For the women who’d been checking the start lists for Sea Otter’s short track race, they were in for a bit of a surprise when they got to the line this morning to find seven-time Cyclocross World Champion Marianne Vos ready for her call-up—number one, of course. Next to her were more key players in the ’cross and mountain bike scene, including Katerina Nash and Mary McConneloug. We’ve seen Nash out for Sea Otter before, and last year she took the short track and cross country wins as the opening to her mountain bike season—and potential practice for the Rio 2016 Olympic MTB race.
Racing on the Liv/Giant Obsess Advanced 27.5 mountain bike, Vos looked as at home on the course as she did at Worlds in Hoogerheide just months ago. She, Chloe Woodruff and Nash quickly established a gap on the field, and in the last lap, it appeared that a sprint between Nash and Vos might be in the cards. However, Vos powered away on the back stretch of the course, creating a lead that spanned the entire finishing straight.
“It’s very fun, I’m happy to be here,” Vos said after the race. She added that it was great to see women’s cycling grow in all disciplines.
“I’m really excited that Marianne came to Sea Otter. For a racer like her to take time out of her super busy schedule and travel to California to race with us… it’s always an incredible honor to race with her,” Nash explained.
In the men’s race, ’cross and MTB legends Todd Wells and Geoff Kabush duked it out at the front with several riders including current MTB CX National Champion Steven Etinger and Norco’s Evan Guthrie. The six-man group managed to stay together for much of the race, but it was the former cyclocross national champion Todd Wells who took the win, with Etinger rolling in for second place.
Stay tuned for more photos from the race, and check back tomorrow for full coverage of the cyclocross race in the evening and a ’crosser report on the XC antics in the afternoon.
Check out all of our tech goodies from Sea Otter 2014, and keep checking as we start to get rolling into the long weekend.