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Graves victorious in Sea Otter downhill

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Jared Graves (Yeti) races to victory

Jared Graves (Yeti) races to victory
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Giant Factory racer at mid-course

A Giant Factory racer at mid-course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Eric Carter (GT) races to fifth place

Eric Carter (GT) races to fifth place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Giant Racer flies over tall grass

A Giant Racer flies over tall grass
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amateur racers watch the pros do their thing

Amateur racers watch the pros do their thing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Michael Buell leaves the start house

Michael Buell leaves the start house
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Yeti racer flies over the crowd

A Yeti racer flies over the crowd
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Virtually everyone brought their bike to the race

Virtually everyone brought their bike to the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Graeme Pitts races to 27th place

Graeme Pitts races to 27th place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Bryn Atkinson races to a solid fourth place

Bryn Atkinson races to a solid fourth place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Cody Warren makes a sixth place run

Cody Warren makes a sixth place run
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Some of the best viewing was from the trees

Some of the best viewing was from the trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kyle Strait rips the course for a 12th place finish

Kyle Strait rips the course for a 12th place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A racer at the start house waits for their turn on the course

A racer at the start house waits for their turn on the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Troy Lee rider soars through the trees

A Troy Lee rider soars through the trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Catching air on a perfect morning for bike racing

Catching air on a perfect morning for bike racing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Giant racer flashes through the trees

A Giant racer flashes through the trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Taking risks and pushing the limit

Taking risks and pushing the limit
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Aaron Hodgkin (Oneils) adds some style to the race

Aaron Hodgkin (Oneils) adds some style to the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Yeti Factory Racer launches off a jump

A Yeti Factory Racer launches off a jump
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Graeme Pitts corners at the top of the track

Graeme Pitts corners at the top of the track
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andrew Neething makes some moves in practice

Andrew Neething makes some moves in practice
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Logan Binggeli (KHS) getS up close and personal with the trees

Logan Binggeli (KHS) getS up close and personal with the trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jerry Vanderpool amazes the crowd

Jerry Vanderpool amazes the crowd
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Jared Graves (Yeti) won the elite men's downhill at the Sea Otter Classic on Sunday morning. He crushed the competition, winning by 3.2 seconds on a course that included plenty of pedalling. Andrew Neethling (Giant) rode to a strong second place while the 20-year-old Tyler Immer finished third. Bryn Atkinson (Transitions) and veteran Eric Carter rounded out the top five.

"My run was good. I tried to keep it smooth and pace myself from top to bottom," said Graves. "I was pacing myself and there were some places I could sit up and afford to lose a bit of time and get some rest.

"You never know on this track when you're out there. The wind had picked up since this morning's practice so everything was feeling a bit slower. In the back of your head, you know it's the same for everyone. I felt confident going into the finish, but you never know."

Graves was racing the same bike he used in the dual slalom - a relatively shorter travel rig that most used - with three inches of rear suspension and five inches of front suspsension.

Graves' downhill win came the morning after he also won the dual slalom. "This weekend was everything I'd hoped for. I get straight on a plane from here and head to South Africa. Four cross World Cups are my main gig this year, but I'll do a few downhill World Cups too."

Neethling put together a run he called "solid". "I tried to keep it smooth at the top, but I was feeling that headwind at the bottom - it hurt. I wish I had a bit more leg speed at the bottom, but apparently I was carrying a pretty good pace. All in all, it was good and I hit most of my lines.

"It's hard to beat Graves. I had the right bike for the job. I just needed some four cross legs at the bottom."

Neethling is also headed directly to the World Cup, which also happens to be in his home country of South Africa. "To be honest, all that's on my mind is the World Cup next weekend. I was trying to conserve energy, but once you're in the gate, you just go for it. I wanted to come here and show I had some consistency."

Immer impressed everyone by logging his best ever Sea Otter finish in third. "Last year, I got 12th and I wanted to up it. I'm proud of myself," said Immer. "My run was good. I saved some energy up top and kept it for the bottom so I could pedal. The bottom was so flat this year."

Like the women, the men agreed the extensive course changes were for the better.

