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2019 Race Report: Sea Otter Classic

Hayden Noel

// Slalom and DH

The annual Sea Otter Classic took place this last weekend in Central California and it was the first 2019 racing on US soil for Alchemy Factory Racing rider Cody Kelley. Kelley competed on board a modified Arktos 29ST in both the downhill and dual slalom and saw great results in both events.

He finished on the podium in DH with a fifth place. Although he was knocked out in the quarterfinal round in slalom, it was by eventual event winner Mitch Ropelato, and Kelly won one of the two head to heads.

“Overall, I felt really good this weekend,” said Kelley. “Thanks to Bikeco Joe, my set up was on point and it really helped my confidence. I was able to push hard all weekend and get the results I was looking for. It was a little disappointing to get beat by my buddy Mitch, but as we found at the end, he was definitely the fastest guy of the day.”

Kelley’s Arktos was something special at Sea Otter, equipped with a ST shock, link, and fork to make it more competitive on the mild terrain of the Otter.

“The bike Cody rode was built just for Sea Otter,” said Joe Binatena, Alchemy Factory Racing’s mechanic.  “We used a new Arktos 29ST link, with a custom tuned DPX2 shock, and a Bikeco-tuned 130mm travel Fox 34 fork. We focused on making it quick handling because the tracks at Sea Otter aren’t all that rough.”

Kelley is fresh off back-to-back EWS events and is arguably having the best season of his young career. He finished top American in the New Zealand EWS and is currently top American in overall EWS standings. Not sure if you saw the hair as well, but it’s pretty dialed if you ask us.


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