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Sea Otter – Dual Slalom Report, Full Results, Photos – Buchar 5th

by Fraser Britton

April 19, 2009 (Monterey, CA) – Sam Hill (AUS – Monster Energy Specialized) and Melissa Buhl (USA – KHS) took on all comers under blazing hot California sunshine to take home the 2009 Sea Otter Classic Dual Slalom titles. Once upon a time slalom was a common site at gravity events, but as of late it is a rare breed of event that racers get extremely excited for.

The course here at Sea Otter hasn’t changed much in recent years, but the extremely dry conditions in Monterey as of late turned the usually well manicured and tacky track into a drifty, dusty affair that saw more than one big name go down in a gigantic cloud of dust. Cedric Gracia (Fra), Greg Minnaar (RSA) and a handful of others became victims of the moon dust, sliding in out in the upper corners.

Hill managed to keep it the rubber side down and out sprinted the USA’s Cody Warren (Specialized/Decline) in fantastic first heat. Warren went down in the second run, giving the Australian an easy ride to the line. “I’m good friends with Cody and wanted to see him win, of course, I wanted to win as well. I felt strong in the corners, the slippery conditions were good for me. I felt more comfortable and stronger.”

Buhl went gate to gate off the front and took on all comers, never having to fight back all day. In the finals she went up against ex-world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Jill Kintner (USA – Intense) and put a full bike length on her by the first corner. “I had a good day the course changed so much from this morning. It really got dusty and blown out. By the end of the day there were entire berms missing on the blue course! You really had to play it safe and work smart here. Anytime you get in the gate against Jill, you have to feel good about winning against her. She’s a great racer and has really accomplished a lot.”

Canada’s Claire Buchar (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense) competed in the women’s race and managed to ride her way into fifth place after being eliminated in the later rounds. Fellow Canuck Katie Holden made the top 10 finishing in 10th.


Elite Women

1. Melissa Buhl (USA)
2. Jill Kintner (USA)
3. Kathy Pruitt (USA)
4. Mio Suemasa (Jpn)
5. Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense
6. Sondra Williamson (USA)
7. Darian Harvey (USA)
8. Joy Martin (USA)
9. Lisa Myklak (USA)
10. Katie Holden (Can)
11. Eva Castro (Spa)
12. Leslie Slagle (USA)
13. Lainey Aldridge (USA)
14. Jessica Vogt (USA)
15. Neven Steinmetz (USA)
16. Leana Gerrard (USA)

Elite Men

1. Sam Hill (Aus)
2. Cody Warren (USA)
3. Jared Rando (USA)
4. Gee Atherton (Gbr)
5. Mick Hannah (Aus)
6. Eric Carter (USA)
7. Kyle Strait (USA)
8. Mike Haderer (USA)
9. Bryn Atkinson (Aus)
10. Michal Prokop (Cze)
11. JD Swanguen (USA)
12. Nathan Rennie (Aus)
13. Mitch Ropelato (USA)
14. Kayman Benetti (USA)
15. Kirt Voreis (USA)
16. Brad Oien (USA)
17. Dan Atherton (Gbr)
18. Greg Minnaar (RSA)
19. Scott Beaumont (Gbr)
20. Christopher Herndon (USA)
21. Quentin Derbier (Fra)
22. Petr Hanak (USA)
23. Cedric Gracia (And)
24. Brendan Fairclough (Gbr)
25. Chris Van Dine (USA)
26. Chris Boice (USA)
27. Ryan Condrashoff (USA)
28. Scott Papola (USA)
29. George Stephenson (USA)
30. Evan Turpen (USA)
31. Brad Benedict (USA)
32. Nathaniel Lewis (USA)

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