The 2010 Sea Otter Classic, known for drawing nearly 10,000 mountain and road racers from around the world to Monterey, California every April, is adding a Gran Fondo and collegiate cycling categories to the existing event calendar.
The Sea Otter Gran Fondo -- a non-competitive ride popular in Europe -- will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2010, offering three fully supported ride distances: a 28-mile coastal route, a 45-mile coastal route and, for the more experienced riders, a 100-mile inland route. The short and middle distances wind along the coastal communities of Marina, Seaside, Monterey, and Pacific Grove. The cyclists will ride along the Pacific coastal recreation trail, past historic Fisherman's Wharf, and through the popular Cannery Row of John Steinbeck fame.
The long route runs through the green agricultural fields of Salinas Valley and into the beautiful wine country of Carmel Valley. All rides start and finish at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area.
Registration is US$95 for Gran Fondo Long, US$65 for Gran Fondo Medium and Short. Registration closes April 11, and a US$20 late fee will be assessed after March 25.
"We couldn't think of a better way to ring in 20 years of Sea Otter than the addition of a Gran Fondo to the event," said Frank Yohannan, Sea Otter Classic president. "It promises to be a great opportunity for recreational cyclists to get out and ride with friends, see all that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer, and enjoy the terrific festival experience of Sea Otter."
More than 3,500 riders participated in the Levi Leipheimer King Ridge Gran Fondo in Santa Rosa, California on October 3.
Open collegiate categories have been added to the 19-mile mountain bike cross country race scheduled for Sunday, April 18, 2010. Circuit racing will also play host to the young athletes, as a men's open collegiate category will be held on the famed Laguna Seca Raceway on Saturday, April 17, 2010.
"The addition of collegiate categories to the event in 2010 is sure to add a lot of drama and excitement." said Sea Otter's Jeff Frost, Director of Athlete Services. "We can't wait to see the teams come out and represent their respective colleges."
Other main events include a road race, circuit race, and criterium for the roadies, and downhill, Super D, dual slalom, cross country and short track for the dirt-loving crowd. 2010 is the 20th year of the Sea Otter Classic.