The number of attendees exceeded last year’s, in a festival that has grown more international and brought cyclists from 50 countries to the city
A complete day at Sea Otter Europe, with thousands of visitors filling the festival’s various expo, activity, exhibition and sporting event areas. The exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with the high influx of visitors and the economic activity generated throughout the day, confirming their belief that the festival would be a fantastic business opportunity and help promote their brand.
A large number of people also turned out for the Bike Test, which featured 38 of the cycling world’s finest brands, all of which took the bikes they had prepared for the guided excursions for a spin on a specially designed course, where visitors can test the models that most strike their fancy.
As for sporting events, participants included some of the world’s best cyclists, who competed in a host of different disciplines. In addition to exhibitions and children’s activities, visitors also flocked to the staging area to watch the festival’s numerous competitions. These included the Sea Otter Europe International Cycle Tour, the MTB Marathon Cup, the women’s XCO Super Cup, the Catalan Trial Cup, the children’s downhill championships and the gruelling 340-kilometre Pirinexus 360 Challenge. Close to 3,000 cyclists took part in today’s races, in a line-up that also included the children’s MTB Catalan Cup and a nostalgic classic MTB event, in which riders sported clothing and bikes from over 25 years ago. A veritable museum in motion that is garnering prestige around Europe among fans of classic cycling.
As for competitions, today’s undisputed star was none other than New Zealand’s Sam Gaze. He dominated an MTB marathon that proved particularly gruelling due to the mud and water the bikers encountered along the course. “I’d seen the course a few days earlier and knew it would be tough. I was surprised by the terrain, with stretches similar to those in the World Cup. It was spectacular”, he explained. The Netherlands’ Hans Becking and Ibiza native Enrique Morcillo rounded off an exceptional podium.
In the women’s category, Lithuania’s Katazina Sosna dominated the field from start to finish.
The women also took part in the Massi Super Cup, which was recently awarded C1 category by the UCI. During the race, French champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot flew down the winding, technical course on the banks of the River Ter and blew away the competition. She was followed by Clàudia Galicia, who edged out France’s Coline Clauzure after a sprint finish.
Elsewhere, participants in the Pirinexus 360 Challenge took to the starting line at 6.15 a.m. in what proved to be a major challenge: a 340-kilometre gravel cycling route that connects the Costa Brava with the Girona Pyrenees, in what is becoming an increasingly popular discipline.
As for Trial, today marked the final of the Catalan Cup, in which Vincent Hermance, who dominated the men’s category, and Mailys Jouy, the women’s, demonstrated their skills on a extremely challenging track.
The kids also made their presence felt, becoming an integral part of the spectacle with events such as the Super Races, the Children’s Catalan Cup and the Mini DH Downhill. Competitions that combined fun and sport with the MTB stars of the future.
The visitors also filled the inside of the pavilion to see an exhibition of historic bikes, all of which were over 25 years old. The venue is also the site of the conference and product presentation room, which today featured a talk by XCO world champion Julien Absalon. Before the day came to an end, Absalon was given a touching tribute after announcing his retirement from competition last month. Present at the event were a number of Absalon’s cycling friends, including Purito Rodríguez, Melcior Mauri and Àngel Edo.
World stars in tomorrow’s activities
Tomorrow marks the third day of Sea Otter Europe, which will include key competitions such as the International Cycle Tour and the men’s Massi Super Cup, which will bring together world stars such as Carlos Coloma, David Valero, Hugo Drechou, Sergio Mantecón, Neilo Perrín, Catriel Soto, Pablo Rodríguez and Vlad Tascalu, as well as young up-and-coming cyclists such as Catalonia’s Jofre Cullell.
The Cycle Tour will also be showcase for major names such as Purito Rodríguez and José Antonio Hermida, as well as active professionals such as Dan Craven.
For more information and the schedule of activities: www.seaottereurope.com
9 June 2018