Laguna Seca Grew From Small Start; Now Largest of its Kind

A stage race like the Tour is just about the only bike-related event absent from the Classic, but "someday we probably will have one," said Yohannan. "We're always looking for new energy, new events."

In the meantime, the Sea Otter will be busy integrating three new elements this year, including BMX racing -- bicycle racing on a dirt track.

"There are other big cycling events, but none that have a mix like this," said Sea Otter spokeswoman Donna Brown. "And bringing in BMX brings a whole new crowd."

Event directors said they expect that next year's Sea Otter will become an Olympic qualifier for BMX. The 2008 Olympics will be the first to include BMX racing as a medal competition, said Yohannan.

Super D added

Super D--an event that combines cross-country and downhill mountain biking--and adventure racing have also been added to this year's competition.

An adventure race is a sort of triathlon, with participants kayaking into Del Monte Beach, then riding their bikes to Laguna Seca so they can conclude with a long-distance run.

"What makes it adventure racing is that (the contestants) don't know the course," said Brown.

The route and transition points will be discovered by the athletes as they progress through the competition, Brown said.

The adventure race will also award a THULE Warrior Cup for teams of retired and active members of the military and a Corporate Cup for company teams.

For more information, visit Learn how this event pertains to women cyclists here.

Laith Agha can be reached at Copyright (c) 2007,
The Monterey County Herald, Calif. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

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