Dirt Rag Magazine

Recap: A great week in Trans-Sylvania


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The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine held near State College, Pennsylvania, from May 24 to May 31, 2014, proved a huge success among racers from near and far.

After seven days of world-class racing through central Pennsylvania’s lush, green forests on dirt roads and pristine singletrack, NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike racers were all smiles as they left behind new and old friends and departed the Seven Mountains Scout Camp which had served as headquarters all week.

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“This is the most competitive mountain bike stage race in America, just by virtue of the number of top riders, the speeds and the tactical elements that have played out. The race has a fantastic variety of the stages and summer camp-like atmosphere around race headquarters,” said men’s race winner Jeremiah Bishop, leading the way above, (Sho-Air/Cannondale). “It has a lot of the mountain bike culture I grew up racing with on the East Coast, and it’s something I’m glad I could take part in.”

Get the full story of TSE here.

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Video: Ft. William World Cup preview


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My favorite World Cup venue is once again filling up with fans and racers as the third round is underway this weekend in Ft. William, Scotland. Can Gee Atherton repeat his win from 2013? Can Peaty grab a win on home soil? Will there be any 26-inch bikes still around? So far we know Lapierre, Devinci and Specialized will be debuting new machines this weekend.

Check out what the racers will face with a run from the always-entertaining Claudio Caluori.

Watch the preview here.

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Bishop, Sorenson win 2014 Trans-Sylvania Epic


Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

For some, the 26-mile final stage of the NoTubes’ Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag was a party day. But for race leaders and overall podium contenders, today was for the final hours of serious racing before riders crossed the finish line and collapsed with exhaustion.

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The day also saw a Spectator Spectacle section of the course, complete with a full blow-up arch over the rocky singletrack trail and plenty of hecklers, some in costume, there to cheer on racers throughout the day. Liz Allen, above, started the day with a rocket pack.

Finally, though, the race was over and Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) were crowned overall winners in the elite men’s and elite women’s categories while Bishop and Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling) celebrated the final day’s stage wins.

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Bishop and McConneloug win Queen stage of TSE


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Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

There’s only one stage to go after today’s action in the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine, so racing was fast and furious today as riders fought for 41 miles of the Queen Stage, which included plenty of climbing and a trip along the scenic Tussey Mountain ridgeline.

Riders only have a 26-mile stage tomorrow to close gaps and cement their positions in their general classifications, and as a result, many of the riders were taking more risks than they were earlier in the week. But with three SRAM Enduro sections and two long Bear Creek East Coast Rocks segments, some of the most technical trails in Pennsylvania were on the course today.

Jeremiah Bishop, above, (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Mary McConneloug (Kenda/NoTubes) won stage 6 while Bishop and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) defended their overall leads in the men’s and women’s standings.

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Oberman and Barclay win stage 5 of TSE


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Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

With 31 miles of racing in R. B. Winter State Park, about 45 minutes from camp and deep into Pennsylvania Amish Country, NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage racers not only got to experience some new, perfectly tacky singletrack on Thursday, but they also got a taste of Pennsylvania culture, passing horse-drawn buggies en route to stage 5, and with a stop at Elk Creek Cafe for some locally brewed beers post-stage.

Cole Oberman (Rare Disease Cycling) and Vicki Barclay (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won stage 5 on a damp and drizzly day while Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) successfully defended their respective leads in the elite men’s and women’s categories.

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McElveen beats all the pros in stage 4 of TSE


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Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Wednesday’s stage 4 is often referred to as the “road stage” of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine. However, massive thunderstorms rolling in the previous night and rain all morning made for a messy start. As one racer explained post-race, covered helmet to toe in grime, “I had sunglasses on. For about 10 seconds. Then I took them off and was just blinking out mud the entire time.” Thankfully, ProGold was on the scene to provide a much-needed bike wash for racers’ equipment after the stage.

Under 25 Payson McElveen, above, (Richard’s Rainwater) was the first man across the finish line of stage 4 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic – surprising the more experienced pro racers. As the first person to finish in the elite men’s category, Nick Waite (ProTested Gear), in second place, officially took the solo pro men’s win in the stage while Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) topped the women’s results. Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Sornson defended their yellow leader’s jerseys for another day.

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Broderick and Barclay win enduro stage at TSE


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Enduro racing has exploded in popularity in recent years, and the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine takes that popularity seriously, with their week-long SRAM Enduro stages during each day’s racing and a full day devoted to the SRAM/Geax Enduro on stage 3 on Tuesday.

The 22-mile long stage 3 featured five enduro segments—for those who don’t know, enduro stages are roughly four to eight minutes in length, largely downhill and often technically challenging—and riders were only timed on those segments combined, not the trails to them and between them. The enduro segments featured some of Pennsylvania’s best riding: massive rock gardens; fast, tight downhills; and everything in between.

Day 3′s weather started with sunny skies but racers knew they were also racing to finish ahead of massive thunderstorms moving into the area. Mike Broderick (Kenda/NoTubes) and Vicki Barclay, above (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won the day’s enduro stage while Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Diseases Cycling) continue to lead the men’s and women’s overall standings.

Click here to read the full recap.

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Bishop and Barclay claim rocky Stage 2 at TSE


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Text and photographs courtesy of the TSE Media Team

The second stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag Magazine was arguably the hardest stage of the week – and obviously the hardest stage thus far – with 41 miles of racing, 25 of which was rocky, technical singletrack. With four SRAM Enduro segments and one Bear Creek East Coast Rocks segments, racers were certainly kept on their toes all day.

Not only was the race long, it also featured nearly 6,000 feet of climbing, the most climbing that riders will see all week. Temperatures stayed mild, in the low 80s, and sun beat down on racers, making grabbing water bottles at both checkpoint stops a necessity for most racers.

Click here for a recap of today’s action.

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Video: Novo Mesto World Cup XC


This Memorial Day Weekend (for us) was round three of the UCI World Cup cross-country series in Novo Mesto na Morave in the Czech Republic. By the looks of the course in this pre-ride video perhaps the U.S. series could learn a thing or two about making a real mountain bike track. It’s ironic to think that not too long ago the European circuit was known for being smooth, like a gravel road race for mountain bikes. Now, courses across the pound look more like Supercross tracks with jumps, giant rock gardens, rooty climbs, bridges and alternate lines.

Novo Mesto looks like a heck of a lot of fun to ride lap after lap. Racing flat out on it? Let’s leave that to the professionals.

See race highlights and results here.

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Trans-Sylvania Day 1: Bishop, Sorenson take Stage 1, Wicks leading TS3


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Text and photographs courtesy of the TSE Media Team

Racing started with a bang for some and a whimper for others in the first stage of the week-long NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine in the wilds of western Pennsylvania.

Sunny skies and mild warm temperatures showcased the best of Pennsylvania in the spring and added to the fun-time feel of the “Singletrack Summer Camp” vibe surrounding the race. However, while the weather was mild, the racing was far from laid-back, since the BikeFlights and Grimpeur Bros presented by SMCC individual time trial first stage is one of the major determinants in placings for the rest of the week.

The 15-mile time trial had some new singletrack sections added, making the race truly East Coast technical-style riding, complete with an “East Coast Rocks” race section as well as the SRAM Enduro section. Flats and crashes were par for the course, and it was a rare rider who came across the finish line without any mud splatters, thanks to some massive downpours the day before.

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