Eighteen riders to contest West Coast's largest mountain bike event
The Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling Team has its sights set on the 2011 Sea Otter Classic on April 15-17 and is sending a contingent of young riders. Nine junior boys, five junior girls, and four under 23 riders will contest their respective cross country races.
Standout juniors including Keegan Swenson (2010 Junior men's 15-16 National Champion) and Tony Smith (2010 Worlds team member) will face a strong field as they look to maintain their momentum of consecutive one-two finishes in the first two US Pro XCT rounds at Bonelli Park and Fontana.
Sea Otter will mark the first foray into national-class racing for the junior girls this season, who have focused mainly on High School League racing so far this year. Sofia Hamilton (2010 Worlds team member) is hoping for one step above her second place finish in last year's junior women's 17-18 race, while current junior 15-16 national champion Kate Courtney, also a podium finisher last year, hopes to take top honors in this year's event.
On the under 23 side, neo-pro Zach Valdez is coming off a strong start to the spring, including two second place finishes in the Kenda Cup Series and 10th in the Bonelli Park US Pro XCT short track. Valdez and his U23 teammates will face the country's top professional racers at Sea Otter, which is the third stop of the US Pro XCT Series.
Whole Athlete-Specialized for the Sea Otter Classic
Junior Men 17-18: Keegan Swenson, Tony Smith, Max Houtzager, Taylor Smith, Bobby Zidek, Sven Beer, Eliel Anttila
Junior men 15-16: Lucas Newcomb, Jonny Kaufman
Junior Women: Sofia Hamilton, Kate Courtney, Victoria Yoham, Mackinzie Stanley, Josie Nordrum
Under 23 Men: Zach Valdez, Will Curtis, Riley Predum, Will Patterson
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