Titan Tropic by GAES – Stage 3: Soroa to Vinales

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

I apologize in the lapse in coverage from Titan Tropic 2016 but internet service on the interior of Cuba is fleeting at best. The experience is unparalleled however. We saw incredible sights while crossing the Cuban island from north to south before turning to the northern, Atlantic coast again for the finish.

Day three was the queen stage taking the race from the lush gardens of Soroa to the hidden valleys and floating islands of Vinales.

Race leader Marlies Mejias (Cuba) leads her teammate and defending champion Olga Echenique through the early river crossings. Photo courtesy of Titan Tropic by GAES

The entire stage is roughly 114 kilometers with over 2,000 meters (6,000 feet) of climbing spread out along the way.

A long neutral lead out got us going, extended by the overall race leader, Diego Tamayo (Team Tamayo), stopping to pee before the control car could pull off.

Once the group was released it was clear today was going to be another fast ride, despite the extra miles.

Tinker Juarez wowed the crowds this week in Cuba. Photo courtesy of Titan Tropic by GAES

After a handful of early road miles, we dropped off into some of the most remote riding we had done thus far. Rock strewn, beaten, forest tracks, cross cut by streams and muddy fords traveled over hundreds of years by nothing but horses and ox drawn wagons now provided passage for 150 mountain bikes.

Dropping deeper and deeper into the interior of Cuba we passed homes that rarely see visitors and must have thought the alien invasion was finally happening as gaunt beings in brightly-colored spandex, steadily streamed by. If indeed they thought the aliens were upon them, they were exceedingly nice about.

After the dirt ended, we climbed to a high ridge that traversed endless valleys. An absolutely marvelous road that feels like your riding the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia with forests of palms taking the place of the old growth hardwoods of North America.

The preferred beast of burden in Cuba. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

For kilometer after kilometer we followed the winding road without encountering a single car that wasn’t affiliated with the race. It’s no mystery why the area around Vinales is quickly becoming a road riding destination.

Finally, we dropped into the Vinales Valley with it’s 1,000 foot mogotes, giant haystack shaped mountains, standing guard. A more unique and varied landscape would be difficult to imagine as lush greenery and palm trees sit atop limestone monoliths with sheer-vertical walls on all sides.

Sightseeing had to be put aside as our focus returned to reaching the finish line. Jen and I had ridden hard all day almost exclusively by ourselves. My feet were on fire the last 30km as the early morning creek crossings had softened my shoes and allowed to feet to float around.

Former Formula 1 driver Jaime Alguersuari rides in the shadow of the many mogotes of the Vinales Valley. Photo courtesy of Titan Tropic by GAES

We picked up Jaime Alguersuari, a former Formula 1 driver, who passed us earlier in the day but was now dealing with some serious dehydration. He was riding with just bottles and lost one on a downhill section. He elected not to go back for it and it was costing him at this point. Jaime tucked in for the final road sections to the finish.

Stage three proved to be our best day as we put almost an hour of time between us and the second-placed duo mixed team, who we also learned are the former winners of the Titan Desert in Morocco.

Tomorrow, promises to be one of the best days for riding. The scenery of the Vinales Valley combined with a 100% off-road course should make for great riding and fun racing action.

Keeping the bikes clean and ready to go was important throughout the week. Titan Tropic workers power-washed hundreds of bikes a day. Photo by: Jen Hanks

Breck Epic Stage 4

Todd Wells and Amy Krahenbuhl Continue to Lock Down 2016 Breck Epic

On stage four of the Breck Epic, the top 7 men were all together for the first 15 miles until the decisive climb, Vomit Hill. Photo by: Eddie Clark

On stage four of the Breck Epic, the top 7 men were all together for the first 15 miles until the decisive climb, Vomit Hill. Photo by: Eddie Clark

After three days of racing, stage four’s Aqueduct route saw riders cross over the peaks of Summit County and pay a visit to Keystone Mountain.

Race leader Todd Wells and teammate Russell Finsterwald (SRAM / Troy Lee Designs) kept things civil, at least for a while, riding in a larger lead group through the first third of the race until they hit the exceptionally steep climb of the day.

At the base of Vomit Hill, Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar) hit the gas first with Finsterwald on his wheel. Wells had to unclip and run a bit to get back up to Finsterwald who had moved past Sonntag and the duo of Wells-Finsterwald distanced themselves for the day, once again.

“Of the four days, this one was the one where I felt best,” said Sonntag, who entered the stage in third overall. “I don’t know why, but maybe with doing Leadville on Saturday, it seems like even though these stages were super hard, it was still half the time out there [compared to Leadvile].”

Todd Wells stands up to his number one plate with a stage win with teammate Russell Finsterwald on his wheel through the finish line on stage 4. Finsterwald is just 4:24 back in the GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Todd Wells stands up to his number one plate with a stage win with teammate Russell Finsterwald on his wheel through the finish line on stage 4. Finsterwald is just 4:24 back in the GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

“Todd and Finsty still got the gap on us,” continued the German. “What’s it called? Vomit Hill? I was with Chris Jones for a while, but after that it was a pretty lonely day.”

“We rolled together the rest of the day,” said Wells about riding with Finsterwald. “With the big climb out of Keystone, it is great to have someone with you because of the fast dirt road section.”

