Sea Otter Classic gears up for 3rd annual eMTB race

Battery powered racers have chance at impressive $3000 prize purse

E-bike News Race Coverage Sea Otter Classic
Claus Fleischer

Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems, in hot pursuit of a podium position at last year’s race. Photo by Douglas Schwartz ELV Motors

Bosch eBike Systems and Haibike are inviting racers to participate in the 2018 Haibike eMTB Race epowered by Bosch, which will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Sea Otter Classic.

This year’s eMTB race looks to be the toughest yet, with a modified race course that will test the legs of even the best riders. Scheduled for four laps, each (approximate) 2.5-mile lap will feature roughly 500 feet of climbing, putting these eMTBs to the ultimate electric test.

The first climb takes riders on a grueling haul up the hill’s main face, while the second is a longer and more technical switchback climb running alongside the dual slalom course. The downhill singletrack sections will once again be fast and flowing with many obstacles along the way including two rock gardens and the “Gravel Speed Trap” – a gravel section designed to stop cars going more than 200mph.

“We keep learning and improving on this unique race to challenge both human and machine,” said Claudia Wasko, General Manager of Bosch eBike Systems Americas. “This year we’re expecting record turnout with both a redesigned course and a new purse for both pro men and women.”

The eMTB race is open to both men and women who will compete in six amateur age categories and a pro category. First place prize for pros (both men and women) is $750; second place prize is $500; and third place is $250 for a total purse of $3000.

To register for the race, please click here. After registering you can reserve an eMTB (if you don’t already own one) by clicking here (first come first serve, subject to availability).


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  • Scotch Henessey says:

    I’ve recently bought my Son and I a pair Haibike All Mountain 5.0s. I’ve been riding MTB since 1989 non-stop. I have to say, Ebikes are an absolute blast. Me and my 14 year old son can go together without fitness being the usual barrier. I’m a fan no matter what the purists say. Everyone that has tried my bike has the same reaction…A huge smile and a audible “Whoa…I need to get one of these”!

    • Ted says:

      @”Scotch Henessey”
      Enjoy the ride. Just keep them off public trails (unless your goal is “no bikes on trails” for everyone).

      • Fred says:

        @ Scotch Henessey
        Don’t let Ted tell you what to do.
        Keep riding your ebike where you want.

        • Mark says:

          Yeah, damn the rules and the potential negative consequences. Who cares if others suffer as long as you get what you want. Let’s all be like Mrs. Fred. (Dont tell me what to do. ‘Merica) over here. Not!

          On a serious note…an E-bike race? Sounds like the type of event where they hand out participation trophies because everyone is special and we’re all winners. Lame

      • jason says:

        Ok…thanks for the advice. I ride my e bike all over Pisgah. No rangers give a crap. It’s not the e bike rider messing up trails. It’s the cool guy bro that doesn’t care about erosion, sedimentation or habitat.

  • Scotch Henessey says:

    I live in So Cal. More than enough trails to choose from. They go uphill approximately 4 MPH faster than my Pivot 429. And they descend identically. I’m still trying to figure out why people assume these bikes will destroy trails. Oh well..way better things to worry about in life.

  • m c says:

    ted , you are indeed a pill . in case you haven’t noticed the blm and fs thrive on your type of exclusivity. we ALL need to stick together on access. the e bikes are no threat to the resource . I’ve been riding non motorized since the 70s and i see no problems with battery / pedal assist vs motor only . theres a huge difference.

  • Rob says:

    For me the issue is not whether e-bikes cause more erosion or any of the other complaints. If it is stated that no motor vehicles are allowed then that means no motors. Arguing that it is an assist and doesn’t have a throttle doesn’t change the fact that it is a motor. Right or wrong that is the current law and a motor is a motor.

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