Raystown Lake and its perfectly groomed, undulating, rollercoaster main loop was the site of stage four of the Trans-Sylvania Epic and riders were greeted to cooler temperatures as they sprinted two 20-mile laps around the lake.
As the bunch roared up the paved, 20-percent grade road off the start towards the singletrack all the contenders were accounted for minus Kona’s Kris Sneddon who missed the selection and later, his teammate Barry Wicks who flatted yet again today.
As the group came into the first feed zone at mile nine it was the Team Jamis duo of Jason Sager and Adam Snyder, Cannondale’s Jeremiah Bishop and Alex Grant, Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com/Joe’s Garage/Scott) and Drew Edsall (Super Cool Bike Shop/Firstplaceracing.com). As the group exited the feed Bishop was left behind and while unleashing a frantic chase flatted twice before the finish. For the next lap and a half the selection stayed together until Sager attacked on the gravel road climb, splintering the bunch. From there he rode solo all the way in to take his second stage in a row.
For the women, Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) was first onto the singletrack followed by a paceline of firepower consisting of Selene Yeager (Team CF), Sue Haywood (Shenandoah Bikes/Kenda/Turner/I-9), Rebecca Rusch (Specialized), Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/FTC/Performance Labs) and Sonya Looney (Topeak/Ergon).
Looney was the first to pop as Yeager began to pull away and Haywood and Rusch began to chase. This increase in speed was enough to gap Barclay shortly after. On the short but steep gravel road climb midway through the first lap Haywood and Rusch regrouped with Yeager. Haywood was the next to go on her own while Rusch and Yeager worked together to bring her back. Eventually Yeager had to back down and let Rusch go. At one point Haywood looked to be closing in on Carey but it wasn’t enough. Carey won by a safe two-minute margin over Haywood and a charging Rusch. This extended Carey’s GC lead over Yeager to nearly 16-minutes.
While neither category saw major GC changes the men’s field has grown exceptionally close with less than five minutes separating the top three.
In singlespeed action Morgan Miller topped the day followed by Rich Straub (Freeze Thaw/BikeFlights/NoTubes) and Greg Martin (Club Ride). Overnight leader Rich Dillen (Team Dicky) finished fifth, losing the jersey back to Straub.