Dirt Rag Magazine

Lindine and Barclay win 2015 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic


By Sue George. Photos courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

The last day of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic brought a few more miles and lots of smiles. For the elite men, the final day was shorter, but no less intense, with 26 miles of twisty singletrack for racers to whip through in an effort to grab one of the tightly-contested top spots. Two fun enduro sections offered up the last points for the gravity specialists to grab. Most everyone else decided to celebrate a good week with a nice, relaxed ride in the woods with friends.

Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) and Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) celebrated overall victories in the elite men’s and women’s general classification. Final stage wins went to Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) and Megan Chinburg.

Elite men’s overall winner Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist)

Elite men’s overall winner Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist)

Elite men

Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) took advantage of his fifth place in the general classification (GC) to escape for a stage win.

“I was of no consequence in the GC, so I figured the guys would give me a bit of room,” said Timmerman. “And I attacked at a good place. No backpack today. I think that was it. My back was feeling good today!”

Timmerman enjoyed the race and his result. “Great experience overall—there were a few days when I got myself up there, and I’m happy with that,” he said.

Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) fended off an attack by his teammate Payson McElveen to grab the overall NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic win, his second ever. His team worked well together and dominated the podium as a result.

“We rode a great team race all week long. Today, we were one-two coming out of the time trial, Payson and me, and Tristan was in third or fourth, and we got him into third,” said Lindine. “We did smart team tactics all week. Payson unfortunately flatted yesterday, and so I had the leader’s jersey today. We had enough of a gap to have a friendly battle today. It came out perfect, we got 1-2-3 in the general classification. It’s so nice to have the cards to play. Peter [Glassford] had an unfortunate situation trying to battle all three of us. You fight those odds and it’s impossible to win.”

Lindine pointed out that to race hard on this seventh day is asking a lot of already battered bodies. “Today was hard. This day is always like a normal cross country race at the end of some endurance days, so your legs don’t want to do what you want them to do. Between Peter and Payson charging, it was managing the leaks in the ship. It’s pretty awesome to win, it’s a tough week of racing.”

Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist), having been in prime position to win for most of the week and then losing time yesterday due to a mechanical, was not willing to give up without a fight.

“I threw everything I could at Justin, but I knew seven minutes was a pretty tall task in 28 miles,” said McElveen. “My plan was to sneak into the singletrack first and hope he’d be a couple riders back, but I went a little too early and he just jumped on my wheel. I went hard for the first 15 minutes and settled in, then hit it hard at halfway. Timmerman threw down a massive attack. I chased him, both Justin and I chased him, but my legs were so sore when I woke up this morning from running yesterday. I was chasing as hard as I could, he had more gas than me though, so I was happy with second.”

About coming so close and then settling for second, McElveen said, “It’s pretty bittersweet. It’ll take some time to fully appreciate, but it’s an improvement from last year. It was everything, having a team. Poor Peter. He didn’t complain a single time, just pulled. Based on how much he could have complained, I was so impressed with his professionalism. Big props to him.”

Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) was the lone man in the lead group, but he nevertheless made a valiant effort to get away, being only a few seconds from third in GC. “It was hard. I didn’t think I’d have a lot today,” said Glassford. “I felt OK, but it’s amazing how fast I went considering how crappy I felt. There were some accelerations but mostly I led. Then on the gravel road, I put in a last-ditch effort on the long climb up through the feed zone, but it got steep fast and I sort of caved in. It came back together, and after that, Tristan and I were really tired. My body said, let’s just enjoy this.”

After the dust settled, Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) had hung on to his third place. “Today was hard! Started fast. Peter and Payson were pushing the pace from the get-go, but my strategy was to just hang with Peter and hope he couldn’t drop me,” said Uhl. “We both put in some surges, he was tearing my legs off on the long climb but I was able to stay with him, and we came to an unofficial truce at the end. We were ready for it to be over, I think.”

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)

Elite women

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team) has been a favorite to win this race in all four years she’s entered, and at last, today she stood on the top of the podium. Since the women’s standings were fairly spread out, they decided to do a “parade lap” and have some fun.

“Today was definitely a parade! There was a bit of confusion for a bit, since two of the Under 25 riders were going to race, so women in the elite category got nervous that if they went fast enough, it would change the overall GC standings,” said Barclay. “But it turned out that the two had a mishap and were behind anyway. We all got back together at the checkpoint, and it was a proper party pace from there.”

