Sea Otter 2017 Pro XC Race - Photo Recap

Apr 23, 2017 at 5:19
by Colin Meagher  



Ah yes. The Sea Otter Classic Pro Cross-Country Race... otherwise known as the California National Championships World Cup Pro XC race. It's always a good time.

Like the DH and the enduro, the XC track appears to be a bit watered down as compared to, say, Mount St Anne. But appearances can be deceiving. Let's take the track stats for starters: 2.9 miles (just shy of 5km) of distance ain't no big thing, now, is it? And 373 feet (114m) of climbing over that distance isn't overly challenging, either. But stir in 6 laps for the ladies and 8 for the men, and things start to get real. Add in a wee bit of a rock garden, a semi sadistic sand patch half way up the climb up from the start/finish, and a few high speed, loose, off-camber corners, and shit gets genuinely real. Not legendary real ala Mt St Anne; but real enough to qualify the Sea Otter Classic California National Championships World Cup Pro XC race as no simple walk in the park.

It s those little rituals. Batty preps for the day.
It's those little rituals. Batty preps for the day.

Pre race jitters Not with the Clif team. Katerina Nash and team manager Waldek with the high five.
Pre race jitters? Not with the Clif team. Katerina Nash and team manager Waldek with the high five.

Full tilt boogie right outta the gate. There is no real hole shot for the single track at the Sea Otter. Instead it s nearly a kilometer of full gas straight up a hill.
Full tilt boogie right outta the gate for the hole shot. But there is no real hole shot for the single track at the Sea Otter. Instead, it's nearly a kilometer of full gas straight up a hill.

The Olympic Champ was looking cool calm and collected.
The Olympic Champ, Jenny Rissveds, was looking cool, calm, and collected.

Jenny Rissveds leading through the rock garden on the first lap.
Rissveds leading through the rock garden on the first lap.

Kate Courtney of Specialized marking Jenny Rissveds early in the race. Rissveds and Courtney would get away on lap two forcing ...
Kate Courtney of Specialized marked Rissveds early in the race. Rissveds and Courtney would get away on lap two, forcing...

...Erin Huck to chase hard. Huck successfully latched onto the break and eventually parlayed that into a second placd finish.
...Erin Huck to chase hard. Huck successfully latched onto the break and eventually parlayed that into a second place finish.

Katerina Nash driving the chase group.
Katerina Nash driving the chase group.

Emily Batty was showing good form today and took fifth.
Emily Batty was showing good form today and took fifth.

This section of slippery off-camber nastiness brought to you by the local tral boss.
This section of slippery, off-camber nastiness brought to you by the local trail boss.

Catharin Pendrel susking down fluids to try hudrated after teh race
Catharine Pendrel sucking down fluids post race.

Women s Pro XC podium L-R Haley Smith 4 Erin Huck 2 Gale Courtney 1 Jenny Rissveds 3 Emily Batty 5
Women's Pro XC podium (L-R) : Haley Smith (4), Erin Huck (2), Kate Courtney (1), Jenny Rissveds (3), Emily Batty (5)

Men s Pro XC race
Nino Schurter and Sergio Mantecon getting ready to do battle.

Full Gas
Full gas with the World Champ in the mix.

The feed zone is always like some kind of wild ballet as riders re-hydrate and seek mechanical assistance all at full race pace.
The feed zone is always like some kind of wild ballet as riders re-hydrate and seek mechanical assistance, all at full race pace. Sometimes they stop for a wheel change and then its a choreographed chaos that makes Nascar look simple.

Nino took the lead early on in the race.
Nino took the lead early on in the race.

Schurter swapped leads a bit in the final laps with Anton Cooper but for the most part this was his race to lose.
Schurter swapped leads a bit in the final laps with Anton Cooper, but for the most part, this was his race to lose, although Cooper definitely pushed him.

The off camber kitty litter was absolutely deadly push too hard and you were goig to crash Ride it too conservatively and you were going to lose time. A lot f time.
The off camber kitty litter was absolutely deadly; push too hard and you were going to crash; ride it too conservatively and you were going to lose time. A lot of time.

Jeff Kabush in a race to the beach.
Geoff Kabush in a race to the beach.

Todd Wells took fourth place today.
Todd Wells took fourth place today. Not too shabby for a 40 year old.

Cameron Ivory on his way to fifth place.
Cameron Ivory on his way to fifth place.

Schurter boostig the rock garden.
Schurter boosting the rock garden. Pro XC racers with handling skills don't get nearly enough props. Nino, however, can whip a bike with a full XC post.

