MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—The Sea Otter Classic has added two new elements for 2010: a Gran Fondo and collegiate cycling categories.
Returning this year will be the Road Race, Circuit Race, and Criterium for the road cyclists. And, of course, the full gamut of mountain bike events including Downhill, Super D, Dual Slalom, Cross Country and Short Track.
Specialized Gran Fondo Presented by Bicycling Magazine:
Gran Fondo, or "Big Ride" as it's known in Italy, falls somewhere in between a century tour and a race. Open to all categories of riders, the Gran Fondo challenges you not to compete with your fellow cyclists, but to push yourself against the clock and the elements, all while taking in scenic views and enjoying great food.
"We couldn't think of a better way to ring in 20 years of Sea Otter than the addition of a Gran Fondo to the event. It promises to be a great opportunity for recreational cyclists to get out and ride with friends, see all that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer, and enjoy the terrific festival experience of Sea Otter," said Frank Yohannan, president of the Sea Otter Classic.
The Gran Fondo will offer three fully supported ride distances: a 28-mile coastal route, a 45-mile coastal route and, for the more experienced riders, a 100-mile inland route. The short and middle distances wind along the coastal communities of Marina, Seaside, Monterey and Pacific Grove. The cyclists will ride along the stunning coastal recreation trail, past historic Fisherman's Wharf, and through the popular Cannery Row of John Steinbeck fame. The long route runs through the green agricultural fields of Salinas Valley and into the beautiful wine country of Carmel Valley. All rides start and finish at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. The Gran Fondo will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2010.
Collegiate Cycling Categories:
To ensure that there is no shortage of team rivalry at Sea Otter, open collegiate categories have been added to the 19-mile mountain bike Cross Country race scheduled for Sunday, April 18, 2010. Circuit racing will also play host to the young athletes, as a men's open collegiate category will be held on the famed Laguna Seca Raceway on Saturday, April 17, 2010.
"The addition of collegiate categories to the event in 2010 is sure to add a lot of drama and excitement," said Jeff Frost, director of athlete services for the Sea Otter Classic. "We can't wait to see the teams come out and represent their respective colleges. It will be a great addition to the festival of cycling that the Sea Otter Classic Powered by SRAM has become."