Barclay is happy to bask in glory. “First GC win here! It feels amazing,” she said. “I was a little concerned in the last day that something would happen to my bike and everyone would just ditch me. It’s a party, but inside, everyone is still worried about their times. It was a fun ride with a great group of women. The dynamics this year were good.”

Mical Dyck (Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team) had the skills to earn second place in both the elite women’s and enduro categories. “It was a fun week, but abusive on the body and bum! It was super nice today doing a parade lap and not having to go for it,” said Dyck.

This was Dyck’s first trip to the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, and she learned some geology. “I knew it would be rocky, that’s what I had heard about the trails out here,” she said. “In Victoria, BC, we have a ton of rocks, but different rocks. We have big rock slabs. But this is constant false flats so you have to pedal through smaller rocks all day. I would definitely challenge it again, I like to suffer.”

Cyclo-crosser Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) came in third in GC while having a good time at her second stage race. “It was super challenging in a lot of different ways,” said Anthony. “It was such a great event, I’m so glad I was here. I’ve only done one other one, with a lot more people, around 1,200 people, so this is much more close-knit and fun.”

Anthony showed her prowess on the technical sections of the course and earned the top spot for the women in the East Coast Rocks competition.

Libby White (Colt Training Systems)

Libby White (Colt Training Systems)

Under 25 men and women

Libby White (Colt Training Systems) was able to hang on through the week to take the overall win for the Under 25 women.

“It’s been exhausting! After day 1, I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep it. I was surprised to get the lead on day 1, but I kind of killed myself,” said White. “Then enduro day came and all these long days, but today we had ourselves a parade stage and finished things out.”

White pointed out that in such a long race, relaxing and socializing can help you focus. “The motivation came from talking to people and making sure I was having fun,” said White. “When you ride this many hours, you have to make sure you’re having fun and are mentally in the game. I usually just picked a pop song for the day. Today was ‘Bad Blood’ by Taylor Swift, so I just keep singing that.”

For the Under 25 men, Drew Dillman (Colt Training Systems) remained just behind Payson McElveen for second place. He also showed his technical skills by winning the King of the East Coast Rocks competition. His teammate Cameron Dodge rounded out the top three.

Sue Haywood (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)

Sue Haywood (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)

Enduro

Sue Haywood (Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team) has built upon her considerable technical cross country riding skills to transform herself into an enduro specialist, and her NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic Enduro win is her first win this season. It’s not necessarily easier than cross country, though.

“Lifestyle enduro is not all fun and games! It’s mostly fun, but you still have to charge every downhill, even the ones you don’t know, so you’re reading them fresh,” said Haywood. “The thing about enduro is you still have to keep yourself together throughout the week. You’re either going to have a mechanical or a crash. It hurt, but I could still go on. No mechanicals, no flat tires, which was great.”

Haywood remains a threat for either category and could take her pick. “I knew enduro would be a possibility,” she said. “This is my first race of the year. I thought I’d have more in the tank for the cross country stuff, but I had nothing. So being able to focus on enduro was awesome. Cody [Phillips] has said this, but you cannot pursue two goals here. You won’t be able to to do top-notch in the GC and the enduro. Mical [Dyck] got second in both, but if she’d focused on enduro, we would have been super tight, and mentally I would have really had to step it up. It’s so taxing, everything, and it’s so hard mentally and with your adrenal glands going crazy, to do both.”

Cody Phillips (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) was a favorite to grab the elite men’s enduro win, but he just missed out when talented cross country racer Bryan Fawley (Kodiak Tough) decided to focus on this category instead of open men. “I just lost it today by 60 points,” he said. “[Fawley] got me on both of the segments today and we were only separated by 20 points, so that put him in the win by 60 points.”

Phillips was philosophical about his close loss. “I give it all I have and there’s nothing else I can do,” he said. “It’s different from cross country where you can see where people are. So I go out and try to focus and relax. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years, so I know how to do it. But he beat me straight up today. I can’t complain! He made it really hard, especially compared to last year. No one was that focused on it last year.”

