Day 3—Bald Eagle Coburn
The day began with rain.
May 28, 2013, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania - At the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, the three strongest men in the field showed their superiority on a day marked with mud and rain. Sam Koerber (ProGold), second in GC, was dropped from the leaders on the very first descent of the day, a short rocky singletrack that threw his chain over his cassette and left him standing trail-side as most of the field passed. Brian Matter (RACC/Trek/ProGold) who was in third overall at the start of the stage, and Justine Lindine (Redline/NBX), the current race leader, were unaware of what took the fast descending Koerber from the picture but worried little about the cause. Matter, knowing that the time he lost to a flat yesterday could be redeemed, joined forces with Lindine who was looking to pad his lead. Also in the lead group were Phil Grove (Hammer Nutrition), Aaron Snyder (TSEpic.com/NoTubes), Mike Wissel (B2C2/Boloco), and Wes Richards (Clemmons Bicycle). But Lindine and Matter were not interested in having help and shed the others by the time the race entered Tower Trail, ten miles into the course.
Brian Matter and Justin Lindine putting in an early lead.
On the first SRAM/Bear Creek Enduro segment of the day, Lindine cooperated to allow Matter to compete in the Enduro segments with hopes of keeping the enduro jersey to the end. The two continued around the course trading the lead through Coburn and up the long gradual climb of Seigerville-Millheim Pike. Entering the final enduro segment of the day, Lindine decided that the time was right and jumped away. “I'm not going to say that I'm not taking advantage of Brian's interest in the enduro jersey. He slowed and I went,” said Lindine, who crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of Matter.
Justin Lindine after a day of racing in the rain and mud.
Brian Matter is not only hunting for the overall GC but the Enduro GC as well. Today's stage left him in second after checking in on the enduro segments.
Koerber impressed the competition with an all day chase over the 42 mile course that ended with a third place finish, while Wissell had his best ever finish in a Trans-Sylvania Epic in fourth. Aaron Snyder continued his steady effort in the event with his fifth place finish.
Drew Edsall, though distanced on today's stage by a crash in the opening miles, did win the stage's enduro challenges. This result bodes well for the Kenda/Felt racer, as tomorrow's stage, sponsored by SRAM/Bear Creek, focuses on the enduro competition with five timed segments in Rothrock Forest.
Extra rain gear was brought to the start line today.
|I'm holding up two fingers, not just one, because this isn't your fault." -Jack Dalzell|
In the early portions of the race, the Open Women field was mostly clumped together, with very small gaps separating riders. After entering Tower Trail, the top riders would reunite to form a group that would stay together through most of the race. The group included four members of the Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team—Amanda Carey, Vicki Barclay, Sarah Kaufman, and Sue Haywood—along with Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon), and Andrea Wilson (Brickhouse Racing).
Every man and women was left walking the rock trail, Teo Procopos was no different.
Exiting Coburn, the group maintained a tight formation, trading off the lead on a pace-line charging through the roads back to the finish. The group climbed at a moderate pace up the gravel on Lingle Valley Road with no one willing to attack. The casual pace benefitted eventual stage winner Sue Haywood, who struggled to hold on to the group up the climb. “All they had to do was look at my face and they would know they should attack,” commented Haywood. With no one willing to be the aggressor, the group entered Mountain Church Road mostly wheel-to-wheel.
An unkown rider makes his way onto the smoother and more rideable section of the trail.
But the group would not stay close for long, as Vicki Barclay launched an attack up Synagogue Gap. Amanda Carey and Sue Haywood latched on, developing a small gap to the remaining three riders. Competing for the SRAM/Bear Creek Enduro segments, Sue Haywood attacked the final enduro section hard, passing Vicki Barclay on her way down. Though still feeling her legs were lacking from yesterday’s effort, Haywood found her strength on the rolling hills and singletrack in the last few miles of the course. Passing Carey on the singletrack, Haywood developed a few second lead that stuck through to the finish line for a first place finish. Carey’s second place finish allowed her to retain her NoTubes Leader’s jersey, while Barclay followed shortly after to grab third place for the day.
Sue Haywood was able to hang tight and finish the stage first for the Open Women's category.
A very muddy Vicky Barclay still had room for a smile after today's stage.
The Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team retained their strong hold on the GC competition, but were not able to expand their lead due to the tight racing throughout the day.
The top Open Women: Sarah Kaufmann, Sue Haywood, Sonya Looney, Vicky Barclay, Amanda Carey and Andrea Wilson.
Following a strong stage victory on day 2, Matt Ferrari (Freeze Thaw Cycles/Hubcap Cycles) started Stage 3 looking to grow his lead over the competition. Early in the race, Ferrari separated from the group but found himself in the company of David Yacobelli (Corning/NoTubes Racing Team), who sought to make up time from a rough start to the week. Yacobelli and Ferrari decided early on to work together and use each other for motivation throughout the stage. Trading off leads through various sections, the duo stuck together until the end of the second enduro segment when Yacobelli attacked and developed a small lead. The lead would stick to the finish line, with Ferrari finishing a few seconds behind day’s winner.
Dejay Birtch of Team Ride for Reading finishing strong to secure a third place finish in the single speed race.
Dejay Birtch (Riding for Reading/Stan's/Maxxis/Pivot) displayed much improved form in comparison to the first two days as he rode in for a third place finish, just minutes behind the race leaders. Dax Massey (Breck Epic/Honey Stinger/Light and Motion), repeating his misfortune from yesterday, went slightly off course following a group of ten riders. Though able to correct the mistake quickly, the detour enabled Rich Dillen (Faster Mustache) to get ahead, continuing the battle the two fought in Stage 2. Climbing out of Coburn, Dillen fought hard to maintain his lead through the long, gravel climb. Massey, however, was committed to regaining his time, as well as his position, and put in a strong attack to catch Dillen in the last quarter of the race. Massey held on to his lead over Dillen by seconds to finish fourth in the stage.
Today’s results leaves the NoTubes Leader’s Jersey with Matt Ferrari, but the day’s race created shake-ups in the rest of the General Classification that is sure to lead to more great racing in the days to come.
Full results found here
All photos by Devon Balet