Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic Stage 3

Race Coverage

It was one of those days

The Bald Eagle Coburn Stage 3 had almost 5000 feet of climbing over 42 miles of fire roads interspersed with technical, rocky trails. Riders found no solace in the mild weather from earlier in the week, which was replaced with temperatures in the low-50s and light to moderate rain for the first half of the competition.

Sam Koerber (ProGold), second in GC, was dropped from the leaders on the very first descent of the day, a short rocky singletrack that threw his chain over his cassette and left him standing trail-side as most of the field passed.

Brian Matter (RACC/Trek/ProGold) who was in third overall at the start of the stage, and Justine Lindine (Redline/NBX), the current race leader, were unaware of what took the fast descending Koerber from the picture but worried little about the cause. Matter, knowing that the time he lost to a flat yesterday could be redeemed, joined forces with Lindine who was looking to pad his lead.

Also in the lead group were Phil Grove (Hammer Nutrition), Aaron Snyder (TSEpic.com/NoTubes), Mike Wissel (B2C2/Boloco), and Wes Richards (Clemmons Bicycle). But Lindine and Matter were not interested in having help and shed the others by the time the race entered Tower Trail, ten miles into the course.

Brian Matter and Justin Lindine pushing through the wet grass on the last climb of Stage 3.

On the first enduro segment of the day, Lindine cooperated to allow Matter to compete in the enduro segments with hopes of keeping the enduro jersey to the end. The two continued around the course trading the lead through Coburn and up the long gradual climb of Seigerville-Millheim Pike. Entering the final enduro segment of the day, Lindine decided that the time was right and jumped away.

“I’m not going to say that I’m not taking advantage of Brian’s interest in the enduro jersey. He slowed and I went,” said Lindine, who crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of Matter.

Koerber impressed the competition with an all day chase over the 42 mile course that ended with a third place finish, while Wissell had his best ever finish in a Trans-Sylvania Epic in fourth. Aaron Snyder continued his steady effort in the event with his fifth place finish.

Drew Edsall, though distanced on today’s stage by a crash in the opening miles, did win the stage’s enduro challenges. This result bodes well for the Kenda/Felt racer, as stage 4 focuses on the enduro competition with five timed segments in Rothrock Forest.

Sue Haywood on the way to the stage win.

In the women’s race, the open women’s field was mostly clumped together, with very small gaps separating riders. After entering Tower Trail, the top riders would reunite to form a group that would stay together through most of the race. The group included four members of the Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team—Amanda Carey, Vicki Barclay, Sarah Kaufman, and Sue Haywood—along with Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon), and Andrea Wilson (Brickhouse Racing).

Exiting Coburn, the group maintained a tight formation, trading off the lead on a pace-line charging through the roads back to the finish. The group climbed at a moderate pace up the gravel on Lingle Valley Road with no one willing to attack. The casual pace benefited eventual stage winner Sue Haywood, who struggled to hold on to the group up the climb.

“All they had to do was look at my face and they would know they should attack,” said Haywood.

With no one willing to be the aggressor, the group entered Mountain Church Road mostly wheel-to-wheel. But they would not stay close for long, as Barclay launched an attack up Synagogue Gap. Carey and Haywood latched on, developing a small gap to the remaining three riders. Haywood attacked the final enduro section hard, passing Barclay on her way down.

Before the mud.

Though still feeling her legs were lacking from yesterday’s effort, Haywood found her strength on the rolling hills and singletrack in the last few miles of the course. Passing Carey on the singletrack, Haywood developed a few second lead that stuck through to the finish line for a first place finish.

Carey’s second place finish allowed her to retain her NoTubes Leader’s jersey, while Barclay followed shortly after to grab third place for the day.

2013 Stage 3 TSEpic GC and Enduro Results are here.

Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic Stage 3 Gallery
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Brian Matter lining up in the rainy morning.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Racers prepare for a wet morning on Stage 3 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

The Stan’s NoTubes women’s team is ready for Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Madison Matthews rolls down the first double-track Enduro segment of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Justin Lindine leads the pack over the gritty wet roads.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Michael Wissel takes the lead as the leaders follow on the gravel climb.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Gunnar Bergey mid-pack into the singletrack of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Cody Rimmer rolls fast down the first Enduro segment of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Mike Festa showboating the during the first Enduro segment of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Angie Sokorai finds the line by the rock-strewn riverbed.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Sam Koerber and Michael Wissel pushing through the hardpack section through Coburn, PA.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

The leader pack rolls through Coburn’s rural streets.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Dax Massey and Kevin Maldonado ahead of the peloton of riders on the gravel roads of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Brian Matter and Justin Lindine pushing through the wet grass on the last climb of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Zach Adams through the misty fog of Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Riders ascend one the major climbs in the Trans-Sylvania Epic’s Stage 3.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Dax Massey and Kevin Maldonado descend through the last enduro section of the day.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Jon Firth and Drew Simson pull together on the last Enduro section.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Dax Massey powering down the rock-strewn double-track.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Sue Haywood motoring through the wooded double-track.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Gunnar Bergey with a muddy face and kit after Stage 3 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Andrea Wilson pedaling through the sandy descent.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Peter Butt pushing down the muddy mountain double-track.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

The Juggernaut Team enjoys some post race celebration beverages at the finish.
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Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 3

Donna Miller finishing up on Stage 3 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.
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