Some of the credit for the fun enduro sections goes to Phillips, who gave feedback on the course after racing last year. “Getting more people here for enduro was the goal,” he said. “I gave the promoters a lot of input on the course to improve the enduro segments so we have more guys coming from out West to participate. We need to have more downhill to get the big names out here. I think the prize money is enough to bring people out though.”

Special Announcement: Pennsylvania gets new NICA High School League

High school mountain bike racing is coming to Pennsylvania in 2016. At the awards ceremony of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic on Saturday afternoon, organizers announced that the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) has awarded Pennsylvania a new league.

“We started on this effort a year and a half ago, and I’m excited to announce that NICA has accepted our bid,” said Mike Kuhn who submitted the bid for the league in conjunction with Pat Engleman, Mike Bush, Matt Spohn, Lou Mazzante, Todd Strauss, Jason Thomas, Clay Chiles and Bruce Bedell.

Pennsylvania High School Mountain Bike Racing will be conducted each fall, with the first season kicking off in the fall of 2016.

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Uhl and Barclay win stage 6 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic


By Sue George. Photos courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

In a race as long and challenging as the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, the only constant is change. On the signature trail of the stage and of the race, Tussey Ridge, the men’s category was shaken up today by a mechanical and will be tightly contested tomorrow. Meanwhile in the women’s race, local knowledge of the rocky course proved decisive.

Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) and Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won the elite men’s and women’s categories in stage 6. Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) took over the elite men’s general classification (GC) lead from his teammate Payson McElveen after McElveen had a major mechanical. Barclay successfully defended and extended her lead in the overall elite women’s classification.

Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) leads the breakaway early in Stage 6.

Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) leads the breakaway early in Stage 6.

Elite men

Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) grabbed his first stage win today, taking some pressure off his teammates during the stage. He and Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) are now separated by only 12 seconds in third and fourth places in the GC.

“I’m super excited to take the win,” said Uhl. “Peter and I have been duking it out for third place in the general classification, and I kind of took advantage of him having a bad spot on one of the run up/ride ups, and pushed it hard on the second enduro segment to get a gap on everyone. I just decided to keep it rolling on the climb, and I expected to have the guys come back to me. But they didn’t, so I kept it rolling relatively smooth.”

The winning effort cost Uhl dearly. “That last road section never ends,” he said. “I lost my Garmin in the East Coast Rocks section, and I didn’t have a clue how much further I had to go. I knew we had to come back along the fence line, but I forgot how hard it was. The last climb almost killed me. I’m probably going to be hurting tomorrow. I think Peter and I are about tied for time, so it’ll make for a fun last stage.”

Glassford has been working alone toward the front of the race all week, and was rewarded for his efforts today. “I had a good stage today. Tristan beat me but I finished in second, which is my best NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic stage finish so far. I didn’t embarrass myself horribly while Justin [Lindine (Competitive Cyclist)] and Payson [McElveen (Competitive Cyclist)] followed me.”

Glassford used some Canadian style to get an edge on the technical Tussey Mountain ridge trail. “Payton got a flat because I threw a crazy corner on Tussey and they weren’t ready for the ‘Ontario wide-cut’. Then, I just drilled it when I got on the road, just buried myself.”

Despite the lonely struggle as he is here racing without teammates, Glassford has kept a good attitude, which should come in handy tomorrow as he makes a play for third place overall.

“The steep climbs get me,” said Glassford. “But it was good racing, it was fun. It’s tough going against three guys out there. It’s pull until I get attacked, and I keep drilling it. But that’s what I like to do!”

McElveen’s flat turned out to be disastrous. “We had Tristan get away, which was great,” he said. “Peter was pulling and Justin and I were sitting on. Then I punctured big time on Tussey Ridge, just a massive tear. We can’t take tires off the rim without basically a car tire lever.”

“Justin was kind enough to stop and help me, and we tried as hard as we could to break the bead but we couldn’t,” said McElveen. “I finally just started to ride the rim, and at the end of Tussey Ridge, the whole wheel exploded, which was predictable. Then I just started running. I have a very large blister on my right foot now. I ran for a long time, it felt like forever.”

McElveen switched out his wheel at the last aid station and chased as hard as he could. “I figured the race is probably over for me now, but you never know. And if I don’t try… well, I might as well try.” McElveen dropped to second place in GC with six minutes over third.

McElveen’s teammate and close competitor Lindine had a relatively uneventful day, always a good thing, and it landed him in the race leader’s jersey.