"The course changes were good. It was safe for the amateurs but we could have a bit of fun on it and carry a bit more speed," said Neethling.

"The course was good after the changes. It flowed so well," said Immer.

The first fast time to stand for awhile was Phillip Kmetz in 2:19.3. Shaun O'Connor beat him at 2:18.9, but didn't spend long in the hot seat as Eliot Jackson soon took over with a 2:17.8.

Jackson's time held up until the final dozen riders, when Bryn Atkinson bested him with a 2:16.1. Immer was next to the top of the standings with a 2:15.9 before Neethling (2:15.1) and then Graves (2:11.9) clocked the fastest times.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jared Graves (USA) Yeti Fox Factory Team0:02:11.9
2Andrew Neething (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:03.2
3Tyler Immer (USA) Yeti Fox National Team0:00:04.0
4Bryn Atkinson (USA) Transition Racing0:00:04.2
5Eric Carter (USA) GT Bicycles0:00:04.7
6Cody Warren (USA) DRD X-Fusion Intense0:00:05.5
7Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox National Team0:00:05.9
8Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Gravity0:00:06.4
9David Klaassenvonoorsch (USA) ODI Southridge0:00:06.5
10Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team
11Shaun O'connor (Aus) Yeti Fox Factory Team0:00:07.0
12Kyle Strait (USA) Pivot/SRAM
13Phillip Kmetz (USA) FTW Factory Racing0:00:07.4
14Logan Binggeli (USA) KHS Bicycles Inc.0:00:07.7
15Richie Rude (USA) Yeti Fox National Team0:00:08.4
16George Stephenson Iii (USA) Yeti/Fox/Smith/Schwalbe0:00:08.5
17Lars Sternberg (USA) Transition Racing0:00:08.6
18Jerome Clerentz (Fra) Cannondale
19Brad Benedict (USA) Specialized0:00:08.8
20Chris Heath (USA) KHS Bicycles Inc.0:00:09.1
21Brian Buell (USA) Team Geronimo / Banshee Bikes0:00:09.3
22Ben Furbee (USA) Transition
23Mikey Sylvestri (USA) Specialized AllRide Academy0:00:09.8
24Art Babcock (USA) One Ghost Industries0:00:10.0
25Jason Memmelaar (USA) DRD X-Fusion Intense0:00:10.1
26Waylon Smith (GBr) End the Fed0:00:10.2
27Graeme Pitts (USA) Turner/Dark Horse Racing0:00:10.3
28Jeremy Kneisly (USA) Total Package Racing0:00:10.8
29Steve Wentz (USA) SRAM / Santa Cruz0:00:11.0
30Rick Goldrup (USA) Oakland Republic0:00:11.3
31Jake Payne (USA)0:00:11.5
32Will Rischbieth (USA) Team Pivot Cycles0:00:11.6
33Daniel Baggs (USA)0:00:11.7
34Ryan Condrashoff (USA) Condro0:00:11.8
35Tim Krentz (USA) SC Alliance
36Lear Miller (USA) Team Geronimo/Banshee0:00:11.9
37Evan Turpen (USA) Transition Bikes0:00:12.5
38Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:12.7
39Ryan Cornilsen (USA) Tuner/Dark Horse Racing Sram0:00:12.9
40Hans Lambert (USA) Team PIVOT CYCLES
41Ben Cruz (USA) WTB/Cannondale0:00:13.0
42Kevin Aiello (USA) KHS Bicycles Inc.0:00:13.1
43Ian Massey (USA) POINT1/ WTB0:00:13.2
44Troy D'elia (USA) Foes/Marzocchi
45John Swanguen (USA) DRD X-Fusion Intense0:00:13.3