Going through aid two at Keystone Mountain, Wells and Finsterwald held a gap of 1:45 over Chris Jones (Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling) and Sonntag. Fernando Riveros and Wells’ little brother Troy were another 1:15 behind Jones and Sonntag with single riders chasing in areas.

Kevin Day rushes to the finish line after being surprised by his family, who drove through the night from Utah, at aid one. Photo by: Liam Dorian

Kevin Day rushes to the finish line after being surprised by his family, who drove through the night from Utah, at aid one. Photo by: Liam Dorian

By the finish Wells and Finsterwald had a two and a half minute over Sonntag and Fernando Riveros was over six minutes back with Chris Jones was close behind.

With Sonntag’s third place finish today on stage 4, he padded his overall third place, though he sits almost 22-minutes behind Wells. Kyle Trudeu (CZ Racing) sits in fourth, 12-minutes behind the German and Drew Free (KUHL-Pivot Cycles) is in fifth.

Showing true grit, Rebecca Gross rounds one of the final corners on a demanding fourth stage. Team KASK sits pretty in pink in the lead in the coed duo 6 day race. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Showing true grit, Rebecca Gross rounds one of the final corners on a demanding fourth stage. Team KASK sits pretty in pink in the lead in the coed duo 6 day race. Photo by: Eddie Clark

WOMEN’S PRO/OPEN

Amy Krahenbuhl added to her lead once again on the Aqueduct stage, bringing her lead to over 40-minutes. Second and third-place overall riders, Emma Maaranen (Rolf) and Ksenia Lepikhina (Tokyo Joe’s) finished the stage placed consistent with their general classification.

We asked Krahenbuhl about the road (and trail) that’s brought her to the Breck Epic, one that saw her race the Trans New Zealand earlier this year.

“I’ve done random races here and there,” said Krahenbuhl. “More recently, I’ve been doing enduro racing and with that stuff, I would think ‘man, I could do really well if this whole thing was timed,’ because I’m not the fastest climber or descender, but I can go for a long time and hold it together.”

One half of the Juliana Bicycles 6 day duo women’s team, Uriel Carlson rounds one of the final corners before the finish line on stage four. Team Juliana Bicycles stays in third place on the day and the GC. Photo by: Liam Dorian

One half of the Juliana Bicycles 6 day duo women’s team, Uriel Carlson rounds one of the final corners before the finish line on stage four. Team Juliana Bicycles stays in third place on the day and the GC. Photo by: Liam Dorian

“It was really pedally,” said Krahenbuhl about the Aqueduct stage. “The big climb was a big, BIG climb. The descent down Colorado Trail was amazing. Definitely one of the more fun descents we’ve done so far.”

While it may seem as though the overall leads are all but sewn up, tomorrow’s weather forecast and the profile of the Wheeler Pass stage tomorrow, so much can happen. As Wells said just over 24-hours ago, “anything can happen in mountain bike stage racing.”

“Hours could be lost.”

Click Here for full results from Stage 4 and GC

 

 

Stage 5 Trans-Sylvania Epic

Werner and Armstrong win NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic titles

Broken handlebar sidelines former women’s leader and defending champion Barclay

 

The final stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic brought thrills and spills on a tough, rocky course made more difficult with a downpour in the middle of the day. Battles for the overall general classification (GC) wins didn’t go quite as planned.

Elite men

Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling) soloed to win the final stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic on his way to claiming the overall victory. A much anticipated battle up the final climb between Werner and defending champion and eventual runner-up Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek) never materialized after Lindine flatted early in the day.

The peloton rolls out for the fifth and final time at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. The rain held off for the start, but a 45-minute deluge drenched racers and trails mid-stage, making the rocks even more challenging than usual.

The peloton rolls out for the fifth and final time at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. The rain held off for the start, but a 45-minute deluge drenched racers and trails mid-stage, making the rocks even more challenging than usual.

“It was unfortunate that Justin flatted. I’m not pumped to win that way, but at the same time that’s racing and I’ll take it,” said Werner. “This whole week has been great – it’s a super organized event with great volunteers. Growing up in another part of Pennsylvania, I always wanted to do this race, so it’s special to win. It’s my first time riding here, and I already want to come back and ride more of these trails.”

A motivated Lindine started the day within striking distance of Werner’s overall time and set a fast pace up the first climb, dropping everyone except his rival.

“I felt good today and was having fun on the trails,” said Lindine, “but I had some bad luck. I was keeping the pressure on Kerry and charged into the first enduro section, but flatted. When I went to install my spare tube, it had a hole… maybe from being under my seat for so long. I ran down the enduro segment trying to borrow a tube, but mostly everyone here in this race is on 29ers, and I’m on a 27.5”, so it took awhile to get one.”

State College, Pennsylvania local Aaron Albright (NoTubes Trans- Sylvania Epic) cruises on his home trails at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

State College, Pennsylvania local Aaron Albright (NoTubes Trans- Sylvania Epic) cruises on his home trails at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Racers started the day on trails with wet, slippery rocks, then just as they were starting to dry mid-stage, a thunderstorm dumped heavy rain for 45 minutes. The already damp trails became even slicker.

At the front alone, Werner alternated between struggling and finding his groove. On the final enduro section, he laid it over three times. “They weren’t serious crashes, but I put my bar into the bench cut side of the hill, and then those wooden bridges at the bottom were so sketchy. I came into the first bridge as straight as I could, not braking, and I still started to two-wheel drift, so I walked the second bridge. I didn’t want to take risks at that point.”

