Dirt Rag and race promoters Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams are excited to announce the third edition of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race presented by Dirt Rag, scheduled for May 27 to June 2, 2012 in State College. Pennsylvania.
The race field that doubled in size last year compared to the inaugural edition in 2010. Kuhn and Adams also revealed that NoTubes has signed a three-year title sponsor deal.
“We’re focused on trying to milk even more fun out of the week with small tweaks here and there,” explained Kuhn. “Overall we will probably have a little shorter total distance for the week by about 10 to 15 miles, but the fun meter will go up a ton.”
Changes for 2012
One example is shortening the day at Raystown Lake by about five miles. Though the trails are fun, fast and swoopy, at 40 miles last year virtually every rider, from elite pros to sportman level, felt it was too much of a good thing. As a result the day will return to 34 or 35 miles total, in line with the much-acclaimed first year version.
Two other notable changes involve Stage 5 at R.B. Winter State Park and Stage 6 on Tussey Ridge. Previously, the “Mini XC” or “Super D” day contained four very short yet technical timed races with neutral riding transfers in between – some might call this an Enduro. Though Kuhn and Adams stand behind the format, it was becoming too long of a day so this year it will be converted to a short cross-country at about 22 miles (look for a return of their unique Enduro stage format in 2013 in a new location).
For Queen Tussey the next day, the event now has access to the private Kearn’s Campground which will allow the race to finish directly across the street from the Seven Mountains Boy Scout base camp. Another addition is a new route at the end of Tussey Ridge of newly cut, smooth and fast singletrack that could potentially cut off about four miles of paved road from the first two editions. Other small yet welcome changes will include racers hitting singletrack earlier on Stage 2 and access to new singletrack during the prologue found on the private land of one of the race support moto riders.
Just like previous editions, Cannondale, Kona, Jamis, NoTubes, Team CF and other notable professional teams will be fielding elite racers gunning for top podium spots but while TSE has gained attention for a strong professional attendance, the promoters point out this is anything but elite focused.
“We’ve not really done anything particular to cater to the elite racer but are super psyched that they love what we’re doing and want to come out for it,” said Kuhn. “Top riders want to be at the TSEpic because the whole thing is a freakin’ blast. They do what they do because this sport is just plain awesome."
To that end, in an effort to make TSE more reachable to everyone the new "Trans-Sylvania Epic Experience" category has been created with riders starting each day 60 to 90 minutes before the main fields and covering the same distance but without the pressure of just making the same time cuts. These riders will still be timed each day for an official finish and will have to make a time-cut but will have a lot of extra time to do so and enjoy the scenery a bit more.
Epic Experience riders won’t be eligible for daily or GC placings but they do get all the same swag and finisher awards – and the TSEpic is renowned for these things. Also, the “Team” category returns again where a group of up to five riders can mix and match which stages they want to ride, as long as at least one member is on course each day. This category is eligible for awards and placings. Kuhn has also promised the return of “Stage 8” on the last day, The Three Beer Derby, won last year by Kona’s Barry Wicks.
One final benefit enjoyed by TSE is the support of State College, PA, located about 30 minutes away. The popular home of Penn State University boasts a large selection of hotels, restaurants, bars and other attractions for out of state racers who want to enjoy the full experience of the area.
2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race
- May 27 – Stage 1: Bald Eagle Prologue, 16km
- May 28 – Stage 2: Rothrock Cooper’s Gap, 69km
- May 29 – Stage 3: Bald Eagle Coburn, 76km
- May 30 – Stage 4: Raystown Lake, 56km
- May 31 – Stage 5: R.B. Winter, approx 32km
- June 1 – Stage 6: Rothrock Tussey Mountain, 61km
- June 2 – Stage 7: Bald Eagle Little Poe, 42km