In the photo: Trevor Gilmore
Written by Trevor.
Bordering Laguna Seca raceway, the 10 mile Sea Otter road race course is mostly located in Fort Ord, and is composed of some rollers, steep climbs, screaming descents, and headwind tainted flats. The setting is beautiful, in a sand-dune-coastal-California-meets-ex-military-base kind of way. The finish is a 15 minute climb up the steep section of Barloy Canyon; this course rewards those who are patient, smart, and/or a good climber.
The race was originally 6 laps, but the race official lowered ours to 5 laps right before the whistle, since we started an hour late due to the prior field still on the course. No one complained, as the prior field told us how they suffered through 6 laps, and we were certain to face nightfall on the last lap.
My teammates Jacob Jordan and Tom Van Pelt worked the front in the beginning. We were spread out nicely through #1 and #10 positions. Jacob had a mechanical issue which made him bow out mid lap 2, leaving Tom and I the only TMB mates in the field. Not realizing that Jacob was out, I did an unwise break chasing a Dolce Vita rider and pulled back when I realized we could not sustain it. Some other excitement happened on the middle of lap 4, when a 4 long snake hissed his way through the field, and 10 guys screamed for their life. Luckily, the snake left and Tom excelled in his role by positioning me appropriately for the finale up Barloy Canyon.
The front of the pack pushed relentlessly up the hill. There were 6 or 7 excellent climbers left at the 1km sign, jockeying for the final sprint. Being in #5 position at the 200 km sign, I dug deep for third place, finishing right behind first and second. I have much gratitude to my teammates Jacob and Tom for their hard work, and ecstatic to receive my upgrade to category 3!