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