The Giant Factory Off-Road Team was in Monterey, California, last weekend for the Sea Otter Classic mountain bike festival, competing in a variety of events including enduro, downhill and cross-country. The team had a strong showing, landing two podiums in the enduro and two in the DH, plus several other top-10 finishes.
Australian enduro racer Josh Carlson led the way for the team, finishing third in the elite men’s enduro and fourth in the DH.
“Sea Otter is always a good time,” said Carlson, who chose to ride the Anthem 29 XC bike for the relatively tame terrain of the enduro race. “I think I enjoyed this year the most I have in my last seven Sea Otters. After a disappointing Round 2 of the Enduro World Series, and lots of travel, it felt great to get a solid couple of races under my belt and build on heading into Round 3 in France.”
Carlson’s teammate Mckay Vezina also decided to race the enduro on Anthem 29, and ended up on the podium with a fifth-place finish. “The Anthem 29er was an amazing bike to ride,” said the Canadian. “Before Sea Otter I had never really ridden a 29er so to be able to jump on the bike and feel right at home with it was amazing. I couldn’t believe how fast the bike rolled and how much fun it was to rip through the corners. The bike makes you want to push your limit in every way.”
Carlson also competed in the DH, riding his Reign Advanced, and came away with a solid fourth-place finish. “I felt great on the DH and felt like I pushed my Reign as fast as I could ride it,” he said. “For such a short, relatively simple track I enjoy the challenge of trying to go faster and faster each year. To be on the podium for the Enduro and the DH is awesome!”
Other highlights for the team at Sea Otter included American Mike Day finishing fifth in the elite men’s DH event. In XC racing, Cole Paton led the team, finishing 12th in the elite men’s race. The 20-year-old, racing his XtC Advanced 29 and wearing the Giant Charge shoe and Rev helmet, was impressive racing against a deep field of international XC pros.
“The energy from the event was super positive, and I was able to have a good, clean race,” Paton said. “Always hoping for more, but I’m happy with the result—especially with such a stacked international field.”