Werner and Armstrong win opening stage at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic

TRANS-SYLVANIA, PA (May 25, 2017) – The kickoff of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race was wet and wild, with heavy rains all night soaking the course, but that didn’t seem to bother the racers who nonetheless set a blistering pace. Many past race contenders had returned to duke it out again in the rocks of central Pennsylvania, including last year’s winners Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team) and Kaysee Armstrong (LIV). So far, the action has been tight, and the Memorial Day weekend’s racing promises to be exciting.

Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott) was ready to rock the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic at the start of stage one.

Elite men

The elite men’s race held echoes of 2016’s competition with Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team) and last year’s runner-up Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthread) coming to the line in rapid succession. Werner finished two seconds ahead, and Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing) rounded out the podium.

“It started off really fast, which I wasn’t expecting,” said Trudeau, who is also leading the Under 25 classification. “I thought at some point it would slow down, but it never really did.”

Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing) made the trip east to take on his first NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic and landed on the podium.

The day’s enduro segments – and the time bonuses that come with them – were a clear focus for the racers. “Once we got through the first enduro, it was pretty apparent that Justin was going for that time bonus, so that kind of set the stage for tempo-ing out for most of the day and then really giving it to ‘er on the enduro,” said Werner.

By the time the leaders pulled off the first section of singletrack and onto Sand Mountain Road, the podium selection was already taking shape, including Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team), Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) and Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing).

A group of four racers, including the three podium winners and fourth-place finisher Aaron Snyder (Team Coupon Codes), stayed together until the last of the four enduro segments, where things broke up.

Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) pushed hard to keep pace with Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team).

“Justin got on the front; we got split up from the other two guys, and we battled it out to the end,” said Werner. The two leaders stayed together until about three miles out, when Werner launched an attack, gaining about 30 seconds on Lindine. But Lindine reeled in the distance through the tight, twisty singletrack at the race’s end, and he finished in sight of the winner.

Lindine also finished first in the day’s enduro competition, beating Werner by five seconds. The effort won him a 60-second time bonus that put him in the general classification lead. He was pleased by the day’s result. “I was a little surprised by [the enduro win]; I thought I came in second. I had been trying for the enduro bonuses because that’s a pretty big factor in our GC race… so that was cool.”

Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) used his superior technical descending skills to edge out Kerry Werner (Kona Factory) for the GC classification after stage 1 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Stage 1 Top 3 Results

  1. Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team)
  2. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)
  3. Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing)

General Classification after Stage 1

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)
  2. Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team)
  3. Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing)

Enduro Stage 1 Results and Classification

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)

Elite women

Having been bitten by the stage racing bug, the day’s winner Kaysee Armstrong (LIV) returned to defend her 2016 title. Her season had gotten off to a difficult start when she picked up a parasite while racing the Ultimate Uttarakhand Himalayan MTB Challenge.

Kaysee Armstrong (LIV) puts on her serious game face (or is it Alice Cooper makeup?) to take the stage win at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Despite the setback, Armstrong showed up in central Pennsylvania ready for a challenge. “It’s great to be back,” she said. “I got a new coach, and I’ve been focusing on stage races. I came into this not knowing how I would do – but smooth is fast.”

Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott) last raced the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic in 2013, when she finished sixth. But this year she is a different racer, and her second-place result shows it. “I’ve worked hard on my technical skills,” she said. Looney now lives in the technical mountain biking hotbed of British Columbia. “I had to relearn how to mountain bike after moving there, and I had to walk every downhill on our trails. [But] last year, I did three enduro stage races, and now technical riding is my favorite thing to do.”

Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott) works hard to keep the rubber side down on the rain-slicked singletrack at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda) is always a local favorite to win this race, but she’s often had trouble with various forms of bad luck. Last year she was leading the GC when she broke her handlebar on the final stage. This year, she feels lucky to have made it here, after dealing with blood clots in her leg and lungs. “I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike outside for six months,” she said, “because I was on blood thinners. I only got back on the bike in March.” Despite this, Barclay said she’s feeling decent, and it was good enough to put her in third place. 

TRANS-SYLVANIA, PA (May 25, 2017) – The kickoff of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race was wet and wild, with heavy rains all night soaking the course, but that didn’t seem to bother the racers who nonetheless set a blistering pace. Many past race contenders had returned to duke it out again in the rocks of central Pennsylvania, including last year’s winners Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team) and Kaysee Armstrong (LIV). So far, the action has been tight, and the Memorial Day weekend’s racing promises to be exciting.

The women’s enduro leader was a bit of a surprise: Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles) came to the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic not knowing what her focus would be. “Enduro is my favorite discipline,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but when we hit that first descent, I was like, ‘You know what, this is what I want to do.’ I did an enduro here a few years ago-it was so much fun, and it’s why I keep trying to come back to State College to ride.”

Emily Shields (Ken’s Bike Shop) is another returning racer; she leads the Under 25 women’s classification.

Stage 1 Top 3 Results

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)
  2. Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott)
  3. Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda)

General Classification after Stage 1

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)
  2. Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott)
  3. Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda)

Enduro Stage 1 Results and Classification

  1. Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles)

Full results available here (scroll down).

 

The Trails

Stage 1 treated racers to a mix of lush, green singletrack and gravel roads over 29.4 miles through Bald Eagle State Forest. It was a fast and fun kick off for cross country racers while the enduro racers got to warm up with three enduro segments. Overall, the day offered a relatively tame 2,897 feet of climbing.

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic is made possible with the generous support of great partners Stan’s NoTubes, Maxxis, Camelbak, Gu, Julbo, TRP, Diamondback, Freeze Thaw Cycles and Dirt Rag.

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.

 

Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) leads the pack on the fire road start, heading into the first piece of singletrack of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Dan Chabanov navigates the rock descent at the bottom of Summit Trail during the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes) gets a bit of shelter from the rain before the start of stage one of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Russell Schmidt (SVCC) concentrates on making it over the rocks in one piece during the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Cory Rimmer carves a rocky descent on Wildcat Trail on his way to sixth on GC.

 

There were smiles for miles on the twisty trails of central Pennsylvania at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Wet rocks separated who rode and who walked the technical sections all day at the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

The last miles of the first day’s course for the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic were the toughest for many, with slick, winding, rooty singletrack that finished with a lap around the pond at race HQ, but Andrew Wellman (Bicycle Express) handles it well.

 

Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo) puts on her game face to finish strong in the final yards of stage one of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Ethan Frey (Salsa Cycles) digs in on a loamy section of Wildcat Trail during the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

Libbey Sheldon (Crosshairs Racing) bikes through a carpet of blueberry bushes on Wildcat Trail during the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

 

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Gunnar Bergey

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