Sea Otter Classic

The day after Moab Rocks finished on April 17th I travelled back up to Salt Lake City with Geoff and flew over to Oakland, California. Picked up the mini-van rental and pointed south to Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic. 

Sea Otter’s DH course was stage 1 for the Enduro

As a kid into cycling, like any other, I read all about Sea Otter growing up and it was a pipe dream of my father and I to attend the event together one day. We still haven’t been together but I plan to do it one day. This year marked my 6th visit in a row after a getting a late cycling “career” start to the event.

The slalom course was the fourth and final stage for the enduro. 

Every year slowly progressed better and better, until my little childhood dream of standing of on a podium at Sea Otter with some legends of the cycling world finally happened. On top of that I stood beside one of my best buds – Mckay Vezina. It was a special day. 

Post-race reviewing with the guys

Back to the beginning of the week after travelling post-Moab Rocks I had one “rest day” before pre-riding the endure course on the Wednesday and getting all the registration packages for my little over zealously planned three days of racing at Sea Otter – Enduro, short track cross-country, and olympic-distance cross-country. The fields were quite as deep this year as last but the front end of the fields were stacked with heavy hitters. 

Podium L to R: Mckay, Josh, Jared, Kurtis, and myself.

Day 1 for the enduro you may know guys like Jared Graves (multi time, multi discipline world champ), Kurtis Keene, Josh Carlson and Mckay Vezina. All top EWS racers and the fella’s I got to pre-ride with on Wednesday. We joked, we rode, we made fun of each other and we also all stood on the podium together the following day with Jared winning, Kurtis second, Josh third, myself fourth, and Mckay fifth. Mission accomplished on day 1 – to get that elusive Sea Otter podium after finishing 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th in previous years’ events. 

Photos below by Chris Vezina

Day 2 of racing was the short track. It’s a fast and furious short course that really comes down to having that fresh, top-end followed with a bit of luck from the start to get in the lead group. After being the lead group three of the last four years I figured out it’s quite a lot easier to fight upfront than it is to fight for ~15th.

Luck was not on my side as I got boxed in from two riders right at the start and the rider in front of me was slower to get into his and my very quick hesitation to slow down my momentum meant I was swarmed from both sides and back outside the top-20. Not long after the start there are  bunch of turns through an uphill sand pit and I watched the front group ride away while coming to stop back in the pack. Tried fighting to move up the gap was too much for my abilities on the day. Next year. 

Day 2 of racing was the hardest of the weekend; the cross-country race that took us around 8 short laps inside the famous Laguna Seca raceway that had nothing technical about it, just open climbs, steep climbs, a few turns and a  brutally fast pace. Much like the short track it’s important to have a good first lap to make that front group.

I was smarter than day and was into the 10-15th ish range by the end of the first lap and was pretty tapped out while sticking onto the back of this group while we went into these sand pits again and of course I came to a stop again and watched the group ride away. I was missing that little bit of zip needed to jump back onto the group but it also seemed like playing in a sand pit might need to be added into training for next years event! I just never could make it back up and as the front group split into many little groups I was caught by a group behind me and spent the majority of the race there and when it came to the final lap that group of 5 had more than I did on the final climb and they danced away.

I was trying to dance but couldn’t quite make those salsa moves turn into anything. 20th place there and nothing to write home about but after three days of racing I couldn’t have left anything more out there. 

It was great to see most of my sponsors, catch up with friends, and meet new people. Sea Otter is a unique event and one that I’ve already had great memories come from. The racing isn’t the usual courses we’re used to but fast riders on the line always make a hard race. 

It’s worth mentioning that I used the same bike for all three races: Pivot Mach 429SL with FOX’s new 34 120mm step cast fork, RaceFace Next SL cockpit, cranks, wheels, and Schwalbe tires (Nobby Nic’s for Enduro, Thunder Burt rear and Racing Ralph front for short track and cross-country). 

 

 

Photo: Kenny Wehn

Photo: Kenny Wehn

Moab Rocks Recap

Evan Guthrie took 4th in Stage 3 in the Open Men’s category and finished 5th overall in the GC. – Photo: John Gibson

We’ve finished the three-day stage race and now head over to California for the Sea Otter Classic where I am attempting the “triple” and racing Enduro, Short track cross-country, and Olympic-distance cross-country. 

I wrote up a recap from the event for Pinkbike and you can check out this link below:

Pinkbike Article HERE

Evan Guthrie took 4th in Stage 3 in the Open Men’s category and finished 5th overall in the GC. – Photo: John Gibson

Moab Rocks Stage 2

Stage 2 took place at Klondike Bluffs, which ascended 948 meters over 41 km. Tomorrow we head into the third and final stage of Moab Rocks where riders get one last shot to pick up time and enjoy what these trails have been offering us racers. That is before afternoon and evening celebrations amongst the racers, volunteers and TranksRockies crew.

