June 04, 2012

Aaron Solidifies His Hold on a Podium Spot In Stage 6 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic in Stage 6

In the sixth and Queen Stage of the Trans-Sylvania Epic, Aaron moved up to 4th overall, ending up the day 5 minutes up on 5th overall and 4 minutes down on 3rd after six days of racing. A very cool stage with tons of climbing and technical riding.

Aaron on Tussey Mountain
Heading up the mountain

Still happy after six days of racing

Rocks!  This is typical trail for Tussey Mtn

Here's video footage of the stage:

Watch more video of 2012 Trans-Sylvania MTB Epic on cyclingdirt.org

And the race report from www.cyclingnews.com:

Tussey Mountain Trail.  The crown jewel of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag.  Stage 6 through Rothrock State Forest was intense. Thirty seven miles of beautiful trails surrounded in emerald green hues from the sea of ferns and the brilliant white of blossoming mountain laurel were the playground for the racers left in the TSEpic.  

A four mile neutral rollout added mileage to the stage, but warmed up the legs and it was all guns blazing off the start as the final men's podium is far from decided.  

Tim Johnson (Volkswagen/People For Bikes/NoTubes) took off with the top six solo competetors trailing behind him. Johnson is racing in the Epic Team category, so his pace-pounding performance doesn't have any bearing on the solo men's award category, however he held nothing back and looks to be well on track in his preparations for the coming World Cup Cyclocross season after outright winning the stage. 

Half way into the stage the top 7 were spread across a three minute gap as they left the highly technical John Wert Path.  Johnson and Wicks (Kona Bikes) led the pack, followed closely by Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing). Chris Michaels (Felt) on his best ride of the week joined the leaders before the ensuing steep pitch of Treaster Kettle Road.  Justin Lindine (Redline) was at 30 seconds while Matthys Beukes (Unnattached) of South Africa and State College's Aaron Snyder (Scott) emerged from John Wert another minute later.  Beukes launched an incredible effort rocketing away from Snyder who remarked in disbelief at the ferocity of the attack, "That guy is a monster." 

Buekes picked up Lindine on his way to the front, and the two caught the lead quartet just over the crest of the climb.  The six stuck together though the next section of single track including classic State College trails Longberger and 3 Bridges Trails, with Buekes continuing to apply pressure any time the course rose up. Buekes' pace peeled Lindine from the group before Tussey ridge but the remaining six entered this crux trail as one.  Johnson quickly took the initiative with a surge that saw him quickly pull 20 seconds ahead and he steadily increased his lead to 45s as he left the ridgetop trail.  Bishop and Wicks dropped off the ridge-line together with Michaels continuing his tear in fourth.  The stage finished with Johnson pulling almost 2 minutes from Bishop who took few risks as he is well in front in GC yet found an additional 1m45s to pad his GC lead over Wicks in the final miles of the stage.  Bishop commented, "Today is the best I've felt all week.  It is great to have a team mate to work with when he's as strong as Tim."  While Wicks offered, "I'm starting to crack a bit toward the end of the week here, but it is all good."  Wicks, who has the BC Bike Race solo title in his sights continued, "This is perfect prep as a lot of the singletrack here is more challenging than that at BC."  Michaels finished third in open men's (fourth overall on stage) for his first podium appearance of the week in a sprint finish with Beukes who again closed a significant gap after the descent from Tussey ridge.
The effort from Buekes may have solidified the final podium as he now holds a close to 5 min lead over Snyder in the battle for the final step while Snyder has close to five minute advantage over Drew Edsall (Felt Bicycles).

1Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)2:30:04
2Barry Wicks (Kona)0:01:36
3Chris Michaels0:03:12
4Matthys Beukes0:03:14
5Justin Lindine (Redline)0:04:40
6Aaron Snyder (Scott Pro Mountain Bike Team)0:07:03
7Drew Edsall (Kenda / Felt)0:13:47
8Cary Smith (Team CF)0:15:56
9Matt Miller (Giant Mid Atlantic Off-Road Team)0:21:22
10Stephan Kincaid (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)0:21:25
11Michael Wissell (B2C2 p/b Boloco)0:28:35
12Theo Procopos (Keswick Cycle)0:29:39
13Luke Sagur (Carolina Bicycle Company/ Total Cyclist)0:30:39
14Madison Matthews (The Bicycle Shop / MBR / Maxxis)0:32:16
15Cory Wallace (Kona Factory Team)0:37:15
16Eric McKeegan (Dirt Rag)0:44:15
17Jarrett Heitzman0:45:53
18Jesse Stauffer1:03:41
19Samir Salas (Diamond Adventure)1:41:21
20Matthew Garrett1:43:04
21Andrew Cappella1:48:14
22James Spurk1:49:42

Only one more day to go!

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