46Derek Teel (USA) Team Teel/Race Brain
47Michael Buell (USA) Team Geronimo / Banshee Bikes
48Mikey Haderer (USA)0:00:13.4
49John Keep (USA) Turner Dark Horse
50Sam Benedict (USA) Specialized
51Matt Condrashoff (USA) Oakland Republic0:00:13.7
52Jess Pedersen (USA) Team Geronimo / Banshee Bikes0:00:13.9
53Dennis Dertell (USA)0:00:14.0
54John Hauer (USA) X-Fusion/Shimano
55Joshua Hubbard (USA) Epicenter cycling/ Evan Turpen0:00:14.1
56Bryan Culp (USA) Marin / WTB0:00:14.2
57Ben Hlebo (USA) ABS0:00:14.5
58Jonathan Watt (USA) SRAM0:00:14.6
59Brad Oien (USA) ODI0:00:14.7
60Ryan Egusquiza (USA) Rockgardn Marzocchi
61Nathan Riddle (USA) SRAM / Santa Cruz0:00:14.9
62Matt Thompson (USA) SRAM / Santa Cruz
63Tyler Allison (USA) Marzocchi GoPro0:00:15.1
64Naish Ulmer (USA) Go-ride.com/Spy Optic/Rollic/Dark T0:00:15.4
65Casey Coffman (USA) Felt/WTB0:00:15.5
66Bryson Martin (USA) Marzocchi GoPro0:00:15.6
67Cody Johnson (USA) ODI Southridge0:00:15.9
68Logan Mulally (USA) Specialized / Grom
69Phil Wheeler (USA) SRAM / Santa Cruz0:00:16.2
70Amado Stachenfeld (USA) amadomtb.com0:00:16.5
71Brad King (USA) DRD X-Fusion Intense0:00:16.9
72Jon Buckell (USA) Foes/Azonic0:00:17.3
73Daniel Cortina (USA) Momentum Coaching Group0:00:17.4
74Andre Bretas (USA) Santa cruz Brazil/Chromag Brazil/Bi0:00:17.5
75Kenneth Jorggensen (USA) Open Air Bicycles0:00:17.6
76Allen Stoddard (USA) Banshee/Point1/Fox0:00:17.7
77Matthew Cipes (USA) Specialized Factory0:00:18.0
78Tyler Gilsdorf (USA) Downhill Zone Racing0:00:18.1
79Bryce Hart (USA) Family Cycling Center0:00:18.2
80Kyle Thomas (USA)0:00:18.6
81John Inglis (USA) Foes0:00:18.8
82Michael Nash (USA)0:00:19.0
83Andrew Cavaletto (USA) SV Cycle Sport0:00:19.1
84Jonathan Widen (USA) Cove Bike, Troy Lee Designs, Elka0:00:19.7
85Chayse Marshall (Can)0:00:19.9
86Quinton Spaulding (USA) KHS Bicycles Inc.0:00:20.0
87Mihai Moga (USA) SRAM / Santa Cruz0:00:20.2
88Dan Kenicki (USA) Santa Cruz Alliance0:00:20.3
89Evan Gilsdorf (USA) Downhill Zone Racing
90Matson Hunter (USA) Bikeworks / Commencal0:00:20.9
91Evan Ames (USA) Santa Cruz Alliance0:00:21.3
92Sam Powers (USA) Marzocchi / GoPro0:00:21.7
93Taylor Cuisinot (USA) Xtreme Outfitters0:00:22.3
94Andrew Van Zuyen (USA) Intense / Troy Lee0:00:23.1
95Nicholas Simcik (USA) Transition0:00:24.1
96Michael Town (USA)
97Tim Mangini (USA)
98Nic Hadley (USA) GoRide.com0:00:26.3
99Terry T Tenette (USA) Tenette Wellness0:00:27.4
100Aaron Hodgkin (USA) Sette Bikes0:00:29.7
101Josh Stark (USA) Downhill Zone/ Elka0:00:30.4
102Jerry Vanderpool (USA) Supercross Factory/Priority Cycles/0:00:34.0
103Jeff Kendall-Weed (USA)
DNFJon Wilson (USA) Northstar / Giant
DNFJonathan Canfield (USA)
DNFTrevor Trinkino (USA) Yeti RPM
DNFCarter Holland (USA) Black Market
DNFScott Papola (USA) Fox Shox
DNFSilas Hesterberg (USA)
DNFJesse Chuse (USA) Turner Dark Horse Racing

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