The off-road trend at the Sea Otter trade show has been toward gravel bikes and gravel products in recent years. Against that backdrop, it was probably only a matter of time before the event added a gravel race to its schedule of professional racing.
The 2020 Sea Otter Classic will feature a gravel race on the trails and roads of Fort Ord National Monument located north of Laguna Seca, where the Sea Otter show is based.
The Gravel Race will feature a UCI/USAC Professional wave for women and men as well as age group categories.
A course map is not yet available, but the event is planned to be around 30 to 40 miles long. As a prescient Amanda Nauman pointed out, the course could end up being similar to the old XC mountain bike course, making for an interesting mix of equipment choices and race tactics.
Also I called this in 2014… 🐼🔮https://t.co/t6cvqFWzGQ
A couple days later I smashed my face into the ground on one of the fire-roads out there and DNF'd. But that's another story I told on @cyclocrossradio 😝 pic.twitter.com/u2HYOHbd5w
— Amanda Nauman (@_amanda_panda_) December 23, 2019
The event is already on the radar of some Elite gravel racers, with Peter Stetina including the race on his preliminary race schedule.
The Sea Otter Gravel Race takes place on Sunday, April 19. All Sea Otter events are sanctioned by USA Cycling, which means the Gravel Grinder will require a USA Cycling license to race.
Limited information about the event is available at seaotterclassic.com.