Peter Stetina completes Sea Otter Classic Fuego 80k with a broken wrist

American rider crashes on the first lap but holds firm to pick up potentially priceless points in the Life Time Grand Prix.

Photo: Courtesy BWR

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MONTEREY, California (VN) – Peter Stetina completed the Sea Otter Classic Fuego 80k in 21st place on Saturday, but it came at a cost with the gravel rider breaking his left wrist in an early fall.

Keegan Swenson won the men’s race, while Mo Wilson won the women’s event.

Stetina confirmed the news to VeloNews in a phone call as he made the journey from hospital to his home in northern California.

“It’s a broken wrist, it’s broken,” a disappointed Stetina told VeloNews.

“It’s a weird one. I’m still good friends with some of my WorldTour team doctors so I’ve sent them the x-rays. It’s not displaced but it also goes into the joint, so it could be complicated.

“This crash happened on the first corner into the dirt. This guy hooked Kiel Reijnen super hard into the barriers, for who knows what reason, and I was thrown lateral right next to him. I was almost in last place and my wrist really hurt. I finished the race with a broken wrist but it held up.”

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Stetina’s early fall meant that he never saw the front of the race again.

He contemplated pulling out and could have easily climbed off after the first of two laps. The pain meant that he had to dial back on the more rugged and technical sections over the mountain bike course. However he communicated with those around him so that they were aware that his braking speed and technique would be problematic.

“I thought about pulling out in the first 15 minutes but it was more about braking and shifting strength. In all of those bumpy corners you’re compressing and then you’re lifting the bars at times,” he said

“I was just riding like a numbskull into the bumps because I couldn’t lift it. I was warning guys around me, saying I’d hurt my hand and that I needed space for braking. They were all cool with it. I rallied hard and I caught a load of guys.”

Stetina came into the race in fine form and was looking to kick start his campaign in the Life Time Grand Prix. Riders can drop one race result in the series, so all is not lost for Stetina at this point.

He has his eyes on Unbound Gravel, the next race in the series, which takes place in May.

“You never know with the Grand Prix points how it’s going to work out. So I definitely tried to rally. It’s a bit of a bummer because I was pretty primed for this race,” Stetina said. “I went to a pretty technical mountain bike race last week. It was almost down-hilling. I did this course three times and I was quietly confident coming in. It’s unfortunate.”

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