Schurter with a half bike length on Cooper.
Schurter with a half bike length on Cooper

Men s Podium L-R Todd Wells not shown 4 Anton Cooper 2 Nino Schurter 1 Howard Grotts 3 Cameron Ivory 5
Men's Podium (L-R): Todd Wells (not shown; 4), Anton Cooper (2), Nino Schurter (1), Howard Grotts (3), Cameron Ivory (5)



53 Comments

  • + 85
 What's going on behind that curtain in the last photo?
  • + 92
 I think we now know why Todd Wells isn't pictured...
  • + 25
 Podium and find out.
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Apr 23, 2017 at 14:14) (Below Threshold)
 Misogyny!!!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: guess we can expect another rant by adele mitchell pretty soon then..
  • + 3
 That is the "cheek kiss" girl like you would see at the TDF. I snagged one today in the old man category.
  • + 22
 Great to see Anton Cooper is absolutely smashing it this year. He looks stronger than 2015 when he won the U23 World Champs. The move back to Trek seems to be really suiting him. Hopefully he can achieve some great results in the WC this year and doesn't get sick again.
  • + 1
 Our National champions jersey is so.....meh... I'm sure we've had that woeful design since Jon Hume days...
  • + 14
 Love the lycra coverage. Thanks!
  • + 13
 A great win for Gale Courtney.
  • + 5
 And good to see "Sergio Guti" on the start line.

Article author might want to check some names on the start lists.
  • + 3
 They did just legalize weed, so.......
  • + 11
 After seeing the Dual Slalom photos... I prefer the XC girls...
  • + 9
 That podium is impressive.
  • + 9
 Nino doesn't nearly get enough respect in the mountain bike world. An amazing all around rider.
  • + 7
 Whoa - Anton's quads are terrifying!
  • + 6
 I think it should be Kate Courtney, not Gale. You had one job
  • + 3
 XC is not for everyone. But thank-you Pinkbike for the coverage of non WC events. Sea Otter's own coverage and other cycling outlet coverage is surprisingly bad or non existent.
  • + 2
 Jenny Rissveds - that one pic screams "I here to kickass & chew bubble gum.. and I'm all out of bubblegum". Also, seems this event is more or less the new Interbike, or at least the way it should be
  • + 3
 more races should give huge bottles of IPA for getting on the podium, as even the crappiest IPA tastes better than champagne.
  • + 3
 The women's podium is awesome..... although any picture with Emily in it is awesome.
  • + 8
 dammit. they're fast and all but all you kids seem to care about is their looks.
  • + 10
 @Coldspringer: Nah, we like them because they're pretty AND they're kickass on a bike. Plenty of pictures of pretty girls on the interwebs, not so many that can shred.
  • + 4
 Durango representing!
  • + 3
 absolutely!!
  • + 3
 Good to see some xc coverage thanks.
  • + 3
 Missed this, but added similar comments.
  • + 1
 Thanks PB for the awesome photos of some great endurance athletes in action! Looks like Anton Cooper hasn't been missing his leg days in the gym this off-season.
  • + 3
 Thanks for the coverage PB!
  • + 3
 *Kate
  • + 1
 Great work Cam Ivory!!! Also, that header photo is fantastic.
  • + 1
 Anyone running a dropper yet in the XC world?
  • + 5
 It's course dependent. This course didn't look too technical.
  • + 1
 Yes sir there is
  • + 1
 I love Kate lots and lots.
  • + 1
 Congrats to Howard and Todd, representing DURANGO!
  • + 1
 Erin Huck should be a free rider!
  • + 1
 These pics are awesome! Thanks for the coverage PB!
  • - 1
 Am I wrong to think that not showing up to the podium is a Dbag move? Just hits me as disrespectful.
  • + 2
 without knowing the circumstances, its impossible to say.
  • + 3
 If you are referring to Todd, he is opposite of disrespectful by definition, the guy does La Ruta for fuck sake, he's the man.
  • + 2
 Todd stated on his blog that he was told only the top 3 were going to be on the podium for the XCO race. It wasn't until he left the podium area that they said it would be a top 5 podium. He said he hated he missed it.
  • + 1
 @scissors888: you are correct in your assessment. I'm sure there are other factors I am not considering. BTW @mripper @PapaStone I wasn't referring to anyone in particular, just saw a lot of it last weekend in general.
  • + 1
 @salespunk: In any case it's always a bit of a downer at the prizegiving when the winners are missing.
  • + 1
 Nice podium steeze all!
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