Canadian Cyclist


April 21/08 4:24 am - Sea Otter Classic: DH report, results and photos

Posted by Editoress on 04/21/08

Sea Otter Classic - DH April 20th, Monterey CA

Report by Larry Ireland


Slippery dust over hard pack made for some NASCAR style conditions in Monterey for the downhill yesterday at the 2008 Sea Otter Classic. The loose surface was both a nuisance to riders who couldn't get the traction they wanted, as well as the spectators who were sandblasted all morning long.

Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Greg Minnaar, of South Africa, took home the win with a time of 2:11.2. "My run went really well, I didn't even realize I had won until right at the end when Kathy [Sessler, Team Manager] came up to tell me. Technically I rode it how I wanted to but pedaling wise, it was brutal. This is a pedaly course and I conserved a lot of energy up top by freewheeling down the fast sections." Second and third place were decided by less than a second, with both riders running a 2:12 . Chris Kovarik (AUS) from the newly formed Chain Reaction Cycles team slid into second place barely ahead of Yeti rider Justin Leov (NZL) Steve Smith of the Canadian Cove Bikes squad brought Canada home a 43rd place, only 8 seconds off the pace on this incredibly tight course. "It went about as good as I could go, and I pedalled my balls off. It was really slippery. What else do you want me to say? It's Sea Otter!" commented a laughing Smith. Quebec's Dominick Menard (Iron Horse DH Racer Intersport) didn't have a great day, but stayed positive. "I screwed up my start. I was standing on the start for 5 seconds and then [the start official] said, 'oh by the way, it's your turn'. I was in my own little bubble. Menard later elaborated in french that he didn't realize it was such a short gap, as the rider before him had a 5 minute break due to a split between categories.

The USA's Melissa Buhl took top honors for the women, beating Norco's Fionn Griffiths (GBR) and World Downhill Champion Sabrina Jonnier of France. Claire Buchar was top Canadian in 9th place. "I am pretty happy finishing 9th. I wanted top 10, I was pretty close to the girls I wanted to be close to so I am pretty happy with that. My run was pretty solid, I can't complain." Micayla Gatto had issues during her run, knocking her out of contention. "My run didn't go quite how I planned, my front tire washed out which was bad on an uphill pedaling section so I had to run up that and ended up 16th. Not bad with a crash. Practice was much more fun. It was pretty dusty, but the pits are the worst with all the wind."

