Speed. Pure Speed. Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Four at Raystown Lake.
When multiple riders with the experience of those racing in the Trans-Sylvania Epic called today's stage, "The best mountain bike race I've ever done!" you know it must have been good. It was.
The fourth day of the longest mountain bike stage in America took place on the Allegrippis Trail System at Raystown Lake near Huntingdon, PA. Machine built trails with contour hugging lines and whoops that left WTB riders Weir and Cruz airborne most of the day also left riders grinning from ear to ear.
The race itself started at a fast furious pace as the riders climbed a paved road for one half until they dove into the singletrack. With 30 miles of tight, narrow, wickedly fast trail on a 32.5 mile stage the riders knew it would be close quarters once into the woods and fought hard for the front of race. Once in the singletrack, Draugelis (PAValleys.com) put in a hard sustained effort in hopes of gaining some time on his competitors, in particular Christian Tanguay (Team CF). Draugelis continued to pour on the pressure and half an hour into the race had pulled Jeremiah Bishop (CFR), Alex Grant (CFR), Drew Edsall (Yeti), and the ever present Tanguay away from the rest of the field.
This group flew around the 32 miles in 2:15 and exited the singletrack in mass into a downhill sweeping paved turn to the finish where Grant, who had emerged first from the singletrack, took the win. Tanguay took defending his GC position into his own hands by beating Draugelis to the line for second. Edsall rolled across for fourth and Bishop finished last in the group all on the same time. Draugelis, remarking after the stage that despite his best efforts he could not shake Tanguay, channeled Ricky Bobby with, "Frenchy can drive!"
Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) continued her assault on the GC with a stage win on today's trails while Selene Yeager held onto the Pactimo leader's jersey with a second place finish 90 seconds in arrears. Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com) took another podium spot today with third on the stage to keep her second place on GC and is looking forward to tomorrow's technical mini-xc's at RB Winter State Park in Union County.
The four mini-xc's at the RB Winter Stage will be raced in a mass start format on each and times will be combined to determine the stage winner. This unique format will give riders a chance to chill and socialize between the micro-stages and then race all out on the raw rocky singletrack that characterizes this portion of the Alleghenies mountain chain.
Petro (Team Psycho) , feeling recovered after two days of intestinal issues, took time back out Prosser (CFR) today in the Masters category while Hawkins and Stevens (BikeLine) are in a pitched battle for the third place in the overall. Martin (Club Ride Apparel) took the win and continues to lead the SS category with Jenne (High Gear Cyclery) and Dillen (Team Dicky) second and third in GC. Gavin and Thiemann (Team CF) again took the win in the duo race while riding uncontested in the tandem category Rob did his best to scare the daylights out of partner Sarah Lichtenwalner (PAValleys.com) on the tight twisties of Allegrippis.
1, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 2.14.09
2, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) 2.14.10
3, Brandon Draugelis (PAValleys.com) 2.14.11
4, Drew Edsall (Yeti) 2.14.12
5, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 2.14.13
6, Evan Plews (evanplews.com) 2.17.03
7, Mark Weir (WTB)
8, Blake Harlan (Jamis)
9, Ben Cruz (WTB)
10, Mike Yozell
11, Mike Festa
12, Jason Moeschler
13, Michael Wissel
14, Mike Cushionbury,
15, Nathan Ruch
16, Jake Davidson
17, James Spurk
18, Jarret Kinder
19, Tim Darwick
20, Joseph Castle
1, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull) 2.42.00
2, Selene Yeager (Team CF) 2.43.37
3, Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com) 2.50.04
4, Kathy Evans 3.12.19
5, Laura Gleason (Giordana/Clif Bar)
6, Liz Notter (The Bike Lane)
7, 1.05.46 Rachael Mirvish (mirvishracing.com)
8, Susan Williams (Memphis Velo)
9, Kerry Combs (Hup United)
1, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 9.05.18
2, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) 9.17.13
3, Evan Plews (evanplews.com) 9.18.03
4, Brandon Draugelis (PAValleys.com) 9.20.00
5, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 9.24.44
6, Drew Edsall (Yeti) 9.29.48
7, Blake Harlan (Jamis) 9.49.03
1, Selene Yeager (Team CF) 11.18.55
2, Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com) 11.38.24
3, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull) 11.44.49