American flag displayed by the Sea Otter crowd

Sea Otter Classic 2022

The Sea Otter Classic is not only the largest cycling festival in the world; it’s also the kickoff event of the racing season. With the spotlight on them and pressure to perform, athletes pour into Monterey, California, in an effort to put up solid results and start their season on the right track. For Maxxis, this Sea Otter was especially noteworthy as it included the debut of the new Maxxis Factory Racing Team.

Maxxis Factory Racing group photo

For those who may not know, the team includes two endurance and two gravity-based athletes: Andrew L’Esperance and Haley Smith cover the cross country and gravel events, while Colton Peterson and Sophie Allen race enduro and some downhill. Sea Otter also saw the premier of the team’s new Hyperthreads kits, designed by Humid Creative.

Haley climbing during the Sea Otter XC race

Despite supply chain troubles and a resulting lack of some race bike parts, Maxxis Factory Racing had a great debut week. L’Esperance picked up the team’s first win of the year in the 40k gravel race on the Ibis Cycles Hakka MX, as well as a fifth-place finish in the XC 80k main event. Smith also had an impressive outing with a sixth place in the XC race.

Lepsy charging hard during the Sea Otter XC race

Colton Peterson placed 8th in the Enduro and 18th in the downhill, looking very fast against some of the world’s top racers. Sophie raced three events (whew!), with highlights including a 12th-place Pro Women finish in the enduro. Stan’s Wheels and Sealant kept the team rolling smooth and fast without worry during all the events.

Colton sending his Ibis Ripmo at Sea Otter

Sophie cruising down the Sea Otter Dual Slalom

Maxxis athletes shined throughout Sea Otter, constantly putting up fantastic results. Jill Kintner (Norco Bikes) led the charge, winning the dual slalom and the downhill races. Keegan Wright, flashing his new Yeti Cycles race bike, sprinted to a win in the Pro Men’s dual slalom race. Not to be confused with Wright, Keegan Swenson (Santa Cruz Bicycles) picked up the win in the XC 80k event, rounding off an amazing week of racing at the Sea Otter Classic.

Jill Kintner crushing her Sea Otter Dual Slalom run

Keegan Wright on his way to a Dual Slalom victory at Sea Otter

Warren pumping the Sea Otter Dual Slalom course

Maxxis’ next expo will be at Northwest Tune-Up, July 8-10, in Bellingham, Washington. Be sure to check us out there, and watch for Maxxis Factory Racing at the Big Mountain Enduro, Life Time Grand Prix, and other North American races!