Tran-Sylvania Epic Stage 4

Stage 4 win boosts Werner into leader’s spot at NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic

Armstrong claims women’s stage victory while Barclay defends overall lead

TRANS-SYLVANIA, PA (June 2, 2016) – Stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic was a wet and wild ride at R.B. Winter State Park, a mainstay of the event with some new trails and more miles added for this edition. A steady rain through most of the day encouraged some riders and hindered others.

Elite men

With its high speeds, smoother trails and wet weather, stage 4 turned into a more tactical battle for the top men. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling) raced his way into the lead of the general classification by virtue of winning the stage and finishing as the top enduro rider on the day. Previous leader Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) dropped to second overall after finishing second in the stage and third in the enduro.

Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) started stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic as race leader, but ended it in second place on both the stage and in the GC after a challenging day. The men’s race proved to be extremely tactical with three of the favorites battling it out for most of the stage.

Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) started stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic as race leader, but ended it in second place on both the stage and in the GC after a challenging day. The men’s race proved to be extremely tactical with three of the favorites battling it out for most of the stage.

Previous third overall racer Adria Noguera Soldevila (Buff Pro Team) initially led a group of four top favorites, including his teammate Pau Zamora, Werner and Lindine. However, an unfortunate flat after the first enduro section would eventually cost Soldevila more than 30 minutes on the stage.

That left a highly motivated Zamora with Werner and Lindine. “I often was at the front so I could make up time on the other riders and get a top-three today,” said Zamora.

Werner was happy for the extra company up front. “Pau was being a trooper and taking good pulls with us. He wasn’t the best descender although he’d get in front for some of the enduro segments,” said Werner. “I think his motive was to slow us down so we wouldn’t get away from him.”

Cyclocross pro racer Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) is no slouch when it comes to mountain biking. He’s been mixing it up among the top five of the solo men at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, and sits in fourth overall after stage 4.

Cyclocross pro racer Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) is no slouch when it comes to mountain biking. He’s been mixing it up among the top five of the solo men at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, and sits in fourth overall after stage 4.

Zamora’s strategy worked well until a steep climb just before the fourth of five enduro segments when Werner seized an opportunity. “I’d never seen the trail before, but I had scoped it out on Strava and saw that it was wicked steep for 0.1 miles,” said Werner. “Pau swung wide on the right turn into it, and I chopped him inside and took over the lead ahead of him and Justin. I made it three-quarters of the way up the slick rocks before having to run, but the others had to run the whole thing after Pau slipped out. I led into the enduro segment, got a bigger gap and then went full gas to the finish which felt much further away than it had looked on the course map.”

The enduro riders were clearly having at least as much fun, if not more, than everyone else all week. Here, Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine) demonstrated the preferred enduro line. He and enduro classification leader Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) have ridden together for most of the week thus far.

The enduro riders were clearly having at least as much fun, if not more, than everyone else all week. Here, Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine) demonstrated the preferred enduro line. He and enduro classification leader Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) have ridden together for most of the week thus far.

“Kerry’s move was a good one,” said Lindine. “When we popped out on the road after the enduro segment, I could see him, and it became a pursuit match. I closed what was 35-40 seconds down to maybe 20 seconds at the finish.”

“Today was a hard day – a bit of a disaster for me from a GC standpoint,” said Lindine. “Unbeknownst to us, the enduro guys were having a terrible day, so their times on some of the enduro segments were slow. Neither Kerry nor I pushed it on the enduros today, but Kerry ended up first, and I was third in the day’s enduro classification, so due to the enduro time bonuses, I lost even more time to Kerry. Maybe I rode too conservatively today, but when you’re on the rivet, you don’t want to make a move and have someone counterattack it.”

It was a stellar day for Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling), who moved into the lead of the solo men’s general classification in stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. He leveraged a strategic move going into the fourth of five enduro segments to grab a stage win.

It was a stellar day for Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling), who moved into the lead of the solo men’s general classification in stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. He leveraged a strategic move going into the fourth of five enduro segments to grab a stage win.

With one minute separating Werner and Lindine, Friday’s final stage 5 will decide the race. Lindine knows well from his own past experience that one minute isn’t a big gap and anything could happen to change the race’s outcome.

Stage 4 Brief Results

  1. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  2. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)
  3. Pau Zamora (Buff Pro Team)

General Classification After Stage 4

  1. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  2. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)
  3. Pau Zamora (Buff Pro Team)

Enduro Stage 4 Brief Results

  1. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  2. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  3. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)

Enduro Classification After Stage 4

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  3. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)

Elite women

Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) added climbing power to her descending prowess to earn her first stage win of the race. “This morning I wasn’t feeling super motivated, but then when we headed up the road climb, all the ladies were together, so I thought I’d dig a little deeper,” she said. “When I did, I felt really strong. So I thought, ‘Let’s just try to get to the first enduro as fast as possible.’ But then the rain started coming down, and I was like — oh, today’s my day. I loved every bit of it.”

Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) took her first NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic stage win of the week, beating women’s GC leader and race favorite Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team). Armstrong’s performance was good enough to bump her up from third to second in the women’s GC.

Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) took her first NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic stage win of the week, beating women’s GC leader and race favorite Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team). Armstrong’s performance was good enough to bump her up from third to second in the women’s GC.

Armstrong is quite familiar with racing in the rain. “I race a lot in Pisgah where it rains a lot like that, so it worked out in my favor.” She now sits solidly in second place in the GC, as well as the enduro classification, and continues to take each stage one at a time.

Overall race leader Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women) did not pull away from the pack as she has on other days, but she still held on to her lead and her good attitude. “I had some mechanical issues today…those slowed me down,” she said. “But it’s good for me to have days like this, because it challenges me to push through. I had to work to get back up into second place. It was rough. I’m actually feeling a little bit grumpy. But Kaysee rode an amazing race and even before I was having problems, she was crushing the climbs.”

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) had a challenging day despite weather that was more like that of her native Scotland; however, the pink-clad race leader successfully managed to defend her overall lead with one stage to go in the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) had a challenging day despite weather that was more like that of her native Scotland; however, the pink-clad race leader successfully managed to defend her overall lead with one stage to go in the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Stage racing allows one to wipe the slate clean and start fresh each day. “Tomorrow’s another day… I’m just hoping to hold onto the GC win,” Barclay said.

Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters) also had a strong day that resulted in third place. “I surprised myself that I could maintain that pace for that amount of time. I did everything I could and am satisfied with my ride. I was proud to be able to ride with Selene Yeager (Emmaus Bad Decisions Club).” Yeager is a past winner of the race who is riding on a team this year.

Blanchard had no illusions about the coming final effort. “Tomorrow’s going to be harder than today, a lot harder. I think I have to just not go to that dark place and try to stay focused on every section.”

Stage 4 Brief Results

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  2. Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)
  3. Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters)

General Classification After Stage 4

  1. Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters)

Enduro Stage 4 Brief Results

  1. Meggie Bichard (Fuji)
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing)

Enduro Classification After Stage 4

  1. Meggie Bichard (Fuji)
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing)

The Trails

Stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic took racers to R.B. Winter State Park for some of the most picturesque riding in Pennsylvania. Among the highlights were Black Gap Trail and White Deer Creek Trail. The course’s 35.2 miles, with 4,616 feet of climbing, were fast and furious and included five enduro segments. A cold, spring-fed lake awaited at the finish – where riders could cool down and clean off the day’s mud.

Check out our daily Facebook Live coverage!

Watch our live coverage on Facebook for each stage’s start and from somewhere out on course. We also stream each evening’s post-stage slideshow, video recap and awards ceremony.

Thanks to our sponsors

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented is made possible with the generous support of great partners like Julbo, Central PA Tourism, Lupine, Purple Lizard, SRAM, Kona, NUUN, Freeze Thaw Cycles, EVOC and more!

Social media

For more information, visit OutdoorExperience.org or TSEpic.com; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TransSylvaniaEpic; or follow us on Instagram or Twitter @TransSylvania, #TSEpic, #TSEnduro and #SingletrackSummerCamp.

Tran-Sylvania Stage 3

Phillips finally gets his NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic stage win

Bichard tops women’s podium while Lindine and Barclay retain their overall leads

TRANS-SYLVANIA, PA (June 1, 2016) – Today was Enduro Day at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic – a day when descending prowess is key for every racer. While the elite solo general classification contenders tried to keep the rubber side down and their hopes of overall glory alive, the gravity specialists let it fly and showed everyone the fastest way down the mountain.

Elite men

Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) was ecstatic to finally capture his first stage win at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic on his third try. “I’m pumped, I finally got a stage win at Trans-Sylvania! That’s been a long time coming,” he said. “The last two years, I’ve been frustrated to miss out on the enduro stage win due to flat tires and other issues. Today, I didn’t do the typical enduro day hangout with people; I stayed focused and blasted my way through the course.”

Before the stage even started, Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) had his sights set on winning the enduro stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic after being the fastest enduro racer on the first two days of this year’s race. Phillips had never previously won a Trans-Sylvania Epic stage… until today.

Before the stage even started, Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) had his sights set on winning the enduro stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic after being the fastest enduro racer on the first two days of this year’s race. Phillips had never previously won a Trans-Sylvania Epic stage… until today.

