The Giant Factory Off-Road Team headed to Monterey, California, over the weekend for the annual Sea Otter Classic mountain bike festival, competing in a variety of races including enduro, downhill, dual slalom and cross-country. The team had a strong showing, landing three podiums and a handful of top-10 finishes at Raceway Laguna Seca.
Canadian McKay Vezina scored the top result for the team, winning the elite men’s enduro on his Trance Advanced Pro 29 trail bike with a Giant TRX 0 29 WheelSystem. It was the 23-year-old’s first pro win at Sea Otter and one of the top results of his young career.
“This was one of my favorite Sea Otters to date,” said Vezina, who also wore the new Line shoes and Rail SX helmet to take the victory. “Being able to watch my teammates in all different disciplines is always a treat. I am super happy to take my first win in the enduro.”
Racers faced gusty winds in the four-stage enduro race, which included runs on the DH track and dual slalom course along with two stages on wooded trails outside the race venue. Vezina was consistent throughout the day, with enough speed to edge out second-place finished Curtis Keene by two seconds.
Vezina’s teammate Josh Carlson joined him on the podium, finishing third just 3 seconds back. The Australian had a strong showing all week, also finishing second in the elite men’s downhill race on his Trance Advanced Pro 29.
“I’m stoked to come away with second today,” Carlson said following his DH podium. “The Trance Advanced Pro 29 performed awesome and really helped carry lots of speed on the mega high-speed course. I hit most of my lines and races as hard as I could.”
In XC action, Cole Paton and Stephan Davoust scored impressive top-10 results. Racing in two different XC events—one Thursday, one Sunday—both young riders were in the mix with some of the top cross-country talents near the front of the field.
“I’m happy to crack into the top-10,” said Paton, who finished eighth on his Anthem Advanced Pro 29 bike in Sunday’s UCI-sanctioned XC while wearing the Giant Rev helmet. “I’ve been training hard through this event and am excited to see what I can do in the upcoming World Cup races.”
Paton’s teammate Davoust also impressed with a ninth-place finish in Thursday’s elite men’s UCI race on his Anthem Advanced Pro 29 and wearing the new Charge Pro shoe. Here’s a list of some of the team’s highlights at the 2019 Sea Otter Classic:
Elite Men’s Enduro
McKay Vezina 1st
Josh Carlson 3rd
Marcelo Gutierrez 6th
Elite Men’s Downhill
Josh Carlson 2nd
Mike Day, 6th
Mckay Vezina 8th
Elite Men’s UCI XC
Cole Paton, 8th
Stephan Davoust, 9th
Elite Men’s Dual Slalom
Youn Deniaud, 8th