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Stage 5 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic offers a unique formula to the stage racing format. Originally conceived as a Super-D contest, it morphed into whats referred to as a Mini-XC Day.ÃÂÃÂ Riders roll socially on a 28-mile loop that has four special sections. Classes line up and race sectors of trail that average about 13 to 14 minutes. Each one begins with a short climb and runs into ultra technical flat and downhill singletrack and times are tallied and totaled with the lowest combined time for all four winning the day. The concept was created to upset the status quo and produce a new podium. This year, besides being one of the more fun days for all competitors it produced a new winner on the day for the open men.
Bryan FawelyÃÂs (Orbea USA) consistency riding a carbon hardtail gave him the overall over Konas Kris Sneddon and Jamis Captain Jason Sager. Fawley won section two and four (with Sneddon in second both times) and ended up tied with Sneddon on time but by virtue of winning two sections compared to SneddonÃÂÃÂs one, he got the top podium position and the Super D winnerÃÂÃÂs jersey. Cannondales Jeremiah Bishop snagged the third section just ahead of Sneddon and Sager. Bishop now has just a 2m:06sec lead over Sneddon and 7m:09sec over Sager on GC.
Of his plans for tomorrows Queen Stage, Rothrock Mountain at 38 miles in length with 5,300 feet of climbing Sager had this to say, Im not going to get seven minutes on Bishop unless itÃÂÃÂs a 10,000 foot climbing day and on paper he should still win so IÃÂÃÂm focusing on Sneddon. I have to get him on the early climbs and then ride his pace on the technical trails, which heÃÂÃÂs really good at. Basically its going to be an all-out day.
The womens open class saw a dominating performance by Team CFs Selene Yeager. She led every section from start to finish on her Specialized S-Works Epic, uncontested and unchallenged.
Early in the week Yeager said she was targeting today for a possible win. ÃÂÃÂI knew today was a day I could win because IÃÂÃÂm a good starter and a good technical rider so I wanted to play to my strengths, she said post race. ÃÂÃÂI knew my chances of winning a lot of stages was slim this year because of the competition so I wanted to get at least one and this was it.
Sue Haywood (Shenandoah Bikes/Kenda/Turner/I-9) took second in sections two and four but it wasnÃÂÃÂt enough to overcome a 19-second deficit to Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) in the first section. Carey took second place on the day by one second over Haywood.
Carey still holds onto the top slot in womenÃÂÃÂs GC but Yeager pulled 90-seconds back from her today and increased her lead over Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/FTC/Performance Labs) by 15m:04sec.
Morgan Miller (West Virginia Night Club) won his second straight single-speed stage over Rich Straub (Freeze Thaw/BikeFlights/NoTubes) and Greg Martin (Club Ride) with former GC leader Rich Dillen (Team Dicky) coming in forth on the day. Straub retains his hold on the leaders jersey with Dillen just over 17 minutes back in second.