Kris Snedden, Amanda Carey take first stage proper

Jeremiah Bishop retains lead, Carey moves into top GC spot

With humid temperatures hitting the 96-degree Fahrenheit mark, the Cooper's Gap Stage of the Trans-Sylvania Epic melted apart in a long train of cooked riders. A stage that, according to last year’s overall winner Jeremiah Bishop was "Juicy and rooty. It was awesome in this old retro way," he said post finish. "Like in the old days, when you went way back in the jungle for some swampy ride to do some stuff no one else does. Today was a backcountry ride."

Action started quickly thanks to a long, rocky descent as soon as the neutral start ended. Jamis rider Adam Snyder was the first to be severed from the bunch with a flat tire at the bottom before Cannondale’s Alex Grant experienced a smorgasbord of disaster.

"I felt great unfortunately I was off my bike for about 30 minutes of the first hour of racing," he said. " First I dropped my chain so I put it back on but a link was bent. I took it out but that made my chain too short so when I bottomed my suspension it tweaked the derailleur and it eventually shifted into my spokes and broke one. Then that spoke pushed through my tubeless rim tape and I flatted so I ran my bike to the next check point."

The women’s class was no less exciting. A moment of inattentiveness by Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/FTC/Performance Labs) sent her to the ground on the initial descent and Karen Potter (MTBRaceNews) briefly stopped to make sure she was uninjured. Potter then worked with Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) and Sue Haywood (Shenandoah Bikes/Kenda/Turner/I-9) to catch up to Team CF’s Selene Yeager who had already opened a small lead. Soon thereafter Barclay chased back to join the group on the next fireroad climb. At this point each open class had its leaders grouped together.

The men’s group consisted of Bishop, Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon of Kona, Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com/Joe’s garage/Scott), Drew Edsall (Super Cool Bike Shop/Fastpaceracing), Jason Sager (Jamis), and Chris Beck (Team CF), who at one point was up to fourth before fading. At the top of the next major fireroad climb and near the midway point it was whittled to a group of five: Wicks, Sneddon, Bishop, Lindine and Sager.

Wicks upped the pace and Sneddon fell off. Eventually the group slowed and Sneddon caught back just before Wicks suffered a flat front tire. Then race leader Bishop was the next to suffer a mechanical. "I broke my chain due to my own stupid cross-chaining," he said. "I tried to do a BMX-style pass on Lindine as we jumped into the singletrack, but I severed my chain when I accelerated."

In the same singletrack section, Yeager caught a stick in her rear wheel and had to stop while Barclay, Carey and Potter rode away. "I just rode my own pace after that," she said. "I was kind of glad to be alone for a while and not have to respond to surges." Her consistency paid off. She reeled in both Barclay and Potter and came close to catching winner Carey by the finish. So close that Yeager now trails Carey by a mere 46 seconds overall on GC.

In men’s action Sneddon began to gap a fading Sager as Lindine, Edsall and Bishop, racing a prototype Scalpel 29’er for the first time, charged forward. As the fractured top five raced to the finish down the eight-mile fireroad to the finish an overheated Sager started sliding backwards leaving just Lindine and Edsall between a furiously charging Bishop and leader Sneddon. First to get caught was Edsall who temporarily held Bishop’s wheel before popping then it was Lindine’s turn as Bishop blew by. But it was Sneddon’s day. He held on to take a long solo victory by about a minute and a half.

Ultimately it wasn’t a big enough gap to topple Bishop from his top spot on GC heading into stage two.

