Waite and Sornson earn stage 4 victories at Trans-Sylvania Epic

Nick Waite (ProTested) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) earned the pro men's and women's victories at the end of stage 4 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race on Wednesday. However, it wasn't Waite who was first across the line. Instead, under 25 racer Payson McElveen (Richard's Rainwater) was the first man to finish - though he is scored separately among his fellow U25s.

Waite finished ahead of overall leader Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Thomas Turner (Jamis) while Sornson claimed the victory ahead of Mary McConneloug (Kenda/NoTubes) and Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling). Emily Shields (BMC Project Dirt) was the first under 25 woman to finish.

Billed as the road stage of the week due to its high fraction of fireroads and pavement, riders still faced some challenging rocky singletrack, made all the more treacherous by massive overnight storms. However, with the prevalent road bits, the favorites often came back together on the road sections and tactics played a big role throughout.

At the end of the day, Bishop and Sornson successfully defended their yellow jerseys.


Kris Sneddon (Kona) was the first to animate the race as he rode off the front during the first enduro section.

"I just wanted to ride the trail sections fast and the downhills fast because they play to my strengths," said Sneddon.

The group of GC contenders eventually caught Sneddon ahead of the first feed zone, but then Sneddon rode away again on another enduro section. He gained even more time on the treacherous Fisherman's Path section.

Behind him, teammate Spencer Paxson tried to close, with Waite in tow. Race leader Bishop felt the pressure and pushed hard to close back to the two chasers.

By the end of the Fisherman's Path and subsequent famous railroad tunnel, most of the favorites including Bishop, Waite, Thomas Turner, Paxson, McElveen, Peter Glassford, Cole Oberman and Ben Sonntag, were back together again and Sneddon was still of the front alone.

At this point, Sneddon decided to go with it.

"I probably had 30 seconds to one minute, so I decided to just ride hard. Those guys climb harder than I do, but I figured I'd see where I could end up. I needed about another minute," said Sneddon. "I had as much as 1:30. They caught me at the second feed zone."

Sneddon was caught as Waite and Bishop started to push the pace.

"I had a great day and sat in for most of it until it started getting a bit frisky at the end," said Waite. "Then on the long climb up to the last feed station, Cole Oberman went for it and was off the front for five or six miles, but I knew we had enough diesel in our group that we could get him back."

Oberman had launched a bold attack, but it was too early. On the final climb, he was caught by Waite leading Bishop. Only McElveen could follow the dynamic duo.

"Today was even more awesome than Monday. Going into the stage, I figured it was one of my best chances to win a stage," said McElveen. "I think Jeremiah has more strength and fitness than me, but I thought if I played my cards right, I could do something sneaky at the end and it kind of played out that way."

"Jeremiah was at the limit on the final climb, and I felt like I had a little more left. It was so hard, I wanted to give up so badly. I had that inner dialogue going on about how I wasn't really racing them, but I really wanted to beat them."

Going into the finale, it was just the three of them. They were skidding around corners with one foot out and Waite and Bishop both overcooked one ofthem. It left just enough room for McElveen to sneak past.

"Luckily on one corner, Jeremiah and Nick went wide and I went inside. I had one more 20-second climb, and I just went as hard as I could. I finished maybe three seconds in front of Nick," said McElveen.

Bishop was just happy to keep his yellow jersey. "I was obviously thinking about the yellow jersey and keeping it rubber side down. It was a very different stage than any of the others. I was just glad to hold on to the yellow. Mission accomplished."

Thomas Turner (Jamis) claimed third place on the day, despite trying to also chase the enduro segments, which meant stopping to swipe his chip and then chasing back on a few times.


In the women's category, Cheryl Sornson battled Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) for the win. McConneloug was in the lead at times, especially during the enduro sections, but Sornson would always catch her back and eventually rode away from McConneloug on the final climb.

"Mary got away from me on the enduro section while I was being cautious, but I caught her back. Later I got away from her, but she got me again on another enduro section. From then on, were together. I think I do better when the pace is high so Mary and I just went as hard as we could and it was fun," said Sornson.

McConneloug said, "I was trying to get the best time I could and maybe win the stage, but Cheryl was really strong. I was back on my race bike with 29er wheels and not such big rubber. I felt good and I could go at the start and not miss that group. It was a fun day, but hard. It was good to spin it out."

Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling) took third. "This was a good day for me with all its power climbs - I was looking forward to it. I knew Cheryl would go hot off the line and I figured I'd hang as long as I could. I spent some time with Vicky Barclay. Cheryl has a healthy lead, but everything else is fairly tight in the top cluster."