“It was going really well,” said Lindine. “I like a lot of the trails on this stage, and it’s broken up nicely. We had a super aggressive first 45 minutes and split it into the smaller group of the four of us. Tristan was able to get away on the first enduro section, which was perfect, and Peter got a bit gapped off, so Payson and I sat up. We were like, ‘Sorry, man, this is the job we have to do.’ Peter has spent the most time on the front of anyone in the race.”

When McElveen’s tire blew, Lindine went above and beyond to help his teammate. “We were riding across Tussey when Payson flatted,” he said. “I stopped, we tried to fix it, it wasn’t going well. It’s not ideal. No one wants to take the jersey that way. I know as well as anyone that this race can come down to mechanicals and luck. I don’t know what the clock is going to say, but we’ll see how it plays out.”

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) heads off the road and onto a section of singletrack in Stage 6.

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) heads off the road and onto a section of singletrack in Stage 6.

Elite women

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women), a State College local, was unable to use her usual strategy of hanging out with the guys today, but she got help from Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling) as well as her teammate Mical Dyck (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women).

“Selene helped me big time in the start,” said Barclay. “I missed the train of lead guys and I was like, ‘What am I going to do? Hammer at three miles in?’ But Selene was so nice. Then Mical caught us so we all worked together on the road. She was tired on the climbs, but I was trying to help her stay in second place. And we were working with the singlespeeders as well!”

Barclay’s lead of 17 minutes seems solid, but she knows better than most that things can go sideways at any moment. “Everything is so dry! You could definitely slide out,” she said. “I had the slight advantage on the ridge because I ride it all the time. Sometimes I can’t clean it, but today I cleaned all the sections.” If you’ve never seen the Tussey Ridge Trail, cleaning it is an amazing feat.

Yeager seems to have raced herself into recovery and was feeling much better than earlier in the week, so she used her mojo to help Barclay along. “Vicki was in front all of the day except for 15 seconds when I pulled her,” she said. “But I knew she would go. I was using her trail knowledge and following her. I could see her for most of the day. I kind of wanted to get her at the end, but I slid out on a bunch of gravel trying to accelerate.”

“I knew I wasn’t going to get her, but this is the best I’ve felt on this day,” said Yeager. “I wasn’t going to make up 20 minutes on Vicki today, so I wanted to help her.”

Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) rides the Tussey Mountain Trail in Stage 6.

Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) rides the Tussey Mountain Trail in Stage 6.

Under 25 men and women

Payson McElveen nearly got his usual top Under 25 spot nabbed from him by Lewis Gaffney (Colt Training Systems), who came in just 27 seconds later. A new name rounded out the top three Under 25 men, Cameron Dodge, also of Colt Training Systems.

Libby White (Colt Training Systems) continued to build an impressive lead with another win today, with Samantha Runnels (Colt Training Systems) not far behind. Emily Shields (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) came in a solid third.

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McElveen and Anthony win stage 5 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic


By Sue George. Photos courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Stage 5 started at R.B. Winter State Park, after a drive along a pastoral valley road complete with Amish buggies. In past editions of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, this stage has served up arduous singletrack sections and heartbreaking climbs, but this year’s course was smoother and more forgiving, thanks to some route changes and lots of trail work.

Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) and Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) won the elite men’s and women’s categories while McElveen and Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) successfully defended their respective leads in the overall elite classifications.

Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) and Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) got away on an early road climb and wouldn't be caught.

Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) and Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) extended their lead on the general classification.

Elite men

Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) added slightly less than one minute of time to his lead over teammate Justin Lindine.

“It was a solid day,” said McElveen. “This stage always makes me nervous because it’s more raw than the others, so I first and foremost wanted to come into today and defend the lead and get a bit more time if I could.”

Experience at this race helped McElveen’s strategy. “I remembered how the race played out last year. There’s a steep singletrack bit after a steep dirt road, and I remembered that singletrack being selective last year, so I jumped in and hit it, and got a gap on Justin. I did the following enduro section as fast as I could while still being safe. The hard part was the hard drag of 10-12 minutes on dirt road. Last year, Jeremiah Bishop was the one causing pain and got about 10 seconds on me on that road, and I went deep in the pain cave to bridge back up.”