Pro Women
1. Melissa Buhl (USA) KHS2:26.67
2. Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco2:27.63
3. Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Maxxis Iron Hors2:28.49
4. Rachel Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal2:29.03
5. Abigail Hippely (USA)2:35.45
6. Joanna Petterson (USA)2:35.55
7. Kathy Pruitt (USA) Jamis2:37.06
8. Anneke Beerten (Ned) MS-Intense Factory-Racing2:37.29
9. Claire Buchar (Can) Intense2:38.35
10. Caroline Jarolimek (USA)2:40.67
11. Danice Uyesugi (Can)2:40.97
12. Mio Suemasa (Jpn) MS-Intense Factory-Racing2:41.47
13. Tenille Smith (USA)2:41.61
14. Miranda Miller (Can) Squamish2:42.92
15. Rebecca McQueen (Can)2:45.98
16. Micayla Gatto (Can) Commencal2:46.14
17. Fiona Taylor (Can)2:48.98
18. Katie Holden (USA)2:49.96
19. Leana Gerrard (USA)2:50.82
20. Allegra Burch (USA)2:53.56
21. Jackie Baker (USA)2:53.98
22. Jamie Mart (GBr)2:55.01
23. Jessica Vogt (USA)2:57.55
24. Tasa Herndon (USA)2:57.58
25. Britney White (USA)2:59.93
26. Mariska Chuse (USA)3:00.29
27. Gabriela Williams (USA)3:00.70
28. Sondra Williamson (USA)3:01.06
29. Kimber Gabryszak (USA)3:02.09
30. Darian Harvey (USA)3:02.58
31. Connie Misket (USA)3:03.83
DNF. Amber Zirnhelt (Can)
Pro Men
1. Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate2:11.21
2. Christopher Kovarik (Aus)2:12.05
3. Justin Leov (USA)2:12.10
4. Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate2:13.09
5. Nathan Rennie (Aus)2:13.48
6. Jared Rando (Aut)2:13.74
7. Dan Atherton (GBr)2:13.97
8. Jurgen Beneke (USA)2:14.13
9. Andrew Neethling (RSA) Mongoose2:14.35
10. Aaron Gwin (USA)2:14.47
11. Gee Atherton (GBr)2:14.69
12. Eric Carter (USA)2:14.96
13. Rich Houseman (USA)2:15.64
14. Ross Milan (USA)2:15.90
15. Sam Blenkisop (USA)2:16.54
16. Duncan Riffle (USA)2:16.59
17. Curtis Keene (USA)2:16.59
18. Dave Wardell (GBr)2:16.71
19. Cody Warren (USA)2:17.06
20. Nico Vink (Bel)2:17.10
21. Matt Fisher (USA)2:17.14
22. Brad Benedict (USA)2:17.23
23. Cameron Cole (NZl)2:17.31
24. Cole Bangert (USA)2:17.53
25. Lars Sternberg (USA)2:17.72
26. Shaums March (Can)2:17.82
27. Claudio Caluori (Che)2:18.00
28. Julien Camellini (Fra)2:18.18
29. Amiel Cavalier (Aut)2:18.38
30. Geritt Beytagh (USA)2:18.38
31. Bryn Atkinson (Aus)2:18.51
32. John Hauer (USA)2:19.00
33. Waylon Smith (GBr)2:19.14
34. Ryan Condrashoff (USA)2:19.36
35. Kyle Wideman (USA)2:19.54
36. Evan Turpen (USA)2:19.69
37. George Stephenson Iii (USA)2:19.87
38. Nathan Riddle (USA)2:20.00
39. Steve Wentz (USA)2:20.01
40. Matt Simmonds (GBr)2:20.10
41. Chris Boice (USA)2:20.16
42. Matti Lehikoinen (Fin)2:20.28
43. Steve Smith (Can)2:20.38
44. Andrew Pohlmann (Can)2:20.63
45. Joseph Smith (USA)2:20.72
46. David Camp (USA)2:20.75
47. Mike Haderer (USA)2:20.90
48. Scott Papola (USA)2:20.92
49. Joe Lawwill (USA)2:20.99
50. Jon Wilson (USA)2:21.08
51. Christopher Herndon (USA)2:21.08
52. Keith Mott (USA)2:21.09
53. Sam Hill (USA)2:21.11
54. Ben Furbee (USA)2:21.24
55. Phillip Wiering (USA)2:21.42
56. Miles Payton (USA)2:21.96
57. Heikki Hall (USA)2:22.14
58. Logan Binggeli (USA)2:22.72
59. Chris Heath (USA)2:23.01
60. Andrew Shandro (Can)2:23.02
61. Jd Swanguen (USA)2:23.24
62. Tyler Morland (Can)2:23.41
63. Ryan Cranston (USA)2:23.47
64. Philip Wheeler (USA)2:23.81
65. Jeff Kendall-Weed (USA)2:23.88
66. Brad Oien (USA)2:24.20
67. Matt Thompson (USA)2:24.24
68. Brendan Fairclough (USA)2:24.57
69. Quinton Spaulding (USA)2:24.60
70. Josh Bryceland (GBr)2:24.76
71. Mike Howse (USA)2:25.06
72. Chris Shewmake (USA)2:25.51
73. Cody Wilderman (USA)2:25.75
74. Matt Johnston (USA)2:25.99
75. Matt Adams (USA)2:26.05
76. Alfonso Garcia (USA)2:26.06
77. Sasha Merljak (USA)2:26.14
78. Ryan Delong (USA)2:26.30
79. Tommy Tokarczyk (USA)2:26.60
80. Dominick Menard (Can)2:27.37
81. Tyler Mccaul (USA)2:27.91
82. Matt Medore (USA)2:28.74
83. Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)2:29.63
84. Chris Reading (Can)2:30.33
85. Greg Vogt (USA)2:30.95
86. Sean Methven (USA)2:31.00
87. Laurie Dinham (Aus)2:31.03
88. Tom Grzesik (Can)2:32.30
89. Mihai Moga (USA)2:32.41
90. Stephen Bursey (Can)2:32.81
91. Andrew Mince (USA)2:33.28
92. Evelio Suarez (USA)2:33.85
93. Orlando Martinez (USA)2:35.41
94. Trevor Martin (USA)2:36.35
95. Ryan Stayskal (USA)2:39.09
96. Scott Fellers (USA)2:39.16
97. Chad Lorrain (USA)2:40.03
98. Rick Goldrup (USA)3:02.08
DNF. Curtis Beavers (USA)
DNF. Forrest Arakawa (USA)
DNF. Scott Martinez (USA)
DNF. Chris Akrigg (GBr)
DNF. Jean-Pierre Theriault (Can)
DNF. Luke Strobel (USA)


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