Bishop and Sornson win NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic
and Shields earn best young rider titles
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.
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.
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.
For a man who professed that
todayís stage would be a bit of a relaxed-pace victory lap, Jeremiah Bishop was
clearly working hard, first with the lead group, and then attacking on a climb
mid-way and soloing to an impressive finish.
"It was just one of those
things," he said. "I thought people would have fun, ride quick and
maybe sprint to the finish, but Cole [Oberman] attacked from the gun. I was
hurting, so bad. I made the lead group, but barely.Ē
After Nick Waite (ProTested Gear)
began attacking, Bishop again struggled to stay in the lead group. But
following the checkpoint, when they again hit more singletrack, he started to
"On a climb, the diesel kicked
in, and I wanted to put some pressure on these guys and ride my pace,"
said Bishop. "But my pace ended up being faster." So Bishop went and
was never seen again.
Behind him, the under 25 Rare
Disease Cycling rider Cole Oberman battled with NoTube's Ben Sonntag for second
place, and while Obermanís gap seemed solid six miles from the finish, Sonntag
was able to overtake him and snatch second place.
Behind Oberman, past winner Justin
Lindine (Redline) came back from a bad luck streak to take fourth place,
leading the chase group containing Waite and Spencer Paxson (Kona).
Bishop took the overall victory ó
his 12th consecutive North American stage race win ó after leading for all
seven days of the race. It was the fourth time he won the NoTubes
Trans-Sylvania Epic - he is undefeated here.
"I had good luck," said
Bishop. "Itís unbelievable. It feels great to be done!"
Behind him in the final
classification, his training partner Waite claimed second while Paxson took
third. Sonntag and Oberman rounded out the top five.
Unfortunately, Kris Sneddon (Kona),
who was sitting third overall with one stage remaining, was unable to contend
todayís stage due to illness. He withdrew
from today's stage and therefore dropped out of the standings entirely.
Selene Yeager (Rare Disease
Cycling) earned her first stage win of the week, coming in with teammate and
race leader Cheryl Sornson. Although it
wasn't part of the pre-race plan, the two found themselves together all day,
and while Sornson had a comfortable lead in the overall standings, Yeager was
motivated to make sure that her third place overall was secure, since she had
entered the stage with only four minutes on yesterday's stage winner Mary
"I was the only one who had
anything to lose this morning," Yeager said. "I figured I could hold
it, but things happen. I was just going to stay with Mary, but I was feeling
really good, so I thought I had better just go, in case I flatted or something.
Then I saw Cheryl and we stayed together, and thatís all she wrote!"
"It wasnít a plan,"
Sornson said. "It just kind of worked out.Ē
"We knew we had a gap so
figured we should just go," Yeager said.
Behind the two, Vicki Barclay
(Stanís NoTubes) finished solo in third, and McConneloug came in for fourth,
and while NoTubes' racer Sarah Kaufmann suffered a mechanical, she was able to
hold her overall position.
In the final standings, Sornson won
while Barclay stayed comfortably in second place overall and Yeager maintained
her lead over McConneloug for third overall, with Kaufmann in fifth.
"I didnít come in expecting to
win, it wasnít easy, and I am more than thrilled," a beaming Sornson said.
U25 men and women
Cole Oberman (Rare Disease Cycling)
exploded from the line, gunning for a stage win this morning.
"I couldnít help it," he
later said, citing his animal instincts. After all, after six stages of go-go-go, itís hard to remind your legs
to take it easy. He earned second overall in the final stage, and took the BMC
Under 25 menís stage win over his main competitor, Payson McElveen (Richardís
Rainwater MTB Racing).
"Itís been great feeling my
legs the past three days," Oberman said. "After that next gravel
climb, I tried to be first on the trail, and Ben Sonntag and I just battled the
rest of the way in, but he ended up getting me on this last little bit of
Despite Obermanís steady rise in
the ranking among the elite men, and his stage win on Thursday, it wasnít
enough to wrest the BMC Under 25 title from McElveen. And so, in the final
under 25 men's standings, McElveenís victory was secured after leading for
seven days, while Oberman comfortably took second place. Behind them, Cameron
Dodge (Pure Energy Scott Elite Team) and Cory Rimmer finished third and fourth,
"Iím really happy to be
done," said McElveen. "Today was tough mentally because I already had
a big lead and I had trouble motivating. I actually cramped before the start ó
I was so done today!
This has been McElveenís longest
stage race, and heís already thinking about next year ó and coming back to try
for the elite men's overall title.
Earlier in the week, the under 25
women's race was the only category that had any movement in it, starting with
Ellen Noble (Bear Development Team) in the lead, then Kaysee Armstrong
(Kona/TBB Race), and finally, on Wednesday, a win by Emily Shields (BMC Project
Dirt) that kept her out front for the rest of the week.
Todayís final BMC Under 25 women's
race was no different, and Shields again took the win. This was also her first
stage race, and only her second season of mountain biking, and not only has did
she win among the under 25 women, but she finished an impressive sixth overall
in the elite womenís classification.
