Huge battle looms for ladies at Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag

Photos by A.E.Landes photography

While neither Vampira or Elvira is on the reg list, a host of hellishly fast women are targeting the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic p/b Dirt Rag in 2012. As is the case with the men’s field, the talent assembling for the women’s race TSEpic is as good as it gets. With this many incredible women all headed to the deep lush Pennsylvania forests to face off against one another, the winner of the TSEpic could easily stake her claim as North America’s best endurance mountain bike racer.

With two years of TSEpic experience including overall victory in 2010, Team CF’s Selene Yeager, above, is one of the first to consider for the win. Interestingly, some of Yeager’s top competition may come from her own team mates as TeamCF is also fielding former NUE series champion Cheryl Sornson and TSE veteran Kristin Gavin. Sorrenson is fresh off a storming win at the Cohutta 100 where she knocked last year’s TSEpic and NUE series champ Amanda Carey from the top of the podium. Teammate Gavin, below, was just behind in third place.

Even with this incredible line up Team CF will be challenged to have the strongest team at the TSEpic. The NoTubes elite women’s team is fielding no less than five racers with the goal of nothing less than total and absolute domination of their sponsor’s top mountain bike event.

Vicki Barclay, above, who happens to call State College home, and teammate and former US National Champ Sue Haywood, below, both have a year of TSEpic experience to call on and both are showing excellent early season form. Haywood has claimed both the Maryland and Deleware State Championship titles on recent weekends and Vicki was fourth at Cohutta.

Joining these two will be NoTubes team captain Shannon Gibson, 2011’s ProXCT top 10 finisher Sarah Kaufmann, and former New Zealand World Championship Team Member Jenny Smith. The mountain bike stage race podiums under the belts of these NoTubes women ensure that there will be plenty of neon pink mixing it up with that bright blue plaid of Team CF at the sharp end of the race.

Several solo women are not to be counted out and will be battling against these formidible teams on every stage. Last year’ Karen Potter, above, served notice that she was at TSEpic for the win and held the leaders jersey after the stage one time trial. A stomach bug took Potter out of the running for the overall but she came back late in the week to win a second stage. Potter too has seen early season success in both XC and distance events.

Kona’s Alice Pennington will not have teammates to call on, but this talented and super-experienced racer also heads to Trans-Sylvania prepared to take on all comers and do her part to give Kona a sweep of the men’s and women’s titles. And while Niner’s Donna Miller is making her first appearance at TSE she has no less than podium intentions in mind.

Watch the battle unfold on, Dirt Rag and Cycling Dirt throughout race week with updates, pics and video posted daily. For even more insight find Trans-Sylvania Epic on facebook.




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