With only a few days to go before the 2nd Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava Girona Bike Show kicks off, we already know that the entire cycling industry will be there. Hundreds of brands will be showing their wares and offering services to visitors. The sporting side of Sea Otter Europe will be no less important and the very best bikers from around the world will be coming to Girona between 8 and 10 June.
Now that the festival is just around the corner, the line-up of stars competing in the various races that make up the competition schedule for the three-day event are starting confirm. This will be essential to the success of Sea Otter Europe.
The Super Cup Massi will be the main event for the weekend, at least in terms of attendance by mountain biking stars. This XCO competition will allow spectators to see many world-class bikers in action. Remember, this is a UCI C1 category event.
Although he won’t be competing, Julien Absalon will indeed be coming to Sea Otter Europe. This will be a unique opportunity to get a photograph or autograph from the most successful XCO biker in history. His two Olympic titles and record 33 World Cup victories are just a small part of the legendary story of this French biker. Recently retired from competition, he is now adapting to his new role as Team Manager of Absolute Absalon. The Frenchman Neilo Perrin Ganier, current under-23 French champion, will be representing the team in this race.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot, who rides for Canyon-SRAM, will be one of the main attractions in the women’s race. On Saturday afternoon, she will be riding entirely independently in a new race organised by Ocisport aimed at raising the profile of women’s cycling. Saturday will be day of competition focused on women’s racing. Alongside the Frenchwoman, who is returning to top form after a podium finish at the Nove Mesto World Cup, we will also see other international bikers such as Rebecca McConnell from Australia (Primaflor-Mondraker-Rotor), the Australian XCO champion. In terms of local riders, Claudia Galicia (Megamo) stands as the rider with the greatest potential to pose a problem for the long list of international bikers. Of course, we shouldn’t forget Magda Duran (Biking Point). She is the current leader of the Biking Point Catalan International Cup and this race also forms part of that competition.
The men’s category will be by no means short of competitors. Both Carlos Coloma (Primaflor-Mondraker-Rotor) and David Valero (MMR) will be at the starting line. They have both recently achieved top-ten positions in the World Cup; Carlos Coloma at Nove Mesto and David Valero at Albstadt. The latter also faces the challenge of defending his victory at this event in 2017. He won’t have an easy job of it. Hugo Drechou (Massi), who seems to be back in form after finishing near the top-ten at Nove Mesto, is another quality biker capable of taking victory at this third race for the Super Cup Massi.
Everyone from MMR will be here, including the young Pablo Rodríguez and Catriel Soto from Argentina. It will be particularly interesting to see how Vlad Dascalu (Brújula Bike Racing Team) performs at Sea Otter Europe. He has just won his first XCO World Cup in the under-23 category and we look forward to seeing how he holds up in competition alongside the elite riders.
Would you like to witness the birth of a star? Just start following Jofre Cullell (Megamo), who will also be in the race. He came seventh in his first World Cup race in his first under-23 year of competition. This is a clear sign of just how far this Catalan biker is capable of going.
However, not all the brightest stars will be at the XCO. The Marathon Cup MTB by Scott & Taymory will have such top-tier teams as Team Torpado Sudtirol from Austria, with Katazina Sosna from Lithuania and Riccardo Chiarini from Italy; and DMT Racing Team, with Hans Becking from the Netherlands and Naima Madlen from Germany.
We will also see the charismatic Jose Antonio Hermida (Merida), the legendary Tinker Juárez and the great Joaquim “Purito” Rodríguez. The latter will be taking part in the Sea Otter Europe International Cycle Tour alongside the professional cyclists Dan Craven and Dorian Godon. This will be the only Gran Fondo World Tour (GFWT) event to be held in Spain.
An expo zone full of top brands, a busy race schedule, a unique sports atmosphere, the chance to try out hundreds of bikes and watch the best bikers on the planet in action; there really is no good excuse for missing Sea Otter Europe 2018. Don’t wait to hear about it from someone else; register for one (or more) of the events on the race schedule or just set aside that weekend to experience this unbeatable festival for yourself.