The authorities were charged with inaugurating this international cycling festival, which has grown in every respect and promises to fill Girona and the Costa Brava with a multitude of sporting activities and races
This afternoon marked the start of the Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava-Girona Bike Show, the second edition of this major international cycling festival, which will take place at the Fontajau Pavilion until Sunday. Participants include exhibitors and cyclists from 50 countries, with 150 registered journalists from around the world.
Charged with opening the festival were Pere Vila, president of the Provincial Government of Girona; Marta Madrenas, mayor of Girona; Josep Pujols, regional representative for Sport in Girona; and the director of the festival, Albert Balcells. Also present was the director of Sea Otter Classic, Frank Yohannan, the man who founded the festival that has been held in the United States for the past 27 years.
Vila made a point of mentioning the magnitude of the festival and remarked that “we need major incentives like this to remain at the forefront of sports tourism”.
Afterwards, Madrenas talked about Girona’s love affair with the world of cycling, pointing out that, “this major international festival highlights the fact that our region is a cyclist’s paradise”. She also underscored the growing importance of the cycling industry for the city’s economic and industrial sectors, and concluded by saying that, “we will continue to maintain our firm commitment to Sea Otter Europe”.
Pujols called attention to the cross-disciplinary nature of this recreational and sporting initiative, and the fact that “cycling, and everything surrounding it, enriches our territory”.
Finally, Balcells expressed his thanks to all the institutions that have supported Sea Otter Europe and to the biking industry for its commitment to a festival that “has grown in every respect and acts as a loudspeaker for the entire cycling sector –industry, cyclists, fans– with a view to furthering growth”.
Sea Otter Europe, which opened its doors at 4 p.m., has approximately 26,000 square metres of exhibition space, 30% more than last year. This increase is visible in all areas of the festival, which has become even more international and gathered 380 cycling industry and accessory brands and cycle tourism destinations. This represents 25% more brands than the previous year.
As for the festival’s sporting events and activities, the number of cyclists entered in the competitions that are scheduled to take place over the course of the weekend is up 25%, meaning that close to 5,000 athletes from different disciplines and age groups will help inundate the Costa Brava and the city of Girona with cycling.
A world champion wins the first event
The Eliminator was the first race in Sea Otter Europe’s lengthy roster of sporting events and took place in the spectacular Gravity Fun Zone sponsored by Cannondale. An incredible course littered with jumps, huge banked corners and flow. A track where the riders competed in heats to show the public who the best biker is. The fastest, most explosive and most skilful.
Titouan Perrin-Ganier (Focus MTB Racing Team), the current world champion in the category, proved he was hungry to win. His powerful start was crucial towards dominating all aspects of the competition. The man billed to be his biggest rival in the final, the 2016 Spanish champion, Gerard Álvarez (Relber Cycling Team), experienced chain problems that ruined his chances of vying for the victory. The French biker thus became the first winner in this edition of Sea Otter Europe.
For more information and the schedule of activities: www.seaottereurope.com
8 June 2018