This stage had significantly less climbing than yesterday, but it was more relentless with the short, punchy climbs. Riders faced sand, dirt, slick rock, and wind within the loop. It was a tough day no doubt, and that is what makes a stage race like this so rewarding. We’re 2/3 of the way through and ready for the last stage tomorrow!

Today’s stage had some shake ups in the overall, while some categories had no changes at the head of the pack. In the Men’s 50+ Gary Sutton once again took the stage and extended his lead to over 7 minutes. In the Women’s 40+ there was a shuffle from yesterday’s second place finisher – Caroline Colanna – moving into the lead and Amy Thomas slipping down to second.

The men’s 40+ race was fast and had the first four finishes within 1 minute today. Daniel Mahlum doubled up on stages and leads the overall ahead of Pascal Bonaventure.

The open women’s category had some changes between second and third place riders from yesterday trading positions. Jennifer Smith moved up to second and Marlee Dixon down to third while Sparky Moir Sears took the stage win and extended her overall lead going into the final day.

The open men’s category had some changes but Geoff Kabush once ahead won the stage in a sprint and extended his overall but Payson McElveen moved into second, only 9 sec behind in the overall now. Last year’s runner up Justine Lindine slotted into third on the day and the overall as well.

Stage Results

Trailforks map of the stage

All photos by John Gibson and Jean McAllister

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final stage!

-Evan

Moab Rocks Stage 1

Our future riders are learning young. 

After a couple weird days of weather leading into the race, riders and the event team were treated to a beautiful sunny morning. It was still chilly but that beat the 50 + km winds on Thursday. Stage 1 was Porcupine Rim which covered a distance of 40.4 km  and ascended: 1231 meters

https://www.trailforks.com/route/2018-moab-rocks-stage-1-porcupine-rim/

It just so happened to be Geoff Kabush’s birthday. 

At 8:30 AM the start corral was full of excited, nervous, chilly, and motivated riders ready to tackle the 22 km climb up to Porcupine Rim. The race was then transition from gravel road to the rugged descent. This was a very unique stage that had a long fire road climb from town that ascended over one thousand meters before dropping into a rough, yet stunning, descent down the edges of cliffs, over slabs, through rocky patches, and down some 4X4 jeep roads. Riders who dared to use a hardtail should be given a pat on the back. Those who chose a larger trail back would have suffered on the way up but would have had a more enjoyable descent.

Rider’s prepare for day 1.

In the Open Men’s field the 2017 overall winner, Geoff Kabush, took charge and won the stage on his birthday. The top 3 men were separated by only 7 seconds. In the Open Women’s field it was Sparky Moir Sears who took a commanding stage win over Marlee Dixon.

Rider: Justine Lindine

In the 40+ women the battle was tight with only 27 seconds separating first and second after over 2.5 hours of racing. Amy Thomas came out on top and was followed by Caroline Colonna.

Some might not have been aware, but you didn’t want to venture too far of the trails. 

In the 40+ men Daniel Mahlum heads into day 2 as the leader with Pascal Bonaventure hot on his heels. Gary Sutton was the 50+ men’s winner today and will have 26 rider field chasing him down tomorrow!

Some riders race from start to finish and some go for the full experience. 

Times ranged from the fastest at 1:38:53 to the final finisher at 5:10:14. We all now rest up and prepare for day 2 on the Klondike Bluff trails.

It was hard not to enjoy the landscape while racing out there.

You can check out stage 1 results and overall standings on HERE

I suffered out there but with a smile and full enjoyment. The “cool down” after the stage had views like this over 20 more minutes of beautiful singletrack.

At the end of the day everyone is proud of each other and ready to fight another day.

All photos by John Gibson and Jean McAllister.

Moab Rocks Preview

Here’s a little write up that made it onto Pinkbike before we kick off the three day Moab Rocks stage race. 

Photo by John Gibon

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/preview-of-the-3-day-moab-rocks-xc-mtb-stage-race.html

 

Photo by John Gibson

2018 Preparations

It has been quite some time since an update, which I apologize for, but there has been a lot going on. As always there had been a ton of training going on and mainly in Canada this winter. You may see a trend in the photos below of snow but it slowly going away and now I am in Victoria doing the final preparations for the first MTB race of the year – The Bear Mountain Canada Cup.

You can check out my race calendar under the “calendar” tab. 

There will be more stories and race recaps once the season gets underway. 

Christmas skiing with some great people.

First day out touring in 2018 and I couldn’t have been happier. 

Ski Touring near Sunshine in Banff

There was lots of XC skiing this winter. I spent a lot of hours doing my base training and even added ski workouts this year. Lots of time alone out there but the company I did have for some of the skis always contributes. Thanks to those to skied with me this winter!

Early season base training on the touring skis in Banff. I didn’t get out on the skis much this winter but the few times I did were breathtaking. 

The first time mountain biking since December was in Phoenix on South Mountain – the area where Pivot Cycles was born. A training camp took me to Phoenix this year and I was lucky to have some great mountain bike riders with Chris Cocalis (president/CEO of Pivot) and Taylor Lideen (a fellow racer). 

