NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic Race Showcases up and Coming Stars
Many of the best young mountain bikers from
across the United States will test themselves and race each other at
the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by
Dirt Rag from May 25 to May 31, 2014. With strong support from BMC
and additional help from BikeFlights.com, the seven-day contest,
its Singletrack Summer Camp-like feel, offers incredible support for
developing Under 25 riders - the future stars of the sport of
year's BMC Under 25 men's winner Madison Matthews (Toasted Head
Racing) will have his hands full defending his title. The local
Pennsylvania first-year pro is not only a strong rider, but also an
incredible bike handler.
done the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic once before and once after the
BMC Under 25 category was included, and having the U25 category makes
the race an awesome experience for younger riders," said
Matthews. "It's tough to beat racing great trails all week and
being able to hang out with the pros and a bunch of other cool people
his NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic victory in 2013, Matthews went on to
win the category 1 US national championships for riders aged 19-24.
This year, he'll benefit not only from his local knowledge but also
from being one of the few Under 25 riders to have previously done the
McElveen (Richard's Rainwater MTB Racing) is perhaps the best known
U25 rider on the start list. The 21-year-old pro from Austin, Texas
and Durango, Colorado, finished an impressive sixth place among the
elites at the US national series opener earlier this season at the
Mellow Johnny's Classic and represented the United States at the 2014
Pan-American Championships. With top goals of making the podium at
nationals and qualifying for the US world championship team, he is
skipping two World Cup rounds held the same week as the NoTubes
Trans-Sylvania Epic because he thinks it will help him better attain
will be my first real stage race experience, so I'm cautiously
optimistic," said McElveen. "I've proven I have the
capability to ride at the front of Pro XCTs with the top guys like
NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic past winner Jeremiah Bishop, but we’ll
see how I'm doing on days 4, 5, 6, etc. I hope to be a player in the
front group as much as possible, and look forward to contending the
best young rider category. Honestly I don't really know what to
expect and surely will be learning as I go."
Kurlander (Ska/Zia/Trek), 19 years old, is coming off of two
promising years in the junior ranks and a recent successful
collegiate racing year with Fort Lewis College. A freakishly gifted
climber, he has smashed a number of hill climb records in the cycling
crazy town of Durango.
never raced the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic or a stage race of this
type before, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how my body
responds to so many consecutive days of hard racing," said
Kurlander. "I have been putting in a bunch of quality training
hours, and I'm looking for a top five finish in the BMC U25 category
and as high a finish as possible in the overall GC. The opportunity
to test myself against so many great racers is a huge reason for
racing the TSEpic. I also know it will be a ton of fun."
Phillips (Felt Factory Enduro Team) will be making the trip to
Trans-Sylvania from Altadena, California. Formerly a top junior
cross country mountain bike racer and podium finisher at collegiate
mountain bike nationals, Phillips has switched his focus to enduro
been following the race for a few years now, and it's something I've
always wanted to do," said Phillips, who is coming to the
NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic to win the enduro category and set
himself up with great fitness for the rest of the summer's enduro
Fort Lewis College student and racer, Mike Sampson (Adigga Racing) of
Holderness, New Hampshire, splits his focus between enduro and cross
goal is to win the enduro category among the non-elites as well as
finishing the top five in the Under 25 general classification,"
said the 19-year-old Sampson, who will be racing his first NoTubes
Trans-Sylvania Epic. "I can't wait to ride some great east coast
singletrack while getting to hang out with lots of friends. It's a
great opportunity for me to try something new."
Bergey (Champion System Cannondale), one of the mid-Atlantic's
brightest young stars, joins defending champion Matthews as the only
BMC Under 25 favorite with previous NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic
experience. Bergey, also a Pennsylvanian, wore the white leader's
jersey for a time in 2013 and is the US Super D national champion for
19 to 29-year-olds.
the seriously stacked BMC U25 field this year, if I could sneak onto
the podium for a stage or two and be in the mix for the overall I
would be happy,” said Bergey, 20, from Schwenksville. "I'm
looking forward most to the unique environment surrounding the entire
event. I'm going there to race, but it's more than just a race. It's
my favorite week of the summer - what’s not to love about a week of
racing, friends and rocks? I will mainly be focusing on the GC. I may
try a few of the enduro sections though.”
Pennsylvanian Cole Oberman (Rare Disease Cycling) is making the trip
to Trans-Sylvania from Philadelphia.
coming off a spring of strong finishes at the opening rounds of the
US Cup and most recently had a great showing at the Whiskey Off-Road
in Arizona," said the 23-year-old Oberman. "My form is
definitely still on the up for the year, and I’ll be hunting for
the BMC Under 25 win as well as the overall at the TSEpic."
year will be my first year racing the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic
despite having grown up in south central Pennsylvania," said
Oberman. "I cut my teeth riding the extremely rocky trails in
Michaux and Weiser State Forests as a kid. I've heard the State
College trails are pretty similar so I'm stoked to put my skills to
the test against such a talented field. I’m used to racing with
these guys on the international cross country circuit, so it'll be
interesting to see how things play out during the week."
Dodge (Pure Energy Scott) of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, one of
only a handful of American men to win a category 1 UCI cyclo-cross
race last fall, is looking to make a big splash in his first year out
of the Under 23 ranks.
looking forward to riding the fun singletrack and competing in the
enduro stage," said Dodge, who won a bronze medal in the Under
23 category at the 2013 cross country mountain bike nationals. "I
think this will be a good training block for the upcoming races. I
plan to have a lot of fun during the week."
fastest young women
BMC Under 25 women's race champion Donna Miller has aged up to the
elite category and in her absence, Ellen Noble (Bear Development
Team) leads the ranks as top U25 women's favorite. The 18-year-old
from Kennebunkport, Maine is currently finishing up high school but
already has made the podium several times at national championships
and won the 2012 cyclo-cross junior national championships.
never done the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic before, and I can't wait,"
said an excited Noble. "The last long endurance race I did was
the 24 hours of Great Glen [solo] when I was 10 and 12 years old. I
want to do as well in my field as I possibly can. I hope to look at
the results afterward and say, 'Okay, all my hard work and training
so special to have a devoted U25 category," said Noble, who
finished second in the Under 23 category at cyclo-cross nationals
earlier in 2014. "I am racing this race because it's totally
different than anything I have done. I can't wait to be doing the
race and spending a whole week just riding and having fun."
toughest competition in the BMC Under 25 ranks may come from Emily
Shields (BMC Project Enduro), who finished third among the Under 23
racers at the 2013 US mountain bike national championships.
long-time supporter of developing riders, the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania
Epic will reward the winners of the BMC Under 25 men's and women's
classifications with a free solo entry to next year's seven-day
version of the race (TSEpic) while the winners of the Under 19 men's
and women's classifications will win a free solo entry to next year's
three-day version of the race (TS3).
TheNoTubesTrans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt
Rag Magazine is made possible with the generous
support of BMC,Pactimo,Hammer
Lizard and Freeze
more information, visitOutdoorExperience.orgor TSEpic.com;
find us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/TransSylvaniaEpic;
or follow us on Twitter @TransSylvania, #TSEpic, #TS3 and #TSEnduro.
MTBRacenews.com will be bringing you updates from the race all week, so stay
tuned here for race reports and photos from the Transylvania Epic.