Pau Zamora (Buff Pro Cycling) chased on his own in second place until Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) caught him. In the midst of the cyclocross off-season, Timmerman rode himself into fine form during the course of the week and was feeling great by the final stage. However, Zamora was hungry to defend his third spot on the podium, and rode away from Timmerman on the final climb for second on the day and third overall.

Lindine chased his way back up into fourth place on the day, managing to save his second spot in the GC.

“I think some of those trails ride better when they’re wet,” said Lindine. “I made it a game to catch as many people as I could. I’d roll into the technical sections but would stay loose, so I’d just ride into wherever I was supposed to go. You have to be in the right zone, and I was enjoying today.”

Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) again proved himself to be the best enduro rider on the day and secured the overall enduro win. “I lost the enduro classification last year on the final stage, but this time I had two years of experience and came knowing what I needed to do. I also got lucky as this race will cause some issues for everyone – no matter what their experience.”

Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine) pops over a log in the final stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine) pops over a log in the final stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Phillips spent the day riding in short shorts and a cut-off T-shirt with an American flag after having successfully challenged his followers to raise a certain amount of money for the new Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League. “I was part of a group raising money PA high school cycling, and I wasn’t doing very well,” said Phillips. “I’m a competitive person and was pissed that I was getting beat by the others, so I came up with some schemes to get people to donate more money. I raised at least $1,300. I’m not good at math on day 5 and haven’t added it all up yet, but it was cool to raise the money for the kids. I wouldn’t be where I am today without high school cycling.”

Stage 5 Brief Results

  1. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  2. Pau Zamora (Buff Pro Cycling)
  3. Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing)

Final General Classification

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

 

Enduro Stage 5 Brief Results

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Aaron Albright (NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic)
  3. Damian Gonzalez (Michael David Winery)

Final Enduro Classification

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  3. Justin Lindine (Apex / NBX / Trek)
Race leader Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) was still smiling at this point in the final stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic; however, that would change later in the day. She broke her handlebar just after the second aid station and dropped out of the race.

Race leader Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) was still smiling at this point in the final stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic; however, that would change later in the day. She broke her handlebar just after the second aid station and dropped out of the race.

Elite women

The battle for the top podium spot came down to the last day, but not in the expected way. Last year’s winner and this year’s favorite, Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team), suffered a devastating mechanical and had to drop out of the race.

Selene Yeager (Emmaus Bad Decisions), a past GC winner racing on a team this year, saw Barclay stranded in the rocks along the way. “Vicki jumped into a train of guys, and I thought, ‘There she goes.’ Then I went into a rocky section and she was just standing there. It was bad – her handlebar had snapped off in her hand. But at least she didn’t crash.”

That left Kaysee Armstrong (Liv), who was sitting in second place overall after yesterday’s stage 4, to take the win if she could. But this was not a foregone conclusion. “I felt tired,” said Armstrong. “Bryna [Blanchard, Windham Mountain Sports] was climbing so fast. I was feeling the fatigue through the rocks. But the enduros were fun, and I tried to be happy through them. Today was about surviving.” Armstrong managed to not only do that, but also to claim her second stage win of the week, the overall race title and second place in the enduro classification.

Blanchard, too, was feeling the cumulative effects of the week’s racing. “I did not feel good,” she said. “Yesterday was like a cross country race – it was so fast, and I didn’t recover. My heart rate was in the toilet, and I was tired. It was survival: keep moving, don’t stop pedaling. I wasn’t climbing nearly as well as I had been. I was happy I got through it.” Blanchard persevered to earn second on the day and in the general classification.

Yeager had an unexpectedly good day and was the first woman across the line. “I felt good on the climbs. I went into a little bit of a cave on all the chunky stuff, but I drew on all the stage races I’ve done, and kept thinking, ‘Just pedal your bike.’ It’s been a bittersweet week because I raced on a team, but I have such good fitness right now. I wish I had raced solo, but to know that you can perform well without all the pressure that you put on yourself is enlightening.”

Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes) crushed the women’s enduro all week long at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, winning the enduro classification.

Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes) crushed the women’s enduro all week long at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, winning the enduro classification.

Meggie Bichard (Fuji Bikes) ripped down some of the scariest enduro sections yet to take the win and secure victory in the enduro classification. She had begun the week as a GC contender, but quickly changed tactics. “I gave stage racing a go on the first day, and I rode a hardtail, but I got completely beat up on it,” she said. “So I swapped over to the enduro bike and focused on enduro. I can’t go for the GC on that bike because it weighs a ton.”

Bichard typically races enduro, but enjoyed the different take on it and may come back for a crack at the GC next year. “I loved the course with so much singletrack – really techy, super rocky. We don’t often do such big days in enduro racing, but I like the long cross country loop, and I love a big day out. Maybe I’ll come back on a smaller travel bike and do a bit more focused training.”

Stage 5 Brief Results

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  2. Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters)
  3. Kaarin Tae (Bike Monkey Cycling)

Final General Classification

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (Liv)
  2. Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters)
  3. Kaarin Tae (Bike Monkey Cycling)

Enduro Stage 5 Brief Results

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

Final Enduro Classification

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

The Trails

Always a favorite among singletrack lovers, the Cooper’s Gap stage was plenty long at 34.5 miles and chock full of singletrack and climbing (5,466 feet). New for 2016, the stage started remotely from Greenwood Furnace State Park and finished back at the Boy Scout Camp that serves as race headquarters. The stage had four separate Julbo/EVOC enduro segments of tight, technical Pennsylvania singletrack. The route finished with the climb up Stillhouse Hollow, a notoriously steep ascent also featured in the Wilderness 101.