When asked what he did differently this year, Phillips explained his gravity-focused bike prep. “The last few days, I had some chain issues because I didn’t have a chain guide, which was poor planning on my part, so I went and got a chain guide yesterday at Freeze-Thaw Cycles. I put on downhill tires and put 33 psi in the rear tire and 30 psi in the front, so I could go as fast as I wanted through the rocks without flatting.”

The fourth section of the day, the Wildcat Gap trail, is notoriously difficult – basically a steeply tilted rock garden – but Phillips made it look easy. “You’re good at things when it’s life or death. So basically you get going into a section, and if you shut your brain off just enough that you get up to a speed where it’s life or death, you’re going to be a way better rider than if you’re thinking about it and trying to use your skills. Suddenly you realize you’re going so fast you can’t stop, so you either have to make the trail or you’re going to crash. Eventually you go so fast that you don’t fall in the holes, you’re just skimming across the top, and it feels like you’re riding across braking bumps instead of a rock garden.”

Phillips has a decently comfortable lead in enduro points over second place racer Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine). He plans to ride conservatively the next two days to defend that lead.

Men’s race leader Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) rails it on the first timed enduro section during stage 3 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Lindine would go on to finish third on the day and retain his lead over Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling).

Men’s race leader Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) rails it on the first timed enduro section during stage 3 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Lindine would go on to finish third on the day and retain his lead over Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling).

Overall leader Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) put in a good performance to grab the third podium spot, keeping his GC lead. “I gained a whole nine seconds on Kerry [Werner, Rally Cycling]…not terrible. I had four good runs, and then crashed in the middle of the last one, which was too bad, because I think it would have been fast.” Werner borrowed a bigger-travel bike which mean he lost time to Lindine in the flatter two first sections, but made up time on the latter two steeper, rockier sections.

Tomorrow’s stage 4 at R.B. Winter State Park, with its new added sections and longer distance, will challenge Lindine’s local knowledge gained from past race editions.

Stage 3 Brief Results

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine)
  3. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)

General Classification After Stage 3

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)
  2. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  3. Adria Noguera Soldevila (Buff Pro Team)

Enduro Stage 3 Brief Results

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine)
  3. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)

Enduro Classification After Stage 3

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine)
  3. Christopher Hamlin (Bicycle Express Racing)

Elite women

With the day’s action focused on enduro, Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes) got a turn in the spotlight. The unassuming British enduro racer, who currently lives in New Zealand, has been quietly dominating the enduro category all week.

“I enjoyed today! The last three enduro segments were world-class,” said Bichard. “I haven’t ridden anything like that before. It was pure rock garden the whole way down the trail. Riding it blind made it pretty interesting, too. I’ve never raced anywhere like this in the U.S., and I’m impressed – I’d only previously been to Colorado.”

Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes) continued her domination of the solo women’s enduro classification in her first-ever NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. She spends half the year in New Zealand and half the year travelling around the world to different races.

Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes) continued her domination of the solo women’s enduro classification in her first-ever NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. She spends half the year in New Zealand and half the year travelling around the world to different races.

Up and coming young rider Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) continued to excel in the enduro and rode to second place in the stage. Unlike Bichard, who decided not to contest the cross country after experiencing stage 1, Armstrong is among the top women in both classifications.

“My chain came off on the third enduro segment, but everything else was perfect and smooth about today,” said Armstrong. “The fifth and final section was my favorite. I didn’t remember all those rocks! It just kept going and going.”

Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) has been one of the top cross country and enduro riders in the solo women’s category this week. She broke a chain during stage 3 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, but fortunately, it was between the timed enduro segments, so she still finished second in the stage.

Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) has been one of the top cross country and enduro riders in the solo women’s category this week. She broke a chain during stage 3 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, but fortunately, it was between the timed enduro segments, so she still finished second in the stage.

Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing) claimed the final spot in the day’s top three and made her first podium appearance of the week.

Race leader Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes) kept her overall GC lead with a fourth place on the day; however, Armstrong’s enduro prowess moved her into second place, bumping Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters) into third.

 

Stage 3 Brief Results

  1. Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes)
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing)

General Classification After Stage 3

  1. Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)?
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters)

Enduro Stage 3 Brief Results

  1. Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes)
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing)

Enduro Classification After Stage 3

  1. Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes)
  2. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  3. Karen Talley Mead (Two Wheel Fixation)

The Trails

The third day of the Trans-Sylvania Epic was all about enduro racing. There were five separate Julbo/EVOC enduro segments with no timed racing in between them – racers simply pedalled on to the next segment and let it roll. The timed segments counted toward both the overall general classification and the enduro points sub-classification. The day’s total riding covered 29.5 miles and included 4,377 feet of climbing.

Check out our daily Facebook Live coverage!

