Saturday’s Bald Eagle stage concluded the 2015 Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic seven-day stage race. Despite being a relatively short stage, this one is never easy—especially for those racing for a position. For many racers, the final stage is a parade and the week’s efforts are enjoyed at a more social pace. Whether racing or parading, all riders get to enjoy the last two enduro stages of the race, including a very long and memorable rip down a rocky fire road beside a river.
The open women’s race was largely decided on Stage 6 and so a parade was agreed upon. After some under-25s launched some attacks, which were brought back, the women finished with no changes to the overall. Canada’s Mical Dyck (Stan’s No-Tubes) finished in second overall, while her teammate Vicky Barclay took the win after several years of trying for the TS-Epic win. Chrystal Anthony (Riverside Cycles) rounded out the top-three overall.
For the open men, there would be no parade. With Tristan Uhl and I separated by only 12 seconds and a stage win on the line, the guys would be racing. I put in all the efforts I had early on with the hope of breaking Tristan early, before the very hard final 5 miles. In the end, it was Timmerman scoring the stage win after a smart stage and a late attack. Payson McElveen and Justin Lindine rounded out the top three on the day. For the men’s overall, I was not able to make it back into the top three, finishing fourth. The Competitive Cyclist Team swept the podium with Justin Lindine taking a well-earned victory over Payson and Tristan.
The enduro competition had the biggest shakeup of the day with favourite Cody Phillips being usurped from the enduro throne by Bryan Fawley. The enduro contest is becoming a larger focus in the upcoming years as Cody and the TS-Epic Organizers work to make stages more rewarding for those with technical skills and downhill ability.
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After a hard week of racing, it is hard to take fourth in a race where I had hopes of winning and put out enough work to be in position to win, but not be close. The three guys on a team together ahead of me, and multiple guys behind me, were all strong. Payson told Molly, “It was everything, having a team. Poor Peter. He didn’t complain a single time, just pulled. Based on how much he could have complained, I was so impressed with his professionalism. Big props to him.”
But even without the team advantage, I got what I trained for and more fitness could have changed things. To do better, I need to want it more, race more distance races and focus on being better in the critical moments, such as steep uphills. Getting to ride a week with a bunch of very talented guys has been a great learning experience and great training. Onto the next adventure, thanks for following along.
Check out final results and information on how to register at the Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race.