Lindine, Armstrong Win NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic

After another night of pre-race downpours, Jen Tillman (Joe’s Bike Shop) splashes through one of the many puddles below Otter Gap on the final stage of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo Credit - Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Phillips and Liu clinch enduro classification

The final day of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic featured wet trails, thanks to heavy rains that soaked the course all night. Several sections of singletrack were omitted in order to preserve the trails, with tough road climbs substituted. The day saw fierce competitions for the final podium spots in each field, while the top places were mostly decided.

Elite men

Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) rode away from the competition and took the over title at the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo Credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Justin Lindine (NBX/Apex/Hyperthreads) won the final stage and the overall competition at the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, with Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing) and ( Factory) rounding out the podium and snagging the remaining general classification spots.

The day started fast, with Werner needing only 23 seconds to displace yesterday’s third place finisher Aaron Snyder (Stan’s NoTubes) in the overall. Lindine, Trudeau and Werner got away in a group early in the day. The three rolled together through the first aid station at mile 14, which was followed by a long gravel climb. Werner and Trudeau both put in attacks, and Trudeau and Lindine got away at the top of the climb.

Looking to make up time in the general classification, Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team) fought hard at the start of the final stage of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. He led Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) and Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing) up the slick and rocky Otter Gap climb. Werner was able to finish third on the overall GC podium. Photo Credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Next up was a short singletrack section followed by the second enduro segment. “At the bottom of the second enduro, I looked back and I didn’t see them,” Lindine said. “And I thought, ‘Well, I’d rather keep it rolling than deal with attacking.’ I was a little tired for that sort of activity. So I put the hammer down and rode by myself the rest of the way.”

Lindine won the overall by 13 minutes. He was pleased with the day’s result, which marks his third overall win at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. “This was some the best competition here that I’ve raced and won against, so I’m psyched. ”

After another night of pre-race downpours, Jen Tillman (Joe’s Bike Shop) splashes through one of the many puddles below Otter Gap on the final stage of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo Credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Trudeau was next to cross the line. He crashed on the day’s second enduro segment, causing him to lose contact with Lindine. “I went over the bars and caught myself with my head and shoulder,” he said. “Werner got back up to me, we rode together until the final climb when I put in a little dig.” Trudeau finished 11 seconds ahead. He was pleased with his result for his first time competing in the race. “It feels good… for coming in not knowing what to expect, I gained a lot of experience, so that can only help me for future years and future races.” Trudeau also won the Under 25 competition.

Last year’s overall winner Werner suffered from two flats earlier in this year’s race, which caused him to lose time and his chance at the overall lead. “Today I started with one goal in mind, and that was to get third in the overall… I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, especially with the effort I put in yesterday,” he said. With such a small gap between himself and Snyder, Werner was on edge. “I was just biting my nails until the results were posted. I was checking my Garmin as I came across the line, trying to do the time myself, and it was really close.” Werner managed to nab third place, slotting himself into that spot by three seconds. Snyder placed fourth.

(TRP/Ibis/DVO) took home the day’s enduro win and the overall enduro competition. Heavy rains overnight had soaked the course, which Phillips said “made things interesting.” Besides the rain, Phillips had an added challenge: He was wearing a bumblebee costume. Phillips had stated earlier in the week that if his NICA donation campaign reached the $1,000 mark, he’d race the final stage in a costume. With that mark met, he made good on his promise, fuzzy feelers and all. “We raised some money for kids, I got to ride around in a bee costume, and everyone got a good laugh out of it,” he said.

Stage 5 Results

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)
  2. Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing)
  3. Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team)

General Classification after Stage 5

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)
  2. Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing)
  3. Kerry Werner (Kona Factory Team)

Enduro Stage 5 Results

  1. Cody Phillips (TRP/Ibis/DVO)
  2. Ethan Frey (Salsa Cycles)
  3. Tom Flaherty (Rothrock Ruckus)

Enduro Classification after Stage 