McElveen and Lindine are separated by just under four minutes in the general classification, and the two have 16 minutes on the third-place GC rider, Peter Glassford (Trek Canada). “Justin and I went one-two again, and that’s the best scenario,” said McElveen.

Glassford’s strategy today was part sprinting, part styling. “I just wanted to get my Trek Superfly to the road gap jump as fast as I could,” he said. “Since I am outnumbered in the lead group, I have been basically pulling pretty hard and trying to keep myself out of trouble until attacks start, then hoping that one or all of them drop off, and I end up in a decent spot. I was psyched to get some time on Tristan [Uhl] today and even more psyched to hit the road gap with a strong whip this year.”

Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) airs the road gap at the stage finish.

Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) airs the road gap at the stage finish.

Elite women

Once again, Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women) separated herself from her fellow female racers early and rode with the elite men. Her strategy didn’t get her the win today, however.

“I went off pretty hard with the lead men and was hanging on their train,” said Barclay. “I led the race until the first piece of singletrack after the aid station, the East Coast Rocks section, and I came out of there and looked behind me and saw [my teammate] Mical [Dyck].”

Barclay got a gap on Dyck, but Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) eventually bridged up. Barclay and Anthony rode together for a section until they started to climb.

“She attacked and I thought it was a really long climb [like last year] and I was hurting,” said Barclay. “But then we went left into singletrack! I could see her all the way until the last hike-a-bike section, she was right there, but she got back and put in a gap on me on the road.”

Barclay said she’s not worried about finishing second to Anthony on the day because she has a lot of time on the GC. “But the cyclocross queen we all know and love put some power down today!” said Barclay of her top rival.

Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) took the win on Stage 5.

Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) took the win on Stage 5.

Anthony showed that ‘cross techniques can translate to longer races as well. “I have now learned my lesson this week and rode my own race at the start, just tried to keep Mical in sight on that first climb but didn’t try to chase her down,” she said.

“I just rode my own pace and got Mical on the first enduro section, was riding with her for a while and was starting to feel good,” said Anthony. “Then, after the East Coast Rocks section, I started seeing Vicki, and caught her and we rode together for a while. On the road, I didn’t really mean to attack, I just stood up, realized I was getting a gap, and thought the top of the hill was coming up. I was like, ‘What am I doing?!’ But I rode as hard as I could to stay away.”

Under 25 men and women

Emily Shields (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women) had the fastest Under 25 women’s time today, good enough for sixth among the elite women. But Shields has a big chunk of time to make up if she wants to catch U25 GC leader Libby White (Colt Training Systems).

White was third on the day, behind Samantha Runnels (Colt Training Systems). “I’ve been OK, but my bike seems to not be able to be held together, but we’ve gotten through. I’m having so much fun doing this though. It’s my first mountain bike stage race ever.”

White and other young riders have been using this week as a fun training camp to get in tune for the rest of the season. “I’ve been doing a lot of long hours training, but it’s about drinking water, having fun, and not taking it too seriously. This is getting me ready for a fun summer of racing!”

While Payson McElveen continues to be counted with the elite men, some of the other Under 25 men are not far behind. Drew Dillman (Colt Training Systems) had a second-place overall time today, just four minutes off McElveen.

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Timmerman and Barclay win Stage 4 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic


By Sue George. Photos courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Stage 4 is considered the “road” stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, but in the wilds of central Pennsylvania, that means surfaces ranging from gravel to chunky doubletrack bracketed by sections of twisty, rocky singletrack. Nevertheless, there was plenty of roadie-style peloton action complete with strong attacks from the start.

Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) and Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won the elite men’s and women’s categories while Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) and Barclay successfully defended their respective leads in the overall elite classifications.

Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) leads a group through an enduro segment.

Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) leads a group through an enduro segment.

Elite men

After nearly three hours of intense effort, the men’s race came down to a photo finish: Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) got his first stage win, with Competitive Cyclist teammates and general classification leaders Payson McElveen and Justin Lindine plus early attacker Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) rounding out the lead group.

Glassford set a fast pace early and was pleased with the result. “I’m rarely going to win in a sprint, so I started sprinting four miles out,” he said. “I was out front for a while and that let me ride the second enduro section alone, which was good.”