Going into stage 5, Sornson kept her lead. "I feel better and have a pretty good cushion, but anything can happen," she said.

Under 25 men and women

By virtue of being the first man across the line, Payson McElveen also was the fastest U25 men's rider. Cole Oberman took second spot, in the chase group, just behind the three leaders. McElveen continues to lead the U25 men's GC.

Emily Shields (BMC Project Dirt) won both the stage and took over the lead in the U25 women's category. The road stage suited her.

"I've done road longer than mountain biking, but 'cross the longest, so today was good for me," said Shields.

"I was by myself most of the day though I didn't catch previous race leader Kaysee Armstrong until just before the final hill. Then I kind of rode away from her on hill. What I'm really psyched about is being sixth fastest among the pro women."



Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nick Waite(Pro Tested Gear)2:39:42
2Jeremiah Bishop(Sho-Air/Cannondale)0:00:07
3Thomas Turner(Team Jamis)0:00:14
4Cole Oberman(rarediseasecycling.org)0:00:15
5Spencer Paxson(Kona Bikes)0:00:17
6Peter Glassford(Trek - Canada)0:00:19
7Benjamin Sonntag(Stan's No Tubes Elite Racing)0:00:20
8Kris Sneddon(Kona)0:00:27
9Chris Jackson(Castex Racing)0:06:06
10Cory Rimmer0:06:40
11Rob Spreng(Rare Disease Cycling)0:08:57
12Michael Wissell(B2C2 / Boloco)0:09:38
13Drew Edsall(Pro's Closet / Stan's No Tubes)0:10:47
14Justin Lindine(Redline / NBX)0:12:31
15Madison Matthews(Toasted Head Racing)0:12:33
16Andre Landry(Fitwork)0:14:22
17Daniel Sturm0:18:07
18Michael Broderick(Kenda/Stan's NoTubes)0:21:56
19Matt Acker(Redline)0:22:33
20Matt Williams(mtbracing.com)0:22:38
21Greg Jancaitis(Riverside Racing)0:27:55
22Carlos Rodriguez(Steel Pipes)0:28:22
23Benjamin Sawyer(Riverside Racing)0:33:43
24Simon Tremblay(Espresso Sports)0:36:58
25Tristan Uhl(787 Racing)0:44:19
26Barry Croker0:46:30
27Gary Hoehne(Death Row Velo / Vasago)0:51:42
28Colt Mcelwaine1:12:56
29Aaron Snyder(TSEpic.com/NoTubes)1:14:40
30Eric Dejong(Team Sandbag)1:17:50
31Matthew Kesecker(cambo)1:20:54
32Kris Gibbs(Full Cycle)1:38:42
33Kenny Kocarek(KSD Racing)1:43:43
34Kevin Vanwert1:46:15
35Jorge Riba1:56:08
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cheryl Sornson(RDC)3:02:32
2Mary Mcconneloug(Kenda/Stan's NoTubes)0:00:56
3Selene Yeager0:06:24
4Vicki Barclay0:11:45
5Sarah Kaufmann(Stan's No-Tubes Womens Team)0:14:39
6Emily Shields(BMC Project Dirt)0:21:49
7Ellen Noble(Bear Development Team)0:33:33
8Elizabeth Allen(Danielson Adventure sports)0:36:08
9Kaysee Armstrong(Kona/TBB Race)0:40:02
10Carolyn Popovic(Rare Disease Cycling)0:46:05
11Cynthia Fowler0:58:21
12Vanessa Mccaffery(Stans No Tubes/Corning Racing)0:59:24
13Leslie Timm(Riverside Racing)1:00:36
14Rachel Brown(Bikeman.com)1:10:40
15Sue George1:44:41
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U25 men stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Payson Mcelveen(Colt Training Systems)2:39:37
2Cole Oberman(rarediseasecycling.org)0:00:20
3Cameron Dodge(Colt Training Systems)0:05:35
4Cory Rimmer0:06:45
5Madison Matthews(Toasted Head Racing)0:12:38
6Levi Kurlander(Colt Training Systems)0:15:17
7Cody Phillips(Colt Training Systems)0:44:23
8Miguel Torres(Orioles MTB Team)1:50:54
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U25 women stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Shields(BMC Project Dirt)3:24:21
2Ellen Noble(Bear Development Team)0:11:44
3Kaysee Armstrong(Kona/TBB Race)0:18:13
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Singlespeed stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Ferrari3:02:36
2Kurt Gensheimer(Ibis)0:21:20
3Scott Smith(TVB Race/Tomato Head)0:35:05
4Rich Dillen(Faster Mustache)0:48:18
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men enduro stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Tristan Uhl(787 Racing)520pts
2Aaron Snyder(TSEpic.com / No Tubes)500Row 1 - Cell 3
3Justin Lindine(Redline / NBX)360Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kevin Maldonado338Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michael Broderick330Row 4 - Cell 3
6Colt Mcelwaine305Row 5 - Cell 3
6Benjamin Sawyer(Riverside Racing)305Row 6 - Cell 3
8Thomas Turner(Team Jamis)235Row 7 - Cell 3
8Barry Croker235Row 8 - Cell 3
10Gary Hoehne(Death Row Velo / Vasago)230Row 9 - Cell 3
11Mark Gedraitis221Row 10 - Cell 3
12Jorge Riba216Row 11 - Cell 3
13Matthew Kesecker(cambo)165Row 12 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women enduro stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Carolyn Popovic560pts
2Mary Mcconneloug520Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kaysee Armstrong(Kona/TBB Race)420Row 2 - Cell 3
4Ellen Noble(Bear Development Team)345Row 3 - Cell 3
5Elizabeth Allen(Danielson Adventure sports)315Row 4 - Cell 3
6Leslie Timm(Riverside Racing)300Row 5 - Cell 3
7Rachel Brown(Bikeman.com)290Row 6 - Cell 3
8Cynthia Fowler255Row 7 - Cell 3
8Vanessa Mccaffery(Stans No Tubes/Corning Racing)255Row 8 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men general classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremiah Bishop(Sho-Air/Cannondale)7:47:14
2Spencer Paxson(Kona Bikes)0:04:50
3Nick Waite(Pro Tested Gear)0:05:27
4Kris Sneddon(Kona)0:06:48
5Benjamin Sonntag(Stan's No Tubes Elite Racing)0:13:06
6Thomas Turner(Team Jamis)0:22:14
7Peter Glassford(Trek - Canada)0:27:10
8Drew Edsall(Pro's Closet / Stan's No Tubes)0:35:47
9Cole Oberman(rarediseasecycling.org)0:36:07
10Rob Spreng(Rare Disease Cycling)0:36:59
11Madison Matthews(Toasted Head Racing)0:50:24
12Michael Broderick(Kenda/Stan's NoTubes)0:52:36
13Chris Jackson(Castex Racing)0:55:37
14Michael Wissell(B2C2 / Boloco)0:55:40
15Justin Lindine(Redline / NBX)0:59:39
16Cory Rimmer1:04:40
17Daniel Sturm1:06:09
18Matt Williams(mtbracing.com)1:22:47
19Tristan Uhl(787 Racing)1:32:27
20Andre Landry(Fitwork)1:33:55
21Carlos Rodriguez(Steel Pipes)1:51:10
22Matt Acker(Redline)2:04:18
23Benjamin Sawyer(Riverside Racing)2:05:04
24Aaron Snyder(TSEpic.com/NoTubes)2:16:02
25Greg Jancaitis(Riverside Racing)2:17:57
26Barry Croker2:32:25
27Gary Hoehne(Death Row Velo / Vasago)2:56:26
28Matthew Kesecker(cambo)3:27:12
29Colt Mcelwaine4:55:25
30Kris Gibbs(Full Cycle)4:56:55
31Kenny Kocarek(KSD Racing)5:19:56
32Jorge Riba5:20:12
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women general classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cheryl Sornson(RDC)9:14:14
2Vicki Barclay0:14:58
3Mary Mcconneloug(Kenda/Stan's NoTubes)0:19:12
4Selene Yeager0:22:04
5Sarah Kaufmann(Stan's No-Tubes Womens Team)0:42:55
6Emily Shields(BMC Project Dirt)1:19:30
7Carolyn Popovic(Rare Disease Cycling)1:22:44
8Kaysee Armstrong(Kona/TBB Race)1:30:01
9Ellen Noble(Bear Development Team)1:31:40
10Elizabeth Allen(Danielson Adventure sports)1:33:55
11Vanessa Mccaffery(Stans No Tubes/Corning Racing)3:02:39
12Leslie Timm(Riverside Racing)3:13:23
13Rachel Brown(Bikeman.com)3:15:16
14Cynthia Fowler3:32:35
15Sue George4:20:27
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U25 men general classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Payson Mcelveen(Colt Training Systems)7:52:28
2Cameron Dodge(Colt Training Systems)0:17:15
3Cole Oberman(rarediseasecycling.org)0:30:53
4Madison Matthews(Toasted Head Racing)0:45:10
5Levi Kurlander(Colt Training Systems)0:58:06
6Cory Rimmer0:59:26
7Cody Phillips(Colt Training Systems)2:42:31
8Miguel Torres(Orioles MTB Team)5:45:21
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U25 women general classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Singlespeed general classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Ferrari9:15:17
2Kurt Gensheimer(Ibis)0:33:58
3Rich Dillen(Faster Mustache)1:11:22
4Scott Smith(TVB Race/Tomato Head)1:14:57
5Chris Merriam2:39:03
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Men enduro classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Tristan Uhl(787 Racing)1985pts
2Aaron Snyder(TSEpic.com / No Tubes)1955Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Broderick1775Row 2 - Cell 3
4Justin Lindine(Redline / NBX)1675Row 3 - Cell 3
5Thomas Turner(Team Jamis)1165Row 4 - Cell 3
6Benjamin Sawyer(Riverside Racing)1028Row 5 - Cell 3
7Colt Mcelwaine961Row 6 - Cell 3
8Drew Edsall(Pro's Closet / Stan's No Tubes)873Row 7 - Cell 3
9Barry Croker811Row 8 - Cell 3
10Rob Spreng(Rare Disease Cycling)787Row 9 - Cell 3
11Jorge Riba740Row 10 - Cell 3
12Nick Shepherd704Row 11 - Cell 3
13Gary Hoehne(Death Row Velo / Vasago)696Row 12 - Cell 3
14Mark Gedraitis663Row 13 - Cell 3
15Madison Matthews(Toasted Head Racing)643Row 14 - Cell 3
16Daniel Sturm601Row 15 - Cell 3
17Kris Sneddon(Kona)513Row 16 - Cell 3
18Matthew Kesecker(cambo)509Row 17 - Cell 3
18Kevin Maldonado509Row 18 - Cell 3
20Peter Glassford(Trek - Canada)458Row 19 - Cell 3
21Spencer Paxson(Kona Bikes)411Row 20 - Cell 3
22Benjamin Sonntag(Stan's No Tubes Elite Racing)387Row 21 - Cell 3
23Michael Wissell(B2C2 / Boloco)333Row 22 - Cell 3
23Greg Jancaitis(Riverside Racing)333Row 23 - Cell 3
25Matt Williams(mtbracing.com)328Row 24 - Cell 3
25Chris Jackson(Castex Racing)328Row 25 - Cell 3
27Cole Oberman(rarediseasecycling.org)304Row 26 - Cell 3
28Matt Acker(Redline)285Row 27 - Cell 3
29Jeremiah Bishop262Row 28 - Cell 3
30Nick Waite246Row 29 - Cell 3
31Eric Dejong(Team Sandbag)244Row 30 - Cell 3
32Scott Smith(TVB Race/Tomato Head)226Row 31 - Cell 3
33Andre Landry(Fitwork)212Row 32 - Cell 3
34Carlos Rodriguez(Steel Pipes)200Row 33 - Cell 3
35Simon Tremblay(Espresso Sports)197Row 34 - Cell 3
36Kris Gibbs(Full Cycle)179Row 35 - Cell 3
37Mike Johnson70Row 36 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women enduro classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Carolyn Popovic2015pts
2Kaysee Armstrong(Kona/TBB Race)1930Row 1 - Cell 3
3Mary Mcconneloug1775Row 2 - Cell 3
4Cheryl Sornson(RDC)1285Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ellen Noble(Bear Development Team)1175Row 4 - Cell 3
6Elizabeth Allen(Danielson Adventure sports)1173Row 5 - Cell 3
7Rachel Brown(Bikeman.com)1066Row 6 - Cell 3
8Leslie Timm(Riverside Racing)1037Row 7 - Cell 3
9Cynthia Fowler992Row 8 - Cell 3
10Vanessa Mccaffery(Stans No Tubes/Corning Racing)867Row 9 - Cell 3
11Vicki Barclay785Row 10 - Cell 3
12Kaarin Tae(Bike Monkey Cycling)765Row 11 - Cell 3
13Sarah Kaufmann(Stan's No-Tubes Womens Team)660Row 12 - Cell 3
14Selene Yeager595Row 13 - Cell 3
15Emily Shields(BMC Project Dirt)465Row 14 - Cell 3


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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

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