Watch our live coverage on Facebook for each stage’s start and from somewhere out on course. We also stream each evening’s post-stage slideshow, video recap and awards ceremony.

Thanks to our sponsors

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented is made possible with the generous support of great partners like Julbo, Central PA Tourism, Lupine, Purple Lizard, SRAM, Kona, NUUN, Freeze Thaw Cycles, EVOC and more!

Social media

For more information, visit OutdoorExperience.org or TSEpic.com; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TransSylvaniaEpic; or follow us on Instagram or Twitter @TransSylvania, #TSEpic, #TSEnduro and #SingletrackSummerCamp.

Pisgah 111k/55.5k Report and Results

Pisgah 111k

Pisgah Productions dished out another weekend of epic racing in North Carolina with its Pisgah 111k and 55.5k events last Saturday and Sunday. The courses, which both feature a number of classic Pisgah highlights, some hard hike-a-bikes, and a few stream crossings for good measure, were looking a little more intimidating than usual after a week of soaking rain.

Thomas Turner on his way to a win in the Pisgah 111k

Thomas Turner on his way to a win in the Pisgah 111k. Photo Credit: Icon Media Asheville

A stacked field rolled out of the Pisgah Ranger Station early Saturday morning for the 111k, with things separating almost immediately on the first gravel climb of the day up to Buckhorn Gap. A group of seven including heavy hitters Thomas Turner (Jamis), Sam Koerber (Industry Nine), Gordon Wadsworth (Blue Ridge Bicycle Co.), and Tristan Cowie (Sycamore Cycles) crested the top together on their way to the days first major challenge: Squirrel Gap trail.

It was there that Cowie first showed his cards, attacking up Squirrel and quickly establishing a gap. “He was riding next level today,” Turner said later. Luck, however, was not on Cowie’s side, and he flatted soon after on the Cantrell Creek descent, allowing Koerber and Turner to slip past. And at Aid #1 that’s where things stood, Koerber followed by Turner out front, with Cowie chasing back and Wadsworth and Chris Tries (Piney Flats Bicycle Co.) rounding out the top five.

Gordon Wadsworth notching yet another overall podium on his singlespeed.

Gordon Wadsworth notching yet another overall podium on his singlespeed. Photo Credit: Icon Media Asheville

By Aid#2 a resurgent Cowie had ridden himself back to the front, taking Koerber with him. “I tried to stay on his wheel and lasted about 10 minutes,” Koerber would say later. Cowie was on his way to a big win, when another flat descending Spencer Gap trail ended his day. With Cowie walking out of the woods, Koerber led through Aid #3 and up Laurel Mountain trail when he too had flat trouble. He tried to put some air in, but the tire wouldn’t seal, forcing him to put in a tube – passing the lead to Turner in the process. Turner kept things smooth through Aid #4 and over Black Mountain trail to the finish, taking his second 111k win in two years, with Koerber rolling across in 2nd. Behind, Wadsworth piloted his singlespeed to a well-deserved 3rd overall.

In the women’s race, an expected battle between Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) and Nina Otter (Liberty Bikes) never materialized. Armstrong dropped Otter on the first climb of the day up to Buckhorn Gap and rode steadily from there, cruising to line and repeating last year’s win. Otter struggled to find her rhythm, and perennial Pisgah powerhouse Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) rode to the second spot of on the podium, with Otter rounding out the top three.

Women's podium at the 111k.

Women’s podium at the 111k. Photo Credit: Icon Media Asheville

 

Pisgah 55.5K

A majority of 111k racers awoke early for round two on Sunday, and they were joined by a few new faces for the 55.5k. While it’s half the distance of Saturday’s race, the 55.5k is a slightly slower course, and riders were in for another big day in the saddle.

The field rolling into the first singletrack of the 55.5k.

The field rolling into the first singletrack of the 55.5k. Photo Credit: Icon Media Asheville

In the women’s race, it was Elizabeth Sampey, who had passed on the previous day’s racing, turning the screws at the front. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) gamely kept things close, but she was unable to match the pace of Sampey, and took second. Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) took her second podium in as many days with third.

Men's 55.5k podium.

Men’s 55.5k podium. Photo Credit: Icon Media Asheville

In the men’s race, it was Saturday’s top riders Thomas Turner (Jamis) and Sam Koerber (Industry Nine) riding together at the front all day. The two got an early gap by riding nearly all of the climb up Black Mountain trail, a stretch that forced most of the field to hike. Turner led for almost the whole day, but a crash that sent him off his bike on the final descent down Black Mountain trail gave Koerber a gap he held to the line. A very strong ride from Nick Bragg (Piney Flats Racing) netted him a well deserved podium as he crossed the line in third.

Full 111k Results

Full 55.5k Results