“Then, it was just the lead guys, which is a little nicer not having to fight for position, since everyone is a solid rider,” said Glassford. “I just tried to drive the pace every time I could on the climbs so everyone was a little more fatigued coming into the sprint, and I think it worked. Last year, I was blown on the last climb, but this year, I was right there with the guys.”

Stage winner Timmerman enjoyed the lack of rocks on much of today’s route. “It was a much better day for me, that’s for sure,” he said. “I pretty much perpetually have back problems. The technical stuff hurts it, so today was better for me.”

Timmerman made the finish extra exciting by nearly taking out the timing table. “I didn’t know what to expect for the finish—if we had a loop or we’d go straight in—but we went straight in, so I just went for it. I didn’t really think about it. I saw the banner and I went. I wanted to be close to the timing thing, to make sure my chip read.”

After four days of racing, McElveen and Lindine remain within three minutes of one another on GC.

Lindine engaged in a bit of psychological strategy against his teammate. “Justin said it couldn’t possibly rain today, and wouldn’t it suck if it was wet—then it rained,” said McElveen. “But those dirt roads were awesome, those roads were beautiful.”

Lindine admitted he liked the wet conditions, too. “The rain was awesome!”

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) passes Russel Henderson (Crosstown Velo) on an enduro segment.

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) passes Russel Henderson (Crosstown Velo) during an enduro segment.

Elite women

Vicki Barclay (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) had a great day, and was the only woman to bridge up to the train of elite men, gaining 5:30 on the next female finisher in the process.

“It is so great to feel strong every day,” said Barclay. “Today, I was conscious at the start of not getting out of the saddle and trying to drill it up the hill with the guys, just trying to stay in the saddle and stay with them, not blowing five matches on the first climb. I was with them, and Mical [Dyck (Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team)] was there, and I could see her out of the saddle, but I thought I’d play it safe. And she blew up a little when I passed her, so then I put in a dig to try to catch that group of men.”

Although they are teammates, Barclay explained that she and Dyck are both gunning for the win. “Mical and I are first and second and both of us want to win, so it’s hard to have team tactics or team dynamics now—it’s every woman for herself,” she said. “But no one is that safe just now in the general classification.”

Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) kept her head despite some difficulty and earned second on the day. “The week has been up and down, but today was good. I learned on the second day that I have to ride my own race and ride where my fitness is,” she said.

“I got popped off the back today but I kept with it—it’s a long stage,” said Anthony, who dropped back to fourth for a bit, but kept Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling) in sight, and by the last climb, had gotten around her. “Then Mical was visible ahead, and I got past her on the last climb and rode like hell to stay ahead on the final bit. It was a good stage!”

Dyck hung in there for third place. “My day was hard! I felt good for about 20 minutes and then my legs were empty,” she said. “It was a lot of road, and nothing super steep, but they went on forever so you had to put constant power down. There was a lot of mental battle today. You’re moving fast, but it’s still a lot of distance to cover.”

When Yeager shows up for the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, she is typically a threat to win, but this year she’s coming off a huge effort. Yeager joined the Gu Energy Labs team to ride the entire Tour of California stage race course—700 miles, 43,000 feet of climbing—the week before the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic.

“I’m going to be 100 percent honest. I woke up this morning, stepped outside and burst into tears. I’m so mentally tired,” said Yeager. “But I really like this stage, so I went out, rode around, and it was a beautiful morning. I just keep head-checking myself—this isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a bike race, and if I do good, great, and if I don’t, it’s OK. It’s taking more work to put myself in a good place in the morning, but once the race is on, I find that good place. I’m enjoying the race.” Yeager’s good attitude carried her into fourth place for today’s stage.

trans-sylvania-epic-2015-day-4-1

Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) at the start of Stage 4.

Under 25 men and women

Besides the ever-present Payson McElveen at the top of the young rider results, Lewis Gaffney and Drew Dillman (both of Colt Training Systems) were again second and third on the day. Gaffney had an especially good result, just seconds behind the top five elite men.

Colt Training Systems young riders are clearly dominant in the women’s race as well as the men’s field. Today, it was Samantha Runnels taking the top Under 25 women’s time, with teammate Libby White not far behind. Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s rider Emily Shields rounded out the top three. Yesterday’s winner Ellen Noble did not have a good day, but remains in fourth in the GC for Under 25 women.

Photo gallery

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See all our coverage from the 2015 Trans-Sylvania Epic here.

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