Thanks to our sponsors

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic 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!

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.

Tran-Sylvania Epic Stage 2 Report/Results

Lindine claims stage 2 battle with Werner at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic

Barclay continues winning ways

TRANS-SYLVANIA, PA (May 31, 2016) – Today’s stage featured some of the signature trails of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, including classic Eastern rocky singletrack that inspired racers to give it their all. Despite the challenging terrain, the top riders fought until the end and kept things close.

Elite men

Justin Lindine (APEX / NBX / Trek) and Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling) continued their two-man battle with Lindine sprinting to the stage victory and continuing as overall leader.

“Today was a lot like yesterday with Kerry and me getting away early and racing each other in the hopes of snagging time bonuses by also doing well in the enduros,” said Lindine. “We’d stay together on the gravel and whoever felt better would surge to get ahead in the singletrack – each of us led different singletrack sections. Kerry even got a slight gap on me at one point up on Tussey Mountain, but I knew the trail so well that I was pretty sure I could bring him back.”

Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling) leads Justin Lindine (APEX / NBX / Trek) through a tight section of singletrack early in the second stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. The two top elite men’s riders would stay together for the duration of the stage - neither was able to shake the other.

First-time NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic racer Werner doesn’t have the advantage of familiarity with the trails, but he’s still loving them. “I’ve never ridden up here, but I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania. We have rocks there, but not as gnarly,” said Werner. “The John Wert trail and Tussey Mountain ridge trail were amazing today!”

Going into the final off-road section in the last mile, Werner attacked on a steep section, but Lindine reacted quickly. The stage was set for a sprint.

“Justin and I are well matched fitness-wise,” said Werner. “Maybe toward the end of the week, we’ll start to see some chinks in each other’s armor.”

The surprise of the day came from Spanish rider Adria Noguera Soldevila (Buff Pro Team), who rode his way into third place for the stage and GC. “I’m on a hardtail – unlike the other top riders – so the technical parts have been hard, and I try to make up time on the gravel roads.” His teammate Pau Zamora said, “We’ve never ridden singletrack like this before. This is different – it’s hard to keep your momentum through the technical sections, especially on our hardtails.

Tomorrow’s stage 3 enduro format could shake up the standings as the top three riders will get time bonuses applied to the general classification.

Phil Beard (Bicycle Express Racing) leans into a turn. The singletrack is tight and leaves little room for error throughout the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Phil Beard (Bicycle Express Racing) leans into a turn. The singletrack is tight and leaves little room for error throughout the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team), who overcame mechanical issues to win the enduro category for the stage as well as defend his overall lead in the enduro classification, was clearly having fun. “The second segment was super pedally, and I time trialled it and was going so hard that I got cross-eyed. I came into that last rock pile so fast that I literally couldn’t crash because I had so much momentum. I hit something and caught air and got sideways but was up there for so long that I had time to turn myself back around. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s enduro stage – I want to finally get a Trans-Sylvania Epic stage win!”

Stage 2 Brief Results

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

General Classification After Stage 2

  1. Justin Lindine (APEX / NBX / Trek)
  2. Kerry Werner (Rally Cycling)
  3. Adria Noguera Soldevila

Enduro Stage 2 Brief Results

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composite)
  3. Edward Kerly (Fuji Bikes)

Enduro Classification After Stage 2

  1. Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team)
  2. Cory Rimmer (Kona / Nox Composite)
  3. Justin Lindine (APEX / NBX / Trek)

Full Results from the Stage Here: Stage-2-Results-0358-PM-stage

Elite women

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women) used her local expertise on the technical course to pull out a win, despite not feeling her best. “As soon as I started today, I could tell I was heavy in the legs,” she said. “Kaysee Armstrong [Liv] was with me for the first 6-7 miles, and then I got away on one of the big climbs and I rode by myself all day. Bryna [Blanchard, Windham Mountain Outfitters] was not too far behind today.”

For tomorrow’s enduro stage, Barclay said she’s not going to push it. “I’m not going to try to win the enduro stage… there’s some fast downhill girls here, Kaysee and Meggie [Bichard, Fuji Bikes],” she said. “I just want to get down and have a good time… just let my legs spin and recover as much as possible.”

Defending champion Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) on her way to a second solo stage win in a row during day 2 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Barclay, a State College local, knows and loves most of the trails in this year’s race.

Defending champion Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) on her way to a second solo stage win in a row during day 2 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Barclay, a State College local, knows and loves most of the trails in this year’s race.

Blanchard had a fantastic day, and it showed in her result, just 2:28 behind Barclay. “I had so much fun today. It was like magic… probably one of the best days I’ve had on the bike this year,” she said. She also plans to ride conservatively in the enduro stage. “Tomorrow I just want to ride clean, minimize the damage, and recover on the climbs. Hopefully I can build on how I felt today and keep it smooth. I have no illusions about trying to do anything on enduro day other than just enjoying it and not killing myself.”

