Men’s GC Gets Shuffled. Seconds Between 2nd and 4th
Day 6. Whipple Dam State Park
Stage six of the Trans-Sylvania Epic was labeled in the race bible as the "Queen Stage”, but little did they know that the Queen would take some heads with her. The men’s open race ended with the top six men scorching the most technical course of the race in under two hours. Alex Grant (Cannondale Factory Racing) took top honors for the day almost 30 seconds over Drew Edsall (Yeti).
"We all started sweating pretty quick.” Alex Grant.
It was another humid day of racing in the Pennsylvania woods, but the real sweat factor was caused by a battle for the second place position at the end of tomorrow. Evan Plew’s (evanplews.com) early spark has faded, along with his solid second place for the first half of the Epic. With Grant’s finish on the day and two days of smart riding from local Brandon Draugelis (PAValleys.com) the battle for 2nd overall amongst three people is only split by seven seconds going into the last day. Even more stunning is the fact that Draugelis and Grant are in a tie for the 2nd place after six days of racing and it is Christian Tanguy (Team CF) who is seven seconds behind.
Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing) flatted in the stage and lost a fair amount of time that would have put anyone else in trouble, but his large time gap over second has kept him safe. Blake Harlan (Jamis) had a steady day in the rocks and managed to take fifth which moved him up to 7thoverall.
Mark Weir of Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) has been loving the last two days, even calling today's trails, "The funnest stuff I've ridden in a long time. That Tussey Ridge is beautiful." His results are reflecting the fun he's having and his building fitness. With three days in a row of 7th place finishes Weir has moved up to an 8th overall in the general classification.
Selene Yeager (Team CF) continued her impressive defense of the leader jersey with a stage victory and opened up further time gains on her competitors. Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com) caught Selene on two occasions during the stage showing her prowess in the rocks but was unable to come around the woman who has a seemingly insurmountable lead in the GC competition.
Showing that it is not wise to count him out, Alec Petro (Team Psycho) narrowed the gap to Garth Prosser (Cannondale Factory Racing) significantly today and now sits only 1:30 behind Prosser on the leader board. Meanwhile, the duo, singlespeed and tandem categories remained essentially unaltered. With only 7 seconds separating second through fourth in the men's GC tomorrow's final stage promises to be a hard fought battle on the remaining trails in the TSE. It is likely the Masters will also find themselves in a fight with Petro and Prosser separated by such small margin at this point in the race. Meanwhile the riders in the other categories are planning a "Tour de France style fun final stage" complete with local wines and horseplay reflecting their enjoyment of the inaugural Trans-Sylvania Epic.
Day 6 Results
1, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 1.53.41
2, Drew Edsall (Yeti) 1.54.08
3, Brandon Draugelis (PAValleys.com) 1.57.02
4, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 1.59.03
5, Blake Harlan (Jamis) 1.59.03
6, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) 1.59.07
7, Mark Weir (WTB) 2.01.16
8, Mike Yozell (PAValleys.com) 2.03.15
9, Evan Plews (evanplews.com) 2.03.19
10, Ben Cruz (WTB) 2.09.31
1, Selene Yeager (Team CF) 2.20.54
2, Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com) 2.22.15
3, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull) 2.36.29
4, Kathy Evans 2.52.17
5, Rachael Mirvish (mirvishracing.com) 3.03.00
1, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 11.48.28
2, Brandon Draugelis (PAValleys.com) 12.02.32
3, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 12.02.32
4, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) 12.02.39
5, Evan Plews (evanplews.com) 12.08.17
6, Drew Edsall (Yeti) 12.09.30
7, Blake Harlan (Jamis) 12.32.14
8, Mark Weir (WTB) 13.15.10
9, Jason Moeschler 13.33.34
10, Mike Festa 13.36.28
1, Selene Yeager (Team CF) 14.32.04
2, Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com) 14.54.02
3, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull) 15.14.12
4, Rachael Mirvish (mirvishracing.com) 18.52.53
5, Laura Gleason (Giordana/Clif Bar) 20.43.20