The pull of the Sea Otter Classic is undeniable. It draws people from across the state, the county, and all around the world to Central California, about 2.5 hours north of our hometown. The lure is so strong, it manages to pull folks away from the shores of the Monterey Bay up the coastal hills of Fort Ord into the Laguna Seca Racetrack. Here, for over 30 years, the two-wheeled faithful, ourselves included, have ascended to experience one of the best four-day bicycle parties of the year.
The inclusion of Sea Otter’s Fuego XL MTB Marathon in the Life Time Grand Prix has reignited racers’ enthusiasm for coming to Monterey. Voler’s family of athletes were no exception, and we hosted a whole crew of riders, friends and support staff throughout the weekend. Fueled by 17 pounds of homemade turkey burgers, 32 pounds of sweet potatoes, 5 gallons of salad and more cases of Pellegrino than we can count, over a dozen of our athletes took on the 100 km MTB course, dual slalom, gravel, road and DH races during the weekend.
Brad Wiggs, Voler’s athlete coordinator, was undeniably the MVP of the feed zone, slinging an entire soft ball cart full of bottles and fuel to our pro athletes, friends from near and far, and well, just about anyone who looked like they needed a water bottle half way through the 72-mile race. Haggard race faces lit up when they saw Brad’s bearded, jolly affect, a testament to what this guy means to all our athletes on and off the track.
The center of our day-to-day operations at the expo was a fresh booth setup. It’s become more than just a place to display new gear, but a spot for everyone in the Voler community, old and new, to gather, relax, catch up and relish the opportunity to get psyched on bikes together. From longtime clubs coming by to tell us that their gear just keeps getting better, to new customers buying their very first pair of bibs, the overwhelming positivity helps motivate us all, as we return to the factory here in Grover Beach, fired up and ready for another year of being here for good, for you.
Paige Onweller rode to third place in the pro women’s road race as a “warm up” for the Fuego XL the following day.
Hannah Otto was in the Fuego XL lead group until mile 50, when several flats bumped her back. She kept fighting to 9th place, because she is an absolute legend.
Payson McElveen had a great turnout for the debut of his Crossing Tasmania film. This guy never ceases to inspire us with his drive, creativity and talent on and off the bike.
Ethan Lawrence and Taylor Chase shot some epic photos all weekend, capturing some great memories to keep us psyched for next year.
Michele, Aaron, Cammy, Brian, Tim, Bill and Ralph and the entire Voler crew helddown the houses, kitchens and booth, making this weekend so special for everyone involved.