Armstrong, who nabbed second in the 2014 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic in the Under 25 category, is enjoying her solid third place spot. “We started off well,” she said. “Vicki and I were together for a little bit at the beginning, but then we hit the gravel road and she was gone. Bryna caught me not long afterward, so I just tried to maintain third and saved energy for Tussey Ridge, because two years ago when I did it I died, and today it was perfect.”

Armstrong is a good descender and earned a 60-second time bonus for finishing second overall in today’s enduro sections, so she could be a threat to gain GC time tomorrow with a good performance. However, the New Zealander Bichard continues to dominate the overall women’s enduro competition.

Stage 2 Brief Results

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

General Classification After Stage 2

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

Enduro Stage 2 Brief Results

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

Enduro Classification after Stage 2

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

Full Results from the Stage Here: Stage-2-Results-0358-PM-stage

The Trails

At 36.9 miles and with 3,921 feet of climbing, the “Queen Stage” came early to the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic this year – it was moved up from its traditional spot as the final day to the second day. Perhaps the most awesome stage of the week, stage 2 combined trails from the myriad of races that have made Rothrock State Forest legendary. The three Julbo/EVOC enduro segments were among the fastest of the week, but rocky singletrack lovers also got their share of awesomeness with the John Wert trail and the always scenic Tussey Ridge trail.

Check out our daily Facebook Live video coverage!

Watch our live video 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.

Coach’s Column – Stage Race Prep: What you should be doing but probably aren’t

Question: I am going to do my first 5-day stage race this year.  Aside from actual bike training, what other preparations should I be focusing on to make it through the 5 days of racing?

Answer: That is super exciting, welcome to a whole new world of bike racing adventure! As your question indicates, I will assume your training is on track and dialed and you will enter the race, fit, tapered and peaked.

I have heard stage racing described as a race to recover each day between stages. Much of your planning around the race should be to give yourself the best possible recovery opportunity each day. That means preparing everything you can to avoid a scramble on any given day. Stage races really vary in their set up and what that means for your ability to recover. For example, if you are staying in the same place each night and you have a house-type set up with a full kitchen and the same bed to sleep in, your recovery outlook will be more optimistic than if you are camping and/or moving every day. Your question does not indicate which of these will be the case. But keep that in mind. Aside from training, your main goal leading up to the race is doing as much research as you can to avoid any surprises.

Tent city for the first 3 days of the race.

Tent city for the first 3 days of the race.

Some race websites have a thorough list or packing guide, which will take into account course-specific details, weather conditions and event-specific information that even the most experienced stage racer may not know. Some races also require you to carry certain safety items. A whistle, bear spray and safety blanket are all examples of items I have been required to carry at various races.

In stage racing or any event where the hours will stack up to double digits; it’s not a question of if things will go wrong but what things will go wrong. Now that the training is done and you are approaching race time, you will want to focus on how you can most effectively prepare for the inevitable. You should plan to carry more with you during stages than you would in a typical XC race. Depending on what you usually carry for tools, you probably want a bigger multi-tool; definitely something with a chain tool built in. I would recommend carrying a derailleur hanger and an extra CO2 or pump. You might also consider carrying more as you get deeper into the race and positions solidify, i.e. you have more to lose. Or, to the contrary, carry less if you are in a close fight, want to go super light and lay all your cards on the table. Your tactical approach to results/position is your own decision of course!

It would be a great idea to reach out to a local rider where the race takes place and get some intel regarding what the terrain is like, especially for the specific time of year that you will be racing. Ask about each stage as well. Some stages may be mild terrain where you will be better served with bottles; while some stages may be more technical and a hydration pack would allow you keep your hands on the bars. These are helpful things to know before race day so you can pack everything you need. You can also pick their brain for tire and other equipment recommendations. Take the time to test out new equipment. Get your bike serviced with a couple of weeks to go so you can ride it and let any cables, brake pads, etc., wear in.

Dial in your nutrition options. Will you be relying on aid station faire? Check the race website to see what they will be serving at aid stations and make sure you try some of those nutrition and hydration products in training to be sure that your gut handles them and they fuel you well. If you will have support at the race, make sure they know how to access aid stations and carry out feeds. Check the rules for specific support protocol. Some races allow equipment swaps and/or outside support but some do not.

Stage racing should be a great time and proper preparation will ensure you have the best experience possible. Moab Rocks Stage Race Photo by: Raven Eye Photo

Stage racing should be a great time and proper preparation will ensure you have the best experience possible. Moab Rocks Stage Race Photo by: Raven Eye Photo

If you have multiple bikes to choose from, you will want to decide which one you will use for the race and spend most of your remaining time on that bike. If you are traveling to a foreign country with limited shops and unique parts available, I would recommend using a hardtail, regardless of the terrain. Dualies are great for taking the edge off and keeping you comfortable for long days but there is more to break and proprietary suspension parts are notoriously difficult to track down in a pinch.

That’s the quick and dirty on preparation. The truth is, with all endurance racing there are so many details to manage, this list could go on indefinitely. Managing all those details and executing the race well are half the fun of stage racing. Keep your head on straight and roll with the punches, there are sure to be many!

Sarah Kaufmann is a USAC Level II coach under the PLAN7 Endurance Coaching brand. She is a member of the Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Mountain Bike Team and has been racing mountain bikes at the professional level since 2008.  Sarah is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Breck Epic Stage 1 Results and Report

The Breck Epic is a 6 day stage race held in Breckenridge Colorado that features six big backcountry loops. Each day starts and ends in Breckenridge while taking racers on 25-45 miles around Summit County. Each day is very challenging with most days averaging around ~5000 feet of elevation gain at elevations above 9600’. Hundreds of racers come from all over the world to do the Breck Epic each year covering a total of 240 miles and ~40,000 feet of elevation gain.