"It was pretty
exhausting," a tired Shields said. "I was just trying to be done!Ē
Behind her in the race,
Armstrong came in for second, with Noble in third. The positions for the overall
standings remained unchanged for the young women, with Shields taking the
overall title, followed by Armstrong and Noble.
"I thought it would be closer,"
Shields said, still surprised at her overall win. "Iíve never done
anything like this at all! But this week has been amazing, it's been a great
race and great practice for starts especially, since we start hard with the men
In the final SRAM Enduro segment of
the race, Colt McElwaine upset the field with a first place finish that was 30
seconds faster than second place finisher Tristan Uhl (787 Racing). The stage
win was not enough to shake up the overall standings, as Uhl held the overall
lead to win the menís competition. Aaron Snyder (TSEpic.com/NoTubes) finished
second in the competition, with Michael Broderick (Kenda/NoTubes) just 45
points behind in third place.
Ellen Noble (Bear Development Team)
took the stage 7 win in the womenís competition, with a finishing time 21
seconds faster than second place Carolyn Popovic. However, Popovic came out as
the winner of the enduro competition with a substantial points lead. Kaysee
Armstrong (Kona/TVB Race) was second overall, while Mary McConneloug rounded
out the podium in third.
East Coast Rocks
After taking a 13-second lead
yesterday in the Bear Creek East Coast Rocks competition, Michael Broderick
(Kenda/NoTubes) fell back to second place as Cody Phillips (Felt Factory Enduro
Team) put in an incredible effort to win the overall competition by 22 seconds.
Michael Wissell (B2C2/Boloco) finished in third for the timed competition.
In the womenís field, Mary
McConneloug (Kenda/NoTubes) held on to her strong lead to win the overall
competition, while Elizabeth Allen (Danielson Adventure Sports) finished in
second and Carolyn Popovic (Rare Disease Cycling) ended up in third.
In the final stage of the NoTubes
Trans-Sylvania Epic, the singlespeed class decided to ride the stage casually
as opposed to putting in typical race efforts. As a result, all of the
singlespeeders finished the stage within 10 seconds of each other, with Chris
Merriam in first, Scott Smith (TVB Race/Tomato Head) in second, and John
Merriam (Crosshairs Cycling) in third.
With no changes in the overall
standings resulting from todayís stage, "The Angry Singlespeeder"
Kurt Gensheimer (Ibis) remained the singlespeed winner of the 2014
Trans-Sylvania Epic. Rich Dillen (Faster Mustache) finished second in the
seven-day race, trailing Gensheimer by half an hour, while Smith finished in
Nathan Goates rode strong to take
the BikeFlights.com Masters 40+ stage win on the last day of the Trans-Sylvania
Epic. In another late-race effort, Javier Lopez (Rock Mountain Bike Life)
followed close behind the leader to finish second, trailing Goates by only
seven seconds. David Thompson (Cycle Smart) took third place for the day.
Nathan Ruch (Pure Energy Scott
Elite Team) came into the final stage with a substantial lead in the overall
standings. The lead proved unbeatable today, allowing Ruch to take the overall
victory in the BikeFlights.com Masters 40+ field. Steve Mee finished second in
the overall standings, while Lopezís strong performance boosted him from fourth
to third in the overall competition.
After his disappointing
disqualification in 2013, Jim Matthews (Toasted Head Racing) returned this year
to the Masters 50+ field dedicated to redeeming last yearís error. Matthews put
in a strong effort to win the final stage by 13 minutes over second place Rick
Landry (speedriver.com). Adam Linstedt finished in third place just a minute
and a half after Landry.
With strong performances all week,
Matthews held a substantial lead throughout the week to win the overall Masters
50+ competition. Despite a weaker result on the final stage, Hawkins retained
his second place overall position, while Landry finished the week in third
Daily video coverage
Visit the following link for stage
7ís daily video coverage: http://bcove.me/z8bhyhv2.
The NoTubesTrans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag Magazine is made possible with the
generous support of BMC, Pactimo, Hammer Nutrition, Red Bull, Purple Lizardand Freeze Thaw
For more information, visit OutdoorExperience.orgor TSEpic.com; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TransSylvaniaEpic;
or follow us on Twitter @TransSylvania, #TSEpic, #TS3 and #TSEnduro.
Open Men Stage 7 Results:
||Stan's No Tubes Elite
||Redline / NBX
||Pro Tested Gear
||Pro's Closet / Stan's
||Trek - Canada
||B2C2 / Boloco
||Toasted Head Racing
||Rare Disease Cycling
||Death Row Velo /
Open Women Stage 7 Results:
Click Here for full Stage 7 Results from all categories
||BMC Project Dirt
||Bear Development Team
||Rare Disease Cycling
Women's Final GC:
1. Cheryl Sornson 18:12:29
2. Vicki Barclay 18:26:44
3. Selene Yeager 18:36:27
4. Mary McConneloug 18:46:15
5. Sarah Kaufmann 19:27:28
Men's Final GC:
1. Jeremiah Bishop 14:55:30
2. Nick Waite 15:07:24
3. Spencer Paxson 15:13:43
4. Ben Sontag 15:15:57
5. Cole Oberman 15:35:31