Miguel Martinez (Look) and Kelli Emmett (Giant) sliced through the wind on Sunday to win their respective cross-country races at the Sea Otter Classic.
France’s Martinez, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist, escaped a strong eight-rider group on the second lap at Laguna Seca Raceway in California. Short-track victor Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher) took silver with Sid Taberlay (TIS) third.
“In France, the Sea Otter Classic is a very prestigious race. To win here makes me very happy,” Martinez said.
Schultz said he and Taberlay worked together well, and while they thought they might catch Martinez, “he was too strong.”
Former national cyclocross champion Ryan Trebon (Kona) was among the top riders after lap one, but found himself bonking midway through the second lap and had to struggle to finish.
“After the Phoenix race, I had a stomach bug. I thought I was over it but I guess not. Once my lights went out I had nothing left. I bonked and I had to stop and get food from some random guy to keep going,” Trebon said.
In the women’s race, Emmett took off straight away and never looked back.
“I got off the front right after the sand pit. Once I got away, I just rode as hard as I could the entire way,” Emmett said.
Jenna Zander, Kathy Sherwin and Emily Van Meter swept the next three spots for SoBe-Cannondale.
“There were four of us working together to try and catch Kelli, but she was just too strong,” said Zander.
An elated Sherwin said she “woke up on the right side of the bed today.”
“Last year, I didn’t fuel properly beforehand and I went from ninth to like, 12th on the last hill. This year, everything was just right. The engine went well, the bike ran well. What more can you ask for?”