New for this year, the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race will crown a King and Queen of the Rocks at its seven-day competition from May 25 to May 31, 2014. Just like the Tour de France recognizes not only the overall race leader, but also the best climber, best sprinter and best young rider, the Trans-Sylvania Epic will award whomever is best in the gnar.
The East Coast Rocks Singletrack competition will honor the top male and female riders of central Pennsylvania's classic, rocky singletrack. Racers will find one timed singletrack section on five of the seven stages. These sections will be all about celebrating what makes mountain bike riding in Pennsylvania the awesome experience it is: the rocks!
Other special sub-classifications at the Trans-Sylvania Epic include the Best Young (Under 25) Rider and the Best Enduro Rider.
Although both involve lovely singletrack, the East Coast Rocks classification is a bit different than the Enduro classification, which was added in 2013. Both are open to riders of all ages, but the East Coast Rocks classification will feature flat to rolling segments and may be best exemplified by the renowned Tussey Mountain Trail, a beautiful rolling ridgetop just outside of State College, Pennsylvania which is punctuated with rocky stretches that challenge even the most experienced riders. This Tussey Mountain Trail - a jewel in the collection of the area's amazing network of singletrack - is one of the highlights of the week.
"We were very pleased with the success of our enduro sub-classification within the overall stage race last year. What we loved was that it was more than just a specialist's discipline. We found that a wide range of riders enjoyed the fun of chasing a segment or two each day; that even if someone was there knowing it was all about the great experience, they liked being able to really race a small piece of the course each day," said Trans-Sylvania Epic Promoter Mike Kuhn. "But the enduro was focused on going downhill and will be even more so in 2014."
"We realize that letting go in the way you need to do so to be successful at the mostly downhill adrenaline-filled, gravity-assisted enduro sections isn't for everyone," said Kuhn. "With the East Coast Rocks sub-classification, we came up with something new - great for those technical trail-riding maestros who eat rocky singletrack for breakfast, but may need to be a little more conservative on the downhill enduro segments so they can still go to work on Monday and coach their kid's soccer game."
Timing of the East Coast Rocks segment will be done via the same SportIdent system already in use for the week's worth of enduro runs at the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Racers carry a timing chip with them to swipe at starting and ending timing points. Athletes are entrusted with their chips and the timing points are clearly marked through the week, giving all riders a level playing field.
New markings will differentiate the East Coast Rocks from the Enduro segments.
At the conclusion of the week, two racers will earn the titles of King and Queen of the Rocks and will take home with them specially custom crafted awards for their efforts.
Every racer at the Trans-Sylvania Epic may take part in the races within the race, like the Enduro and the East Coast Rocks sub-classifications.