Day 1 of the Breck Epic is called Pennsylvania Creek: it’s 35 miles and ~5000 ft elevation gain. Day 1 is a hard day mostly because it’s the most uncertain day. What to expect? Talking to other racers; most seemed to feel the same way, get Stage 1 over with and I’ll feel better.

Racers roll out on Stage 1 of the 2015 Breck Epic

Racers roll out on Stage 1 of the 2015 Breck Epic

Day 1 starts at 8:30am at the icerink in town. It’s a fast “neutral” roll out up the paved road towards Boreas Pass Rd. About a mile up the road, the traffic cop leaves and the race starts. It’s another couple of miles on the road until the first descent- Aspen Alley. Last fall Aspen Alley was redone and is now a fun mellow descent with a bunch of bermy switch backs. It’s a great new trail, although I do miss the old steep, loose and a little sketchy Aspen Alley. Then it’s up the Blue River trail single track all the way to the first major climb of the day- Royal Bypass to Penn Creek Rd. This is a long double track, steep, loose climb that leads to a paved road and then back onto a double track climb for a few miles. Once at the top, it’s a loose, steep descent down a road called the “Grind”. Then it’s back up for another few miles on a jeep road climb, Indiana Gulch road, before racers get to Boreas Pass Rd. Racers descend down the dirt Boreas Pass Rd into Aid 1 at Bankers Tank. Back onto single track it’s up and down Bankers Tank Trail to Pinball Alley, True Romance and down Nightmare on Baldy. Then it’s a fast descent on the non-motorized Sally Barber road to aid 2. New this year, racers rode a short climb up humbug hill to the new Wire Patch Trail. Wire patch trail is a fun up/down trail that parallels French Gulch Road. Then it’s on to the legendary Little French Climb- a 2 mile climb that’s loose and rocky. From there racers head onto the Little French Flume and back into the French Gulch area onto some fun single track: Harum Trail and Chantilly Trail, and also climbing and descending jeep roads: Spruce Rd and Prospect hill road. I’ve been riding these trails for the past 4 years and still get lost when I’m back in French Gulch due to the high amount of jeep roads everywhere. Finally we descend Gold Run Rd to the Wellington Neighborhood and then it’s a short climb up the road and the B&B Trail to V3. V3 is the last climb of the day and from there it’s a fun descent down Barney Ford and the new Barney Flow (yo!) trail to Carter Park.

Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air Cannondale) leads the Women's 6 Day after Stage 1.

Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air Cannondale) leads the Women’s 6 Day after Stage 1.

This year for the men and women there are a lot of extremely fast racers in the first 3 day Epi-curious race. Leadville 100 falls a week later and many of the top Leadville racers are putting in 3 hard days this week as they get ready to race the Leadville 100 on Saturday. The marathon distance world champion, Alban Lakata, the women’s multiple time Leadville 100 winner, Sally Bigham, are among a few of the epic-curious racers this year. For the Pro men 3 day stage 1 results – the top three men were: Alban Lakata (02:35:06), Kristian Hynek (2:35:09), and Jeremiah Bishop (2:42:37). For the Pro Women , Sally Bigham, although busting her wheel and getting a new one at Aid 1, won by 30 minutes in a time of 03:21:20. In 2nd was Mayalen Noriega with a time of 03:53:00 and in 3rd was Kata Skaggs with a time of 4:15:04.

For the Epic, 6 day race, for the pro men Frans Claes won in a time of 2:43:18. Ben Swanepoel came in 2nd at 2:45:57 and Carl Decker was 3rd with a time of 02:48:17. For the pro women Evelyn Dong won in a time of 3:15:17. In 2nd, despite getting a flat, was Serena Bishop Gordon in a time of 3:16:52 and in 3rd was Kelly Kim Boniface with a time of 03:17:33.

Full results here:

BreckEpic15_Stage1

 

 

NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 6

Uhl and Barclay win stage 6 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic

Lindine takes over general classification after McElveen’s mechanical

 

In a race as long and challenging as the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, the only constant is change. On the signature trail of the stage and of the race, Tussey Ridge, the men’s category was shaken up today by a mechanical and will be tightly contested tomorrow. Meanwhile in the women’s race, local knowledge of the rocky course proved decisive.

Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) and Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won the elite men’s and women’s categories in stage 6. Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) took over the elite men’s general classification (GC) lead from his teammate Payson McElveen after McElveen had a major mechanical. Barclay successfully defended and extended her lead in the overall elite women’s classification.

Elite men

Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) grabbed his first stage win today, taking some pressure off his teammates during the stage. He and Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) are now separated by only 12 seconds in third and fourth places in the GC.

“I’m super excited to take the win,” said Uhl. “Peter and I have been duking it out for third place in the general classification, and I kind of took advantage of him having a bad spot on one of the run up/ride ups, and pushed it hard on the second enduro segment to get a gap on everyone. I just decided to keep it rolling on the climb, and I expected to have the guys come back to me. But they didn’t, so I kept it rolling relatively smooth.”

