June 01, 2012

Aaron Third on Stage 5 of the Trans-Sylvania Mtb Epic

Day 5 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Aaron keeps getting better with a third place finish in what was called an 'old school mountain biker' course with tons of rock gardens, hair-raising descents and ridge-top riding.

Two more stages to go and Aaron is within 2 minutes of third place overall. he's feeling better as the race goes on!

Today's stage (stage 6) is at Rothrock Tussey Mountain and has been described as the "Queen Stage". It's 38 miles and 4100' of climbing with some of the best trails of the entire week, hitting the State College trails of Rothrock, including Tussey Mountain trail, one of the best ridge line trails in the east.

Photo: © AELandes Photography


Here's video from the stage:

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

And the writeup posted on www.cyclingnews.com:

Raw Pennyslvania trails built by 19th century loggers and CCC workers in times long past were the theme for day 5 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. RB Winter which played host for the race is one of PA's beautiful State Parks - a spring fed lake surrounded by lush green foliage and dark pine forest in an elevated valley and served as the start location for a 25-mile course of "old school" mountain biking.
"This is the place where Ray (race co-promoter) and I cut our teeth on mountain biking," said promoter Mike Kuhn. "RB is a place we love to ride and we're always excited to introduce people to these trails. It is beautiful here and the trails go on forever."
The loop they introduced this year included the steepest continuous descent of the entire week, the hair-raising Grosses Gap, the deep woods beauty of Old Tram Tr, and a four-mile long ridge top ride called Top Mountain Tr. that features numerous challenging chunky rock gardens along its length.
Men's contender, Kona's Barry Wicks, said emphatically, "Win, or die trying!" when asked about his strategy for the day. Wicks even brought out a "secret weapon" for the day, a 5.5-inch travel Kona Satori with which he planned to punish the competition. Unfortunately for Wicks, Cannondale team mates Tim Johnson and Jeremiah Bishop, the GC leader, had their own plan.
Within three miles of the start, the race was ripped apart as Wicks stretched Bishop with Johnson, racing for the Volkswagen/People for Bikes/NoTubes Epic Team, marking the move.
Bishop quickly regained contact on the gradual climb of Sand Mtn Road, and it was groupo compacto as the lead trio passed from Old Tram to Round Knob Tr. The early action dropped Matthy Buekes (unattached), Aaron Snyder (Scott), Cary Smith (Team CF), Drew Edsall (Kenda/Felt) and Chris Michaels who came through that same Old Tram to Round Knob intersection together.
By the time the race hit the bottom of the one mile long/1000 foot drop of Grosses Gap, the entire situation had changed. Bishop and Johnson were away by 40 seconds over Wicks, who they had shed before the steep descent. Buekes, Edsall and Snyder came through more than three minutes behind with no one else in sight.
Buekes, happy to be through the descent, was quick to showcase his climbing ability on the ensuing ascent of Running Gap road and closed the gap to Wicks. Ahead Bishop and Johnson raced away for a two up sprint with Johnson winning the stage. "The best defense today was a good offense. It was time to put the race to bed." Bishop said, "Today we [Tim and I] went with the right bike, the Scalpel 29, and didn't take unnecessary risks. It paid off."
Wicks was, in his words "having too much fun. I'd flatted once and was ripping the last descent on Top Mountain. I hit a water bar way too fast, flew 30 feet and landed in a pile of rocks. The rear tire exploded!" That left Buekes alone in third overall and second in the men's category while an attack from Snyder just as he and Edsall entered the last section of trail opening up a gap.

Full Results

1Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)1:56:37
2Matthys Beukes0:07:17
3Aaron Snyder (Scott Pro Mountain Bike Team)0:09:02
4Drew Edsall (Kenda / Felt)0:10:42
5Cary Smith (Team CF)0:14:52
6Justin Lindine (Redline)0:15:59
7Barry Wicks (Kona)0:16:00
8Chris Michaels0:16:01
9Cory Wallace (Kona Factory Team)0:23:30
10Matt Miller (Giant Mid Atlantic Off-Road Team)0:25:59
11Stephan Kincaid (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)0:27:50
12Michael Wissell (B2C2 p/b Boloco)
13Theo Procopos (Keswick Cycle)0:28:56
14Madison Matthews (The Bicycle Shop / MBR / Maxxis)0:37:24
15Luke Sagur (Carolina Bicycle Company/ Total Cyclist)0:38:19
16Jarrett Heitzman0:39:34
17Eric McKeegan (Dirt Rag)0:42:41
18James Spurk1:27:27
19Samir Salas (Diamond Adventure)1:28:27
20Andrew Cappella1:51:33
21Jesse Stauffer1:57:02

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