This is one of my favourite spots to stop on a road bike and look at the view. No matter the weather, the season, or the type of ride, I make a point to stop here. 

It took a little longer this winter to get the bikes outside and on the road. 

Early season riding in the Okanagan is always a special one to reflect on.

 

On the weekend of March 17/18th Adam Walker and I ran the first Cycling BC Provincial MTB team project at Bear Mountain in Victoria. I’m looking forward to kicking off the season and working with all thee young rippers. 

T-minus 3 days until the 2018 season kicks off. 

 

Cross-Country ski racing is…..

………hard. First off, Happy New Year to all. I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays and have reflected on their years. I’ve been doing a different start to the winter this year. Over the past few seasons I’ve been talking about ski racing and never actually put my name on a sign up sheet. It’s been a great opportunity to train for something new and learn about another sport that I’ve actually been doing for ten years. In 2007 I entered a 7 km classic race after only a season or two of skiing. It wasn’t pretty and the biggest memory was doing the splits around a corner with one foot stuck in the tracks and yard sailing down an embankment. Skis, poles and myself were everywhere. 

Over 10 years later and I decided it was time for the first “skate” race. Skiing started a lot earlier this year with a one week winter camp at Silver Star resort to ski their trails and Sovereign Lakes. I had some good instructors with past ski racers and Olympians; Brittany Webster and Jenn Jackson were the instructors and pain inducers for the mountain bikers, with myself, Catharine Pendrel and Keith Wilson. We skied a lot and were powered by some tasty food and baking.

On December 2nd Nickel Plate Nordic was hosting their first race of the year and it was one of the earliest for any places around. After the 10 km loppet race I skied with the Telemark club for a couple hours.  As previously assumed, it was confirmed with that cross-country ski racing is hard.. I had one week to “sharpen my sword” until I threw myself completely into the deep end at a combined Canadian Nor Am Series and US Super Tour series race at Sovereign Lakes in Vernon. Without any ranking points it meant I started almost first out of the 130+ person mens field. It was interval starts every 30 seconds from last ranked to first ranked skiers. Luckily with the help of a few people I had the fastest wax job my skis have ever experienced and, not to complain, but they were almost too fast for my skill/balance level! Not a problem that a good skier has.

Thanks to everyone out there cheering and to the waxers. It wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t anywhere near finishing in the the middle of the field, let along the front. The loop was 5 km and we did 3 laps for a 15 km race. On my final lap is when the fastest skiers were taking off; one by one they came whistling by me as my speed slowed. It was a great experience to try out racing at high level in a different sport. Next up: Telemark Loppet race at my home club on Jan 14. 

Happy Holidays!

-Evan

 


Race Face Cinch power meter release

It was an honour to work with Race Face over the last year in the development of the newly released Cinch Power Meter. Click the link below to read more about it, learn how I train with it, and what bikes it can be used on. 

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/race-face-releases-cinch-power-meter-powertraining-evan-guthrie.html

 

Video from National Champs

Here’s a great video recap by Patrick Brown from the Canmore cross-country National Championships this past summer:

 

 

Off-season Photo Essay

Richard Wooles and his daughter Zoe present a cheque to Cycling Canada for youth development. This was raised over 14 days and during the Evening of Champions Fundraiser. I’ve been fortunate to be involved with this gala for 4 years and am amazed with how many supportive people are out there. 

The athletes at the gala.

This fall I’ve been eating a lot of breakfasts’ out in the bush during my hunts

There was a lot of wood splitting and stacking to keep the home warm this winter
Slowly but surely the yard piles up with wood after the winter gets closer

Sunrise with friends in the peace and quiet is great way to start the day.Helping friends with house reno’s
A night spent at my uncles trapper cabin  with the proper wood stoveThe lazy was to good view points

New video coming soon with Raceface. Photo: Niall Pinder

Fall in the Okanagan is lovely and never gets old

Canmore is a beautiful place and I was happy to get some of last outdoor rides of 2017 there.
Ha Ling peak in Canmore was littered with snow in October already.

Last week my buddies and I set off for a 5 day most hunt. There was 7 people, 4 trucks, 2 quads, 1 tent trailer, and 25 moose spotted, but none that we could harvest.

Basecamp for our 2017 moose hunt

The tent trailer was tight with 4 guys in it and cold as heck. This is a summer trailer and not fully sealed. Luckily we had a propane furnace to keep the temperates from getting below 0. 

Afternoon lunch with Captain Keaton under a rock while we took shelter was the snow and heavy winds.

We had one beautiful day out of five.

Loving life

When 3 day old crab shows up on the campfire, you know the boys are doing it properly.
This just about says it all; foggy, cold, windy, snowy, and no animals.

Nothing went too wrong on the trip other than two quads running out of gas, two guys getting stuck in the ditch and spending the night in the truck, running out of spare fuel, and then the day after we got home two of the hunting party get stuck far out of town and three of us when to rescue them. One trip for the memory books.

The bears are still wondering around behind the house.