The winning effort cost Uhl dearly. “That last road section never ends,” he said. “I lost my Garmin in the East Coast Rocks section, and I didn’t have a clue how much further I had to go. I knew we had to come back along the fence line, but I forgot how hard it was. The last climb almost killed me. I’m probably going to be hurting tomorrow. I think Peter and I are about tied for time, so it’ll make for a fun last stage.”

Glassford has been working alone toward the front of the race all week, and was rewarded for his efforts today. “I had a good stage today. Tristan beat me but I finished in second, which is my best NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic stage finish so far. I didn’t embarrass myself horribly while Justin [Lindine (Competitive Cyclist)] and Payson [McElveen (Competitive Cyclist)] followed me.”

Glassford used some Canadian style to get an edge on the technical Tussey Mountain ridge trail. “Payton got a flat because I threw a crazy corner on Tussey and they weren’t ready for the ‘Ontario wide-cut’. Then, I just drilled it when I got on the road, just buried myself.”

Despite the lonely struggle as he is here racing without teammates, Glassford has kept a good attitude, which should come in handy tomorrow as he makes a play for third place overall.

“The steep climbs get me,” said Glassford. “But it was good racing, it was fun. It’s tough going against three guys out there. It’s pull until I get attacked, and I keep drilling it. But that’s what I like to do!”

McElveen’s flat turned out to be disastrous. “We had Tristan get away, which was great,” he said. “Peter was pulling and Justin and I were sitting on. Then I punctured big time on Tussey Ridge, just a massive tear. We can’t take tires off the rim without basically a car tire lever.”

“Justin was kind enough to stop and help me, and we tried as hard as we could to break the bead but we couldn’t,” said McElveen. “I finally just started to ride the rim, and at the end of Tussey Ridge, the whole wheel exploded, which was predictable. Then I just started running. I have a very large blister on my right foot now. I ran for a long time, it felt like forever.”

McElveen switched out his wheel at the last aid station and chased as hard as he could. “I figured the race is probably over for me now, but you never know. And if I don’t try… well, I might as well try.” McElveen dropped to second place in GC with six minutes over third.

McElveen’s teammate and close competitor Lindine had a relatively uneventful day, always a good thing, and it landed him in the race leader’s jersey.

“It was going really well,” said Lindine. “I like a lot of the trails on this stage, and it’s broken up nicely. We had a super aggressive first 45 minutes and split it into the smaller group of the four of us. Tristan was able to get away on the first enduro section, which was perfect, and Peter got a bit gapped off, so Payson and I sat up. We were like, ‘Sorry, man, this is the job we have to do.’ Peter has spent the most time on the front of anyone in the race.”

When McElveen’s tire blew, Lindine went above and beyond to help his teammate. “We were riding across Tussey when Payson flatted,” he said. “I stopped, we tried to fix it, it wasn’t going well. It’s not ideal. No one wants to take the jersey that way. I know as well as anyone that this race can come down to mechanicals and luck. I don’t know what the clock is going to say, but we’ll see how it plays out.”

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) heads off the road and onto a section of singletrack in stage 6 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.Photos by: Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) heads off the road and onto a section of singletrack in stage 6 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.Photos by: Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Elite women

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women), a State College local, was unable to use her usual strategy of hanging out with the guys today, but she got help from Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling) as well as her teammate Mical Dyck (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women).

“Selene helped me big time in the start,” said Barclay. “I missed the train of lead guys and I was like, ‘What am I going to do? Hammer at three miles in?’ But Selene was so nice. Then Mical caught us so we all worked together on the road. She was tired on the climbs, but I was trying to help her stay in second place. And we were working with the singlespeeders as well!”

Barclay’s lead of 17 minutes seems solid, but she knows better than most that things can go sideways at any moment. “Everything is so dry! You could definitely slide out,” she said. “I had the slight advantage on the ridge because I ride it all the time. Sometimes I can’t clean it, but today I cleaned all the sections.” [If you’ve never seen the Tussey Ridge Trail, cleaning it is an amazing feat!]

Yeager seems to have raced herself into recovery and was feeling much better than earlier in the week, so she used her mojo to help Barclay along. “Vicki was in front all of the day except for 15 seconds when I pulled her,” she said. “But I knew she would go. I was using her trail knowledge and following her. I could see her for most of the day. I kind of wanted to get her at the end, but I slid out on a bunch of gravel trying to accelerate.”

“I knew I wasn’t going to get her, but this is the best I’ve felt on this day,” said Yeager. “I wasn’t going to make up 20 minutes on Vicki today, so I wanted to help her.”

Under 25 men and women

Payson McElveen nearly got his usual top Under 25 spot nabbed from him by Lewis Gaffney (Colt Training Systems), who came in just 27 seconds later. A new name rounded out the top three Under 25 men, Cameron Dodge, also of Colt Training Systems.

Libby White (Colt Training Systems) continued to build an impressive lead with another win today, with Samantha Runnels (Colt Training Systems) not far behind. Emily Shields (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) came in a solid third.

Announcement coming

Look for a big announcement relating to the future of the sport coming out at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic on Saturday.

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic is made possible with the generous support of great partners like Pactimo, Lupine, Purple Lizard, Klean Kanteen, Dirt Rag, SRAM, Kona, BMC, ProGold, NUUN, Freeze Thaw Cycles and more!

