All six Kenda XC athletes made their way to Monterey, CA for the annual Sea Otter Classic this past weekend. They were joined in the tech area by John Tomac, Joel Smith and Clarke Dolton from Tomac Bikes who were on hand to show the new sub 22 lb. Carbide SL full suspension bike the team will be riding later this summer. As always, the Kenda crew Jim, Matt, Stefano and Nick were on hand to help throughout the weekend too.
This year was unique for the Sea Otter in that it was sunny, hot and dry throughout the weekend, something the athletes weren't used to this early in the season. We were happy to see Jeff Kletter from Kinesys who brought plenty of sunscreen which we really needed! Many of the pros had just returned from the World Cup in South Africa so the pro field had plenty of competition to contend with in both the short track and XC races.
In the men's short track, Colin Cares posted his first top ten of the season with Andy Schultz finishing in 14th riding the Tomac Carbide for the first time in a race. On the women's side, Kathy Sherwin took 15th, Amanda Carey 19th and Heather Holmes at 25th (still riding in a wrist brace).
On Sunday, with temperatures soaring above 90, the officials cut the XC races short, but that wasn't enough to help many racers avoid the effects of the heat. Almost every athlete came through covered in goose bumps, a sign of dehydration setting in. Kathy Sherwin survived the heat to finishing in 15th, Amanda Carey in 23rd and Heather Holmes in 32nd. Zephanie Blasi succummed to the heat and was taken off the course to cool off at the medical tent. On the men's side, Colin Cares survived the heat to take 23rd spot and Andy Schultz dropped out before reaching the dehydration point. In all, 1/4 of the men did not finish, most due to the extreme conditions.
You can view more team photos on our Facebook page.
Extra thanks for David Clopton (Finish Line), Ed Fonda (Voler) and Shannon Halsam (Tifosi Optics) for being there to support us too!
After a few days off to recuperate, the team will meet again next weekend in Santa Ynez for the 4th Kenda Cup West race.