The weather was near perfect for the dual slalom competition at this year’s Sea Otter Classic – one of my favorite events to shoot. I’ve been shooting it for over ten years and I still look forward to it. It’s one of the most photogenic venues for a race and the dual slalom racing format – a head-to-head elimination battle between two riders where only one gets to advance to the next round – is arguably the most spectator-friendly form of mountain bike racing. The winners this year were Americans Kyle Strait and Jill Kintner, giving the flag-waving maniacs at the top of the course something to really cheer about.
Last year’s winner, Jared Graves made a mistake and finished 17th. Noticeably missing was Brian Lopes, who lost to Graves last year. I heard he was at qualifying but never took a qualifying run. I also heard Shaun Palmer gave it a shot but didn’t qualify for the finals. There were a crazy number of mechanicals during the slalom finals, including a number of exploded inner tubes – I think I counted four tire explosions.
For full results, check our Sea Otter Dual Slalom Results page.