Click Here for results from Stage 6

Click Here for GC results following Stage 6

Turner, Sheets Take the Overall Wins in Pisgah

Thomas Turner (Jamis) pulled off an epic upset at the Pisgah Stage Race yesterday, becoming the first rider to beat Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak-Ergon) in a stage race on American soil. Bishop’s streak had included wins at multiple editions of the Pisgah Stage Race, the Transylvannia Epic, Breck Epic, and others. However, despite innumerable attacks throughout the day, in the end Bishop was only able to put 10 seconds into Turner on the final stage, not enough to take the GC lead. Sara Sheets (Oscar Blues) took her forth stage win in five days to claim the overall win in the Women’s Open race.

Check out the highlight video and results for the week below.

Men’s Open Results:

Position Bib # Name Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Overall Time Division Team Name
1 93 THOMAS TURNER  1:59:08.2  2:26:51.4  2:44:09.4  2:41:27.0  2:09:07.5 12:00:43 Open Men Team Jamis
2 94 JEREMIAH BISHOP  2:05:08.1  2:25:46.6  2:44:45.5  2:37:46.8  2:09:06.3 12:02:33 Open Men Team Topeak Ergon
3 84 CORY RIMMER  2:09:54.7  2:34:37.9  2:57:30.7  2:57:52.4  2:18:59.8 12:58:56 Open Men Kona Bikes / Nox Composites / Provision Sports Medicine
4 92 DAVID FORKNER  2:03:25.1  2:43:48.7  3:02:15.3  2:58:24.7  2:21:31.4 13:09:25 Open Men Team CTS
5 81 WILLIAM HARRISON  2:04:33.8  2:41:37.4  3:10:27.3  3:46:22.8  2:20:53.1 14:03:54 Open Men Clemmons Bicycle Racing
6 85 ANDRE LANDRY  2:17:42.9  2:56:19.8  3:09:33.8  3:21:43.3  2:41:42.5 14:27:02 Open Men mikes bike shop
7 96 ERIC INGALSBE  2:22:17.3  2:55:12.5  3:09:36.2  3:13:00.6  2:55:44.3 14:35:51 Open Men The Bike Shop
8 80 MATTHEW KESECKER  2:35:21.0  3:23:07.8  3:37:56.2  3:38:28.1  2:56:24.6 16:11:18 Open Men CAMBO / Hammer Nutrition
9 86 BRENT CROMWELL  2:46:45.9  3:39:08.6  3:42:57.7  3:42:44.9  2:47:35.9 16:39:13 Open Men N/A
10 89 CURTIS HOYT  2:58:53.5  4:01:50.9  3:49:48.4  3:47:00.2  3:05:07.7 17:42:41 Open Men Slippery Sasquatch Racing
11 97 MIKE FOLLAND  3:12:29.3  3:34:01.0  3:36:43.6  4:36:52.1  2:44:59.8 17:45:06 Open Men
12 98 DAVE GRANT  2:49:08.6  3:54:44.3  4:02:48.1  4:04:53.1  2:57:27.6 17:49:02 Open Men
13 78 JEFFREY CONLEY  2:55:45.0  4:05:55.8  4:20:24.8  4:14:39.5  3:15:26.1 18:52:11 Open Men Adventure Medical Group
14 82 CHRISTOPHER DOBBINS  3:34:11.8  3:47:42.8  4:03:23.3  4:37:15.9  3:11:17.0 19:13:51 Open Men Cool Breeze / Trek
15 193 BURKE SAUNDERS  2:58:02.8  4:19:48.0  4:39:04.2  5:18:36.9  4:06:38.4 21:22:10 Open Men Industry Nine / Endless Bike Co. / Wicked Wash
16 83 JONATHAN GARRICK  3:34:03.5  5:19:48.0  4:04:20.2  4:36:50.3 DNS Open Men Cool Breeze / Trek
17 91 NEKO MULALLY  2:57:43.1  3:45:16.4  4:39:03.5  5:18:36.5 DNS Open Men GSTAAD-Scott

Women’s Open Results:

1 88 SARA SHEETS  2:27:32.4  3:11:51.7  3:36:02.9  3:40:48.2  2:49:25.0 15:45:40 Open Women Oskar Blues
2 5 KAYSEE ARMSTRONG  2:29:55.0  3:28:50.6  3:46:21.5  3:25:57.3  2:48:06.9 15:59:11 Open Women Kona/ Provision Sports & Medicine
3 79 ALLY STACHER  2:26:34.4  3:26:30.9  3:39:33.4  3:49:46.2  2:39:31.2 16:01:56 Open Women Ally’s Bar
4 90 VIVIANE FAVERY-COSTA  2:42:29.8  3:36:42.5  3:59:17.3  4:03:53.7  2:59:13.8 17:21:37 Open Women Specialized Women Brasil / Pedal Urbano
5 2 HEATHER DAVIS  3:14:32.7  4:31:53.1  4:49:21.1  5:17:15.2  3:39:48.0 21:32:50 Open Women Ally’s Bar

Pisgah Stage Race Stage 1 Video Highlights

Ally Stacher (Ally’s Bar) and Thomas Turner (Jamis) took the wins on day one of the Pisgah Stage Race yesterday. Stacher, a former pro road racer who switched to mountain bike racing this season, was unfazed by the wet conditions and cruised to the win. In the men’s race, Turner spent most of the day dueling with Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak-Ergon). The two spent much of the day together, before Turner got a small gap on the final gravel climb which he held down the Cove Creek trail descent to the finish.

Full Results Here.

Check out the video highlights from Land of Sky Media below.