Exhibitors describe it as the stage for reconnecting with the general public, after three intense days with high level competitions, a successful Demobike programme and international impact for the Girona and Costa Brava brand
The fifth edition of the Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava-Girona Bike Show closed its doors today, having far exceeded the organisers’ best forecasts with around 45,000 visitors, who spent three days exploring the festival site on an exceptional weekend for Girona and the Costa Brava. The whole region was immersed in cycling thanks to scores of visitors and exhibitors from all over the world, and a full calendar of varied events.
Larger spaces, together with distancing between exhibitors and pre-booked tickets for visitors, helped keep capacity limitations in the expo zone and race areas under control, allowing direct contact to continue between visitors and the more than 240 brands that chose to come to Sea Otter Europe. For most of them, the festival was where they could pick up where they left off in terms of contact with the public, after a year and a half of a pandemic that had forced the cancellation of most of the world’s major trade fairs.
The response to the competitive calendar was also first rate with nearly 4,000 cyclists taking part, snapping up all available places in the fifteen races, both for amateur athletes and professionals, such as the world champions, Olympic medallists and elite athletes – both male and female and specialising in all cycling disciplines – who could be seen in action.
And once again, this year Demobike proved to be one of the biggest draws of Sea Otter Europe. All the bike models of the 20 brands that participated were tested and the brands expressed their satisfaction in terms of the return they received from customers, who were able to test first hand what could soon become their new bike.
Such positive results are especially appreciated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which last year forced the cancellation of the festival’s expo zone with only a few races in the programme able to take place. Despite general uncertainty, the positive evolution of the health situation meant that exhibitors from over 15 countries and cyclists from 45 different countries were able to attend, proving the magnitude of what has become an international showcase of cycling in Girona and the Costa Brava. Reaffirming their support for Sea Otter Europe, the city and the region at large offer the perfect setting to host such a large and complex event.
Competitions at the highest level
In terms of competition, this morning saw the start of the Continental Ciclobrava, the road event that is already a firm fixture in the calendars of cyclists, offering three routes spanning 70 km, 100 km and 140 km. Cyclists chose their distance according to their level of fitness, with all the distances offering spectacular routes through the region’s landscapes and quiet roads.
Prestigious names such as Oscar Lanza, Dorian Godon, Ángel Edo, Ana Dillana, Jose Joaquín Rojas, Iker Lecuona and Carlos Checa, among others, were at the start line together with hundreds of amateur road cycling fans, who did not want to miss this edition after the break caused by the pandemic.
And at noon the great men’s final of the Continental Super Cup Massi served to cement the successful relationship between Sam Gaze and Girona. The New Zealand rider, who comes off the back of a sensational end of season, was on another level. Breaking free from the very start, he raced alone the whole way to clinch his fourth consecutive victory in the race. Behind him, the fight for the podium was yet more exciting with France’s Titouan Carod and Thomas Griot completing an international podium to match the race’s high level and its UCI C1 status, with points going towards the world ranking.
Something for everyone and significant economic impact
Throughout the day, thousands of people once again filled all the festival’s different spaces dedicated to brands, activities and exhibitions, contributing to another successful Sea Otter Europe, which closes its fifth edition having achieved its goal of reuniting brands and fans, and reaching all audiences. Over the course of the weekend, many families came to enjoy the numerous organised activities and exhibitions and to enjoy cycling in its many forms.
Girona and its surroundings were also able to benefit from the great response to the festival, boosting hotel occupancy and economic activity in a region that is a leading destination for cycling tourism, home to countless companies providing services to fans of the sport.
The dates for Sea Otter Europe 2022, once again held in Girona and the Costa Brava, will be announced soon.