Enduro racer Youn Deniaud led the way at the Sea Otter Classic, a large cycling festival in the U.S. that draws thousands to the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. The French rider won three of four stages and finished second overall, less than half a second behind overall winner Cody Kelley.
“This was my first time racing the enduro here at the Sea Otter Classic,” said Deniaud, who rode his Reign Advanced Pro 29. “The tracks are pretty challenging to race because there’s no room for error. Race day was the warmest of the week at almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Deniaud, wearing the Giant Rail SX helmet and Line shoes, started by winning the opening stage, then lost some time in a small crash on stage two. He came back strong to win the final two stages. “In the end I finished second overall, only 0.3 seconds back,” he said. “It was one of my tightest race finishes, but I’m happy to bring the podium spot to my team, which worked hard this week.”
Canadian ride McKay Vezina also landed a podium, finishing third in the men’s downhill event. Vezina also chose the Reign Advanced Pro 29. “It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to get on the DH podium at Sea Otter, so I am happy to finally check that off the list. I’m now heading back to British Columbia to get ready for the first Enduro World Series race in Scotland.”
In XC racing, American Luke Vrouwenvelder was able to bounce back from a stomach illness to finish on the podium with a fourth-place finish in the 40k XC race.
“Rebounding from a tough bug was a challenge, but I managed to rally for Sunday’s 7:30 a.m. start to finish off the weekend on a good note,” said Vrouwenvelder, who wore his Giant Rev Pro helmet and Charge Pro shoes to finish fourth. “The race was a shock to my recovering system, but with the help of the team and a little suffering I was able to pull out a podium. My new Anthem Advanced Pro 29 was ripping and felt like the perfect weapon. I can’t wait to get more races on this new machine.”
XC World Cup Opens in Brazil
The team’s top two XC World Cup racers, Reto Indergand and Antoine Philipp, were both in Brazil for the opening of the 2022 series in Petropolis. Both raced two events in Brazil, the short track XCC and the Olympic distance XCO races.
The first World Cup race in Brazil since 2005 challenged riders with heat and humidity along with its technical track. Both riders chose to race their Anthem Advanced Pro 29 bikes along with Giant Rev Pro helmets and Charge Pro shoes. The highlight of the weekend was Philipp’s top-20 in the elite men's XCO race. The French rider finished 17th.
Swiss rider Indergand also had a solid showing in Brazil, finishing 21st in the XCC and 24th in the longer distance cross-country. Those two results combined put Indergand 19th overall in the elite men’s standings. Philipp now sits 17th overall, giving the team two top-20 spots heading into round two in Germany in early May.