April 10, 2006 (Monterey, CA) – Gunn-Rita Dahle (NOR, Multivan-Merida) owned the epic 60-kilometre Sea Otter Classic cross-country race, Stage 4 of the Pro Women’s MTB Stage Race, which she proved when she won by nearly five minutes over second place, Sabine Spitz (GER, Specialized). With her substantial lead, Dahle easily secured the overall Sea Otter Stage Race win. Canada’s Kiara Bisaro (CAN, Team R.A.C.E.), on good form after winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Aus., powered to third place in a race that lasted over three hours. Fellow Canuck Wendy Simms (CAN, Velo Bella-Kona) dug deep for fourth place.
As usual, Dahle took charge from the gun, allowing a strong Spitz to stick with her for the first half-hour, before turning up the wattage on a demanding climbing section. Spitz was unable to stay on the cruising Norwegian’s wheel and had to settle into her own rhythm. A former World Champion herself, Spitz was pleased with her effort, which she displayed by raising her limited edition pink Specialized above her head at the finish, to the joy of the cheering crowd.
Other Canadian results include Alison Sydor (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) in 11th, Catharine Pendrel (CAN, Norco) in 15th, Melanie McQuaid (CAN, Orbea) in 17th and Christy Love (CAN, Sugoi-Giant) in 29th. Sydor had the top Canadian GC position with third; Bisaro finished fifth overall.
The challenging course, new for 2006, was made even more difficult by
rain that started on race day. The generally sandy ground drained
relatively well, but a long, wet winter meant some sections were
already saturated. Things got slick and slippery. The new course
included all of the features the Sea Otter cross country is famous
for, including short, steep climbs, rocky, sandy singletrack, tight
treed sections and scenic open fields.
Results (2 laps, 60 km)
1. Gunn-Rita Dahle (NOR, Multivan-Merida) 2:56:00
2. Sabine Spitz (GER, Specialized) at 4:39
3. Kiara Bisaro (CAN, Team R.A.C.E.) 7:49
4. Wendy Simms (CAN, Velo Bella-Kona) 9:08
5. Pia Sundstedt (GER, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) 9:50
6. Jimena Florit (USA, Luna Women’s Team) 11:00
7. Sue Hayward (USA, Trek-VW) 11:03
8. Katerina Nash (USA, Luna Women’s Team) 11:54
9. Mary McConneloug (USA, Seven Cycles-Kenda) 12:03
10. Dara Marks Marino (USA, Titus-Kenda) 12:34
11. Alison Sydor (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) 15:20
15. Catharine Pendrel (CAN, Norco) 17:42
17. Melanie McQuaid (CAN, Orbea) 21:57
29. Christy Love (CAN, Sugoi-Giant) 38:26
1. Gunn-Rita Dahle (NOR, Multivan-Merida)
2. Mary McConneloug (USA, Seven Cycles-Kenda)
3. Alison Sydor (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects)
4. Katerina Nash (USA, Luna Women’s Team)
5. Kiara Bisaro (CAN, Team R.A.C.E.)
Full results available at: