Bishop and Sornson win overall titles

Expectations that the final day of competition in the week-long 2012 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic would be uneventful proved to be fanciful dreams of those at the top of the leader boards. In the men's category, there was aggressive racing from the gun while several in the women's field saw opportunities to attack as the pace eased between the two front runners.

As if shot from the barrel of a Pennsylvania Long Rifle, Matthys Buekes exploded off the front of the field on the very first minor ascent of the day. Buekes spent the week crushing world class racers every time the grade ticked skyward and knew that a win on the final stage depended on opening a gap before technical Pennsylvania singletrack allowed his adversaries to push their advantage on terrain unfamiliar to this South African.

Cannondale's Jeremiah Bishop was no less motivated for a win after watching teammate and Trans-Sylvania Epic Team competitor Tim Johnson (Volkswagen/People for Bikes/Cannondale/NoTubes) scoop up two straight overall stage wins in the previous days. Bishop, an Olympic hopeful, watched for a response from the field before jumping to cover the South African's move.

As the race penetrated the dark Pennyslvania forest the first singletrack, a bermed section carved into the earth, placed Bishop in his element and he quickly overtook Buekes while behind, Johnson was the first of several key competitors to flat. Barry Wicks (Kona Bikes) was also in the hunt for the stage win after a mano-a-mano battle with Bishop's over the early TSEpic stages. However, Wicks again found the Pennsylvania singletrack his biggest nemesis as at the first dirt road intersection, he was off the bike with inflator in hand. Wicks' teammate Cory Wallace came upon the scene and quickly offered his wheel in an effort to put Wicks back into contention for the stage.

Several miles of ridge top singletrack that repeatedly dove into deep laurel thickets bursting in spring blossom gave Bishop, who later said, "Today was the strongest I've felt all week." It was the perfect playground to showcase his skill set. Within those few miles he pushed to a one minute and fifteen second advantage over Justin Lindine (Redline), who was just ahead of top 10 GC racers Aaron Snyder (Scott), Chris Michaels (Felt), Drew Edsall (Kenda/Felt) and Cary Smith (Team CF) with Buekes reappearing at the tail end of this group.

As Bishop engaged his World Cup warp drive and drove a larger and large wedge between himself and the rest, the stage looked to be a battle for second. A battle for second on the podium began to enter the picture as Buekes steadily chewed into the gap Wicks held at the beginning of the day in the overall rankings.

As the field descended Panther Road and Little Poe "Roads" - some of Pennsylvania DCNRs thousands of miles of drivable trail across the state - disaster struck. On the high speed descent of Little Poe, a minefield of embedded rock that offered launching pads for huge air, Bishop flatted and the class of the field soon overtook the stationary Cannondale racer. Johnson, coming back from his own flat, did what he could to help his teammate while Lindine took over the lead on the road.

Like the Africanized Bee, deadly when provoked and quick to attack, Buekes, appropriately attired all week in black and yellow, went for the kill. The South African raced by Snyder then Michaels and Smith and finally even Lindine in the two mile long ascent to the day's only checkpoint on Pine Swamp Rd.

As the race climbed skyward across Tower Trail, Beukes increased his lead and entered the final technical section of the day on Old Burn Tr a full 1:45 in front of Lindine and more than 3:30 ahead of Bishop, with Snyder and Smith still in the mix and making a bid for the day’s podium.

Buekes, who won the stage with Lindine almost 2:30 behind. Bishop demonstrated why he is the GC leader and now three-time champion of the Trans-Sylvania Epic by racing into third place on the stage and cementing his overall victory. Snyder came across fourth and with stage winner Buekes began ticking off the minutes watching for Wicks to cross the line. After a brutal, mechanical-filled day, Wicks came across the line in 2:03:57, almost 16 minutes behind Beukes, allowing the "Killer Bee" to step up to second overall for the week. Wicks just held on to the final podium position finishing two minutes ahead of State College's Snyder after seven days and over 225 miles of Pennsylvania dirt and rocks.


The women's GC leader and second overall intended to ease back on hostilities today though second placed overall Sue Haywood (NoTubes) had spent the previous 24 hours keeping leader Cheryl Sornson guessing as to her true intentions. Jenny Smith (NoTubes) was in agreement as the GC was well entrenched.

However, racing is not dictated by the GC leaders, and Alice Pennington (Kona) was after a stage win. Sarah Kaufman (NoTubes) reacted to the move, and it eventually drew out Smith, who had realized that allowing Pennington too much leash could prove a mistake should the Kona rider overtake the NoTubes racer in the GC battle. Smith defended her third place GC position by finishing third on the stage while Pennington scooped up her first win of the week and Kaufmann took her first podium step of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Both the day and week finished with podiums resplendent in the pink, white and black of the NoTubes Elite Women's Team as Haywood finished second overall and Smith in third on GC to go along with Kaufmann's second and Smith's third on the stage. Only the blue plaid of Team CF on the top of the GC podium in the form of an ecstatic Sornson and Kona's orange and blue attired Pennington atop the stage podium broke the pattern.
With most of the rest of the categories content to savor the views from climbs of the undulating ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania, pose for pictures with festively attired volunteers including Dracula himself, and eke as much fun as possible out of the final stage many racers took to the course with the only goal being to keep the fun factor pegged. Competitors over the first six days, they became comrades on the final course and solidified new friendships during the ride.

Other categories

Singlespeeders finished tied for first and shared the final stage podium while Niner Ergon's Dejay Birtch won the week with Rich Dillen (Team Dicky) in second and Clay Chiles (Faster Mustache) third overall.

The men's duo team of Coloradans Jake Wells and Dax Masey from Breck Epic/NoTubes claimed victory on the stage and overall with Tim and Troy Zimmerman (First Place Racing) from Florida in second and Philly Ciclismo’s Mike Festa and Craig Lebair taking thrid on GC.

Juan Garcia and Trish Grajczyk (JCTracing/Deadgoat) won co-ed verall and stage honors. David Cook and Cissy Fowler of Pisgah Area Cycling were second on the stages with Java Blend Racing's Kaarin Tae and Lawrence Plug third. The Kaarin/Lawrence team took second on GC while New Mexico's own first family of endurance mountain biking Karen and Alan Rishel (NoTubes) finished third overall.

In masters 50+ State College's Jim Matthews (MBR/The Bike Shop) finished first with Scott Thompon of Ontario in second and Team CF’s director Jim Wilson in third. These three riders finished in the same order in the overall competition.

The men's 40+ was an exciting race to watch all week as the lead changed hands from ITT stage winner NoTubes Kenny Wehn to Honey Stinger/Bontrager/Breck Epic’s Zeke Hersh and finally to Jon Davis (Trek Bike Store Boulder Racing) on stage five at RB Winter. Davis finished the week strongly and took a hard fought overall victory, "We were hitting each other every day. One of us would attack, then the other, then other. This was real good racing!" Davis won the final stage with Wehn second on the day and Hersh third. Wehn and Hersh swapped positions on the GC podium.

In an Epic Team category dominated since Tim Johnson's arrival on Tuesday directly from the Killington Stage Race by the Cannondale athlete, Chip Meeks of Team CF took the stage as Johnson rode in support of the efforts of Team CF and their mission of "Cycling to Find a Cure". Throughout the week, Team CF Epic Team racer Kaitlynn Broadhurst was followed by a documentary film team as she shows the world how an athlete with CF can complete and compete in an event as challenging as the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Her story was an inspiration to all and Johnson rode as an honorary team member on the final stage. Johnson himself was followed by action sports filmmaker Don Hampton as he completed the Killington/Trans-Sylvania Epic double as part of his training for the upcoming Cyclocross World Cup season and next year's Cylco-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

Racers continued the festivities throughout the awards ceremony and well into the evening with a celebration worthy of culminating a week of adventure and incredible racing. The highlight of the evening was the 2nd Annual "3 Beer Derby", the unofficial stage 8 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

12-year-old completes entire TSEpic

Worth noting, another Davis turned in a remarkable performance at the Trans-Sylvania Epic as 12-year-old Tanner Davis, son of 40+ GC winner Jonathan, finishing out all seven stages of the demanding week as part of an Epic Team. Not only did Tanner ride all the stages, but was often heard offering encouragement to riders overtaking him and whom he passed on the trail.

More impressively perhaps is that while all the rest of the competitors spent afternoons napping and recovering Tanner found the best relaxation to be running around the scout camp that serves as home base for TSEpic like any 12-year-old would, playing with other kids, paddling boats around the lake and splashing for hours in the pool. "[We're] Super proud of Tanner for setting a goal and accomplishing that goal, but even more proud to hear about his character out on course," said father Jon, "I only wish I had that sort of energy!"

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthys Beukes1:47:50
2Justin Lindine (Redline)0:02:24
3Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:03:27
4Aaron Snyder (Scott Pro Mountain Bike Team)0:04:07
5Cary Smith (Team CF)0:08:21
6Drew Edsall (Kenda / Felt)0:08:39
7Chris Michaels0:08:42
8Stephan Kincaid (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)0:14:07
9Barry Wicks (Kona)0:16:07
10Michael Wissell (B2C2 p/b Boloco)0:18:40
11Matt Miller (Giant Mid Atlantic Off-Road Team)0:19:52
12Theo Procopos (Keswick Cycle)0:22:13
13Cory Wallace (Kona Factory Team)0:25:29
14Luke Sagur (Carolina Bicycle Company/ Total Cyclist)0:26:27
15Madison Matthews (The Bicycle Shop / MBR / Maxxis)0:28:23
16Jesse Stauffer0:38:26
17Jarrett Heitzman0:54:53
18Matthew Garrett1:06:09
19Samir Salas (Diamond Adventure)1:18:03
20Andrew Cappella1:36:43
21Eric McKeegan (Dirt Rag)2:42:46
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alice Pennington (Kona)2:19:47
2Sarah Kaufmann (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)0:08:36
3Jenny Smith (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)0:09:28
4Sue Haywood (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)0:09:33
5Cheryl Sornson (Team CF)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Karen Potter (
7Kristin Gavin (Team CF)0:16:17
8Shannon Gibson (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)0:31:48
9Sarah Hansing (Race Pace Bikes)0:45:57
10Rachel Brown (Team LUNA chix)0:46:00
11Karen Brooks (Dirt Rag Magazine)Row 10 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Master men 40+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Davis (Trek Bike Store Boulder Racing)2:01:47
2Kenneth Wehn (Stan's NoTubes Elite Masters)0:03:24
3Ezekiel Hersh (Honey Stinger Bontrager/ Breck Epic)0:11:04
4Rich Bartlett (Block Bikes)0:12:53
5Bruce Stauffer (Trek Bicycle Store Charlotte)0:13:51
6Rob Campbell (BikeLine)0:18:16
7Nathan Ruch (Evolution Racing)0:19:58
8Garth Prosser (Ashford SUrgical)0:20:00
9John Kuhn (Cranford Bike Team/CTS)0:20:41
10Brent Fargo (Oakville Cyclepath Race Team)0:21:58
11Stu Hess (MBR/The Bicycle Shop)0:22:04
12Pat Doyle (Deadgoat Racing)0:22:41
13Nate Means0:26:33
14Donnie Harries (Greenway Bicycles)0:27:58
15Hal Judd (Oakville Cyclepath)0:42:09
16Kevin Maldonado0:49:19
17Mike Abraham (Tall Tree Cycles)0:52:12
18Oscar Velazco (Diamond Adventure)1:04:06
19Luis Urteaga (Diamond Adventure)1:15:15
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Master men 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jim Matthews (MBR / The Bicycle Shop)2:26:48
2Scott Thomson0:21:30
3Jim Wilson (Team CF)0:24:48
4Keith Bontrager (Bontrager/Trek)0:35:01
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Duo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jake Wells (BreckEpic/NoTubes)2:09:11
Row 1 - Cell 0 Dax Masey (BreckEpic/NoTubes)Row 1 - Cell 2
2Tim Zimmerman (First Place
Row 3 - Cell 0 Troy Zimmerman (zboys Racing / Endurance Factor)Row 3 - Cell 2
3Craig Lebair (The Philadelphia Ciclismo TSEpic p/b 4 - Cell 2
Row 5 - Cell 0 Mike Festa (The Philadelphia Ciclismo TSEpic p/b 5 - Cell 2
4Steven Ordons (Philadephia Ciclismo)Row 6 - Cell 2
Row 7 - Cell 0 Jake Wade (Philadephia Ciclismo)Row 7 - Cell 2
5Andy Ording (Hoosier Old Boys)0:36:23
Row 9 - Cell 0 Todd Winget (Hoosier Old Boys)Row 9 - Cell 2
6Stan Ritchie (TwoSes)0:19:04
Row 11 - Cell 0 Scott Perschke (TwoSes)Row 11 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Duo Co-ed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trish Grajczyk (JCTracing/Deadgoat)2:28:07
Row 1 - Cell 0 Juan Garcia (JCTracing/Deadgoat)Row 1 - Cell 2
2David Cook (Pisgah Area Cycling)0:19:43
Row 3 - Cell 0 Cissy Fowler (Pisgah Area Cycling)Row 3 - Cell 2
3Lawrence Plug (Kaarin/Lawrence)0:04:19
Row 5 - Cell 0 Kaarin Tae (Kaarin/Lawrence)Row 5 - Cell 2
4Karen Rishel (NoTubes Endurance Racing)0:10:01
Row 7 - Cell 0 Alan Rishel (NoTubes Endurance Racing)Row 7 - Cell 2
5Jessica Nankman (Will we still be married?)0:22:37
Row 9 - Cell 0 Joel Nankman (Will we still be married?)Row 9 - Cell 2
Row 10 - Cell 0 Ray Vermette (Equipe Loupgarou)Row 10 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Epic team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chip Meek (Team CF)2:02:31
2Tim Johnson (Volkswagen/People For Bikes/Cannondale/NoTubes/TSE)0:00:02
3Rich Straub (Misfit Warriors)0:10:25
4Wels Baker (Baker Installations)0:24:30
5Derek Bissett (CO/VA Connection)0:26:55
6Denver Poole (On the Rocks)0:40:51
7Jason Eicholtz (Team Dogfish p/b The Captain)1:04:11
8Louis Mazzante (Bicycling Mag)1:04:25
9Freddy Long (TEVR)1:16:26
10Jesse Kelly (Team CF)0:13:45
11Joey Boyle (CO/VA Connection)0:26:58
12Rich Oneil (Volkswagen/People For Bikes/Cannondale/NoTubes/TSE)0:27:34
13Jack Dalzell (Team CF)0:37:24
14Derek Reynolds (On the Rocks)1:37:47
15Dave Pryor (Team Dogfish p/b The Captain)1:04:11
16Jamie Harris (Team Dogfish p/b The Captain)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Darren Miskiewicz (Team Dogfish p/b The Captain)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Mike Yozell (Bicycling Mag)1:04:28
19Tanner Davis (CO/VA Connection)2:05:23
20Joel Light (TEVR)2:16:26
21Skye Allsop (TEVR)1:16:28
22Kaitlyn Broadhurst (Team CF)1:23:54
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fred Baker (Baker Installations)3:49:29
2Kathleen Riddell (Bike Line)0:49:39
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Men final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)15:18:31
2Matthys Beukes0:29:44
3Barry Wicks (Kona)0:36:44
4Aaron Snyder (Scott Pro Mountain Bike Team)0:38:37
5Drew Edsall (Kenda / Felt)0:48:06
6Justin Lindine (Redline)0:52:24
7Cary Smith (Team CF)1:16:31
8Chris Michaels1:19:23
9Stephan Kincaid (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)2:21:02
10Matt Miller (Giant Mid Atlantic Off-Road Team)2:31:18
11Michael Wissell (B2C2 p/b Boloco)2:47:26
12Cory Wallace (Kona Factory Team)2:48:56
13Madison Matthews (The Bicycle Shop / MBR / Maxxis)3:30:28
14Theo Procopos (Keswick Cycle)3:33:20
15Luke Sagur (Carolina Bicycle Company/ Total Cyclist)3:45:15
16Jarrett Heitzman4:59:30
17Jesse Stauffer6:21:14
18Eric McKeegan (Dirt Rag)7:45:28
19Samir Salas (Diamond Adventure)8:40:07
20Andrew Cappella12:09:42
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cheryl Sornson (Team CF)18:41:12
2Sue Haywood (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)0:10:27
3Jenny Smith (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)0:46:24
4Alice Pennington (Kona)1:07:49
5Sarah Kaufmann (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)1:22:06
6Kristin Gavin (Team CF)1:38:36
7Shannon Gibson (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women)3:52:27
8Karen Brooks (Dirt Rag Magazine)5:59:00
9Rachel Brown (Team LUNA chix)7:41:16
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Singlespeed final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dejay Birtch (Niner/Ergon)16:42:27
2Rich Dillen (Team Dicky)0:40:34
3Clay Chiles (Faster Mustache)1:43:37
4Chris Merriam (Crosshairs Racing)2:45:42
5Steven Thompson (Big Pig Racing/Western)5:04:41
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Master men 40+ final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Davis (Trek Bike Store Boulder Racing)17:06:01
2Kenneth Wehn (Stan's NoTubes Elite Masters)0:28:45
3Ezekiel Hersh (Honey Stinger Bontrager/ Breck Epic)0:39:56
4Garth Prosser (Ashford SUrgical)1:42:58
5Rich Bartlett (Block Bikes)1:52:14
6Bruce Stauffer (Trek Bicycle Store Charlotte)2:11:22
7Donnie Harries (Greenway Bicycles)2:13:35
8Pat Doyle (Deadgoat Racing)2:26:16
9Nathan Ruch (Evolution Racing)2:33:27
10Brent Fargo (Oakville Cyclepath Race Team)3:04:47
11John Kuhn (Cranford Bike Team/CTS)3:24:52
12Rob Campbell (BikeLine)3:29:13
13Nate Means4:27:48
14Stu Hess (MBR/The Bicycle Shop)4:45:39
15Hal Judd (Oakville Cyclepath)6:21:26
16Kevin Maldonado7:19:27
17Luis Urteaga (Diamond Adventure)9:34:00
18Oscar Velazco (Diamond Adventure)10:12:08
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Master men 50+ final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jim Matthews (MBR / The Bicycle Shop)19:54:49
2Scott Thomson2:07:51
3Jim Wilson (Team CF)4:12:27
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Duo men final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jake Wells (BreckEpic/NoTubes)18:06:48
Row 1 - Cell 0 Dax Masey (BreckEpic/NoTubes)Row 1 - Cell 2
2Troy Zimmerman (zboys Racing / Endurance Factor)0:58:02
Row 3 - Cell 0 Tim Zimmerman (First Place 3 - Cell 2
3Mike Festa (The Philadelphia Ciclismo TSEpic p/b
Row 5 - Cell 0 Craig Lebair (The Philadelphia Ciclismo TSEpic p/b 5 - Cell 2
4Jake Wade (Philadephia Ciclismo)0:06:05
Row 7 - Cell 0 Steven Ordons (Philadephia Ciclismo)Row 7 - Cell 2
5Todd Winget (Hoosier Old Boys)5:57:32
Row 9 - Cell 0 Andy Ording (Hoosier Old Boys)Row 9 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Duo-Coed final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trish Grajczyk (JCTracing/Deadgoat)20:15:02
Row 1 - Cell 0 Juan Garcia (JCTracing/Deadgoat)Row 1 - Cell 2
2Kaarin Tae (Kaarin/Lawrence)2:04:02
Row 3 - Cell 0 Lawrence Plug (Kaarin/Lawrence)Row 3 - Cell 2
3Karen Rishel (NoTubes Endurance Racing)0:26:10
Row 5 - Cell 0 Alan Rishel (NoTubes Endurance Racing)Row 5 - Cell 2
4Cissy Fowler (Pisgah Area Cycling)1:52:10
Row 7 - Cell 0 David Cook (Pisgah Area Cycling)Row 7 - Cell 2
5Jessica Nankman (Will we still be married?)2:32:41
Row 9 - Cell 0 Joel Nankman (Will we still be married?)Row 9 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Epic team final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Volkeswagen/People for Bikes/Cannondale/NoTubes/TSE17:30:38
2Team CF0:45:14
3CO/VA Connection4:04:18
4Baker Installations5:19:28
5Team Dogfish p/b The Captain5:58:54
6Misfit Warriors6:38:22
8On the Rocks9:51:12
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Youth final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tanner Davis (CO/VA Connection)29:20:10

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1