May 27, 2014

2014 Trans-Sylvania Epic - Stage 1

Follow Nate, Cam and Jay as they race through the rocks at the Trans-Sylvania Epic this year in central Pennsylvania.

The first stage, a 17 mile "time trial", ended with Nate in 4th in the 40+ category and Cam in 4th in the U25 category.  Jay is rolling the 5-person experience category.

Results are available here: 

And the news from the race on the U25 and 40+ races:

U25 men
One of the bigger surprises of the day came in the form of Payson McElveen, who took not only the BMC Under 25 win and leader’s jersey, but also the Bear Creek East Coast Rocks segment for the solo men. The 21-year-old Richard’s Rainwater MTB Racing rider is having a breakout year, with a sixth place finish in the elite field at the US national series opener, the Mellow Johnny’s Classic. Today, he took three titles at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic: solo men East Coast Rocks, BMC U25 general classification, and the Epic Team win.

“The team is a group that Colt McElwaine put together,” he said. “Some people are coached by him. It’s myself, Levi Kurlander, Cameron Dodge and Mike Sampson.”

As far as the Bear Creek East Coast Rocks segment, McElveen wasn’t expecting it, so it came as a pleasant surprise. “I wasn’t sure who was going to be swiping, so I figured I would the first day to see where I stacked up,” he said. “I think I might keep swiping!”

The overall BMC Under 25 leader’s jersey is currently in his possession but despite his early season and early race success, McElveen remained humble and said, “That’s a goal, but there are a lot of fast U25s here, Cole Oberman, Cameron Dodge… and I think I have a lead of only seconds, so it’s going to be tight all week.”

Racing within the solo men’s category, especially during the standard race stages where tactics among the men and the U25 racers will come into play, will be a challenge for all of the young riders, and McElveen is prepared for it.

“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “It leaves room for a story to play out. I’m happy to have it today but we’ll see what happens tomorrow, and I’m excited to fight for it.”

Nathan Ruch (Pure Energy Scott Elite Team) returns to the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic this year to defend his 2013 victory in the Masters 40+ overall competition. The defending champion encountered strong competition from David Thompson and Mike Hebe (Team Novo Nordisk), who finished first and second, respectively, in today’s time trial. Ruch trails first place finisher Thompson by just over two minutes. With the top five finishers in the Masters 40+ field separated by less than three minutes, current leader David Thompson will need strong finishes in the coming days to protect the leader’s jersey.

Video from Day 1 is available here.

Cam - Riding with Team Colt - On the podium after Day 1

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