Another sweet day on the Trans-Sylvania Epic—beautiful weather, kickin’ trails, great friends… with a day to go I feel like a kid at the end of summer break—I want more! Today’s stage was another demonstration of cardiac system fatigue for me, but it sure didn’t diminish the fun factor as we cruised through some of the notable trails of the State College area.
The stage started with an 8 mile "climb” of which most was comfortably ridden in the big chainring. This was followed by a fall-line descent through some rocky knar which quickly flattened out into gently swooping singletrack liberally sprinkled rock gardens. These speed traps were generally ridden but the occasional tombstone could definitely slow things down in a hurry!
A checkpoint followed by a rolling to climbing section trail called Tussey Mountain was the icing on the cake. This trail climbed to an open ridgeline burned off by fire some years ago. Not only were the views serene, but the trail was a mine field of boulders logs and roots. Never really climbing or descending but a maximal full-body workout. Some smoother downhill single track trail interrupted by the occasional rock fall was followed by some up/down road and gravel and a short road less traveled climb to the finish.
When it was all said and done, some of the fast guys finished in less than two hours with the rest not to far behind. The last few days have been a little short for a busy bee captive audience like me but… if you want a relatively tame on fitness demand, super well run event with a generous helping of killer single trail—TSE might be just up your alley!
The GC race tightened considerably for the Open Men with Alex Grant (Cannondale) winning the stage and moving up to a virtual tie with another late-race mover, Brandon Draugelis (PAValleys.com). Christian Tanguy (Team CF) slipped to fouth place and I continued my short-course induced freefall to fifth overall with Drew Edsall (Yeti) nipping at my heels.
The womens race is mostly decided with Selene Yeager (Team CF), Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com), and Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) finishing in that order on the stage and in the GC.
The Masters Men has also tightened with Alec Petro winning the stage ahead of Alex Hawkins and Garth Prosser. Prosser still leads on GC but his margin has been trimmed to less than a minute and a half.
With one day to go, I finally feel like I am acclimating to eastern time so good night, have a great weekend, and thanks again for reading!