + 1
 Trying to revive it down the road from you... www.facebook.com/events/728433677335229 Sponsored by Steam Whistle ;p A few small races like the one in This is Peaty around SW Ont would make a lot of people happy. And probably be a f*ck tonne of fun. www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwf9Ifhqvzw#t=9m49s
  • + 7
 K.S. proving the big boys can still bring it!
  • + 2
 Want more Dual Slalom Racing? Come join us at the Mid Atlantic Cup Series & The Gravity Soul Festival... www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=EU9ZZKXf8ws macslalom.blogspot.com
  • + 5
 Beecroft!!!
  • + 3
 yep Beecroft Danielle , just returning to racing after a bad crash its taken 3 years for her to get back. She is a privateer from Australia . So far this year she has won the Australian DH series ,The Oceania Championships, Third at Crankworx Rotorua 1st Round 1 NW Cup in Port Angeles and 1st in Sea Otter Pumptrack plus 4th in Dual Slalom.
  • + 1
 @tramdazza: and she hates cold temps. We hung out in PA and the temp was topic #1 most of the time.
  • + 1
 I always wondered why racers lift the front wheel at the finish line. I'm guessing it's faster but I can't wrap my mind around how that is.
  • + 3
 Yeah ROPO!
  • + 1
 Ogden boy gettin it done!
  • + 0
 Maxxis - please sponsors Jared Graves... give brother some real tyres
  • + 2
 Special Ed won't let the factory guys run different tires will they?
  • + 8
 Pretty sure Mitch is running Specialized rubber, 30 second bike checks.
  • + 2
 Have you tried any of the new spesh tires, with the gripton rubber? They're Damn good, better casings than Maxxis too, imo. Ropelato won the DS on them. And graves was 2/3 on them.
  • + 5
 ya waki, you're kind of an idiot, man.

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