Visit cyclingdirt.org for more videos, Video Credit - Cole McElwaine

Results

Men Open
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kris Sneddon (Kona)4:03:41 
2Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale )4:01:24 
3Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / Scott)4:08:30 
4Drew Edsall (Super Cool Bike Shop / Firstplaceracing.)4:10:53 
5Jason Sager (Team Jamis)4:16:50 
6Barry Wicks (Kona)4:27:20 
7Kip Biese (Big Wheel Racing/Old Town Bike Shop)4:38:41 
8Jonathan Davis (Trek Bike Store Boulder)4:38:17 
9Nate Byrom (WTB/Cannondale/Shimano/Fox Racing Shox)4:41:32 
10Alex Grant (Cannondale)4:34:53 
11Christopher Beck (TeamCF)4:39:00 
12Adam Snyder (Team Jamis)4:37:44 
13Bryan Fawley (Orbea USA)4:41:51 
14Sloane Anderson (ProAir HFA)4:49:17 
15Ross Schnell (Trek/SRAM/Easton/Giro/Pearl)5:14:48 
16Ryan Leech4:44:38 
17Mark Weir (WTB/Cannondale/Shimano/Fox Racing Shox)4:45:58 
18Nathan Ruch (Evolution Racing)5:24:25 
19Ben Cruz (WTB/Cannondale/Shimano/Fox Racing Shox)5:25:14 
20Josh Patterson (Dirt Rag)6:06:56 
21James Spurk6:43:04 
22Mike Festa (Trans-Sylvania Epic / NoTubes)  
23Michael Cushionberry (Trans-Sylvania Epic / NoTubes)  
24Michael Wissel (B2C2/ Boloco)  
Women Open
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)4:58:44 
2Selene Yeager (Team CF)4:59:30 
3Karen Potter (MTBRaceNews)4:59:09 
4Vicki Barclay (Notubes/FTC/Performance Labs)5:04:28 
5Sue Haywood (Shenandoah Bikes,Kenda,Turner,I-9)5:13:27 
6Rebecca Rusch (Specialized)5:19:37 
7Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon)5:31:03 
8Tanya Hanham (Tall Tree Cycles/Steelwool Bicycles)6:22:18 
9Laura Gleason (Giordana-Clif Bar - BRICA)6:38:15 
10Karen Brooks (Dirt Rag)6:45:39 
11Jill Weist (Don Wiest Stables)7:59:08 
12Donna Weiser7:54:36 
13Kerry Combs8:25:14 
DNFKaarin Tae (Bicycles Plus / Bedford)  
DNFKarmen Woelber (Zoom Performance)  
Singlespeederific
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rich Straub (NoTubes / Freeze Thaw / Honey Stinger)4:56:58 
2Rich Dillen (TeamDicky)5:01:31 
3Bob Radzwich (The Bicycle Shop)5:06:46 
4Morgan Miller (West Virginia Night Club)5:14:53 
5Peter Buckland (FreezeThaw Cycles)5:17:05 
6Doug Jenne5:17:48 
7Greg Martin (Club Ride Apparel)5:21:11 
8Mark Elsasser (Independent Fabrication)5:40:28 
9Craig Dupree (Milk Pail Racing)5:47:29 
10Kelly Klett5:44:49 
DNFDave Cormier  
Master Men 40+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Garth Prosser (Ashford Surgical / Cannondale)5:03:36 
2John Merriam5:08:53 
3Bruce Stauffer (Trek Bicycle Store Charlotte, NC)5:17:24 
4Rich Oneil (Trans-Sylvania Epic / NoTubes)5:23:32 
5Chris Merriam5:35:01 
6Bruce Pisarek (COBC/National Engineering)5:48:42 
7John Kuhn (Cranford Bike Team/CTS)5:55:10 
8Dave Stauffer6:03:17 
9Robert Hayes6:25:41 
10Dave Pryor (Kapelmuur Independent)6:47:06 
11Mark Drogalis (Team CF)7:09:46 
12Brendan Hickey7:41:49 
13Carl Bush8:06:53 
14James Taylor8:38:44 
DNFJason Gregg  
DNFGarnett Abbey (Oakville Cycling Club)  
DNFLawrence Plug (Bicycles Plus / Bedford)  
Master Men 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Scott Thomson5:51:59 
2Edward Moran (Maverickfab Endurance)6:15:06 
3James Wilson (Team CF)6:31:28 
4Fred Baker (Baker Compound 125)8:17:58 
Duo
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Caputo (Team ERRACE)6:13:31 
1Mark Hixon (Team ERRACE)1:07:07 
2Cissy Fowler (Pisgah Area Cycling)7:02:21 
2David Cook (Pisgah Area Cycling)1:17:53 
Team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Derek Bissett (The CO/VA Connection)5:51:56 
2Brandon Graham (Team Saratoga)6:50:35 
3Joseph Castle (Twin Six/TSE Epic Team)7:40:56 
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