Last weekend, the Sea Otter Classic, an annual event in Monterey, California, that celebrates the arrival of bike season, held the first-ever large-scale eMTB race. Participants rode motorized whips around a 1.5-mile course for 60 minutes and competed either in the men’s (by age), women’s (by age), or industry category. All the bikes had to be pedal-assist (no throttles), with just one battery (no mid-race swaps). Some riders took the event seriously and tried for the win, while others donned costumes and just tried to finish. In the end, Christoph Sauser, a former mountain bike world champion, landed on top of the podium. “It was something completely different,” he says. “It was as hard as any cross-country race I’ve ever done. The pacing is just a little… different.”
Photo: Two riders rip the big S-curve leading into the finishing straight.