Posted by: marissaridesbikes | May 7, 2012

Podiums & Promoting Women on Bikes at Sea Otter Classic

Touchstone riders Marissa Axell and Beverly Chaney took on NorCal’s finest at this year’s Sea Otter Classic Bike races.  While Marissa battled world-class riders in the epically tough 4-day Pro Women’s Stage Race around the famous Laguna Seca motorway track and all around Fort Ord’s killer climbs, Beverly took on a strong group of 35+ master’s racers in the criterium then participated in the Women’s Outreach program as a panel member in the “Fierce, Fabulous, and over Forty” forum.

Marissa at SOC2012_SteveAnderson

Marissa races her Leopard Cycles DC1 on the Laguna Seca Race Way in the Women’s Pro Stage Race at the 2012 Sea Otter Classic. Photo by Steve Anderson.

Women’s 35+ Criterium Report:

The weather was warm and breezy for Thursday’s late-afternoon criterium as a combined field of 35 Master’s 35+, Cat 3, and Cat 4 women lined up for the 40 minute, 2-hairpin, hilly criterium race course on the smooth and fast Laguna Seca race track.  Recognizing the potential for a first lap crash in the hairpins, Beverly took the “hole shot” and enjoyed a clean line through the first tight, off-camber turn even as a starting line crash affected several riders.  The pace was quick for most of the race causing the majority of the racers to get dropped on the repeated climbs.  With 5 laps to go it was down to a lead group of 10, and they took ample opportunity to tear the legs off each other with repeated attacks over the climb and down the fast tailwind straightaway.  With the pace very high on the final lap, Beverly found herself in 9th place coming into the final hairpin.  Taking the fastest line through the corner, she moved up two spots and prepared for the long headwind drag race to the finish line, clinching a second place with a sneaky fast bike throw at the finish line.

35+ Womens Criterium Podium

Women’s 35+ Criterium podium with Beverly Chaney (2nd), Maryann Levenson (1st), and Raegan Lunsford (3rd)

“Fierce, Fabulous, and over Forty” forum

The Sunday Women’s Forum was made up of women from all aspects of cycling, and was meant to help get more women onto their bikes! It was also informative and a lot of fun.  Each panelist gave a general overview of their backgrounds and cycling histories followed by question and answer period with audience participation.  Topics of discussion included mental toughness, motivation, nutrition, switching to cycling from other sports, time and race/ride management, and supporting women’s and master’s cycling in general.  Afterwards everyone enjoyed  wine, chocolate, and fresh berries at the informal reception.

Thanks to Lorri Lee Lown for organizing the forum and the additional women’s specific outreach programs at the 2012 Sea Otter Classic!

“Fierce, Fabulous, and over Forty” forum.

“Fierce, Fabulous, and over Forty” forum with (L to R):professional mountain biker and 3-time winner of the Leadville 100, Rebecca Rusch; Road Bike Action writer and owner of Women Cyclist, RaeLynn Milley; marketing guru and super cycling advocate, forum moderator Karen Kefauver; owner of and randonneur extraordinaire, Susan Otcenas, and Touchstone Climbing’s Beverly Chaney.



  1. Great job Marissa + Bev! And thank you so much for participating in the women’s forum, Bev. YOU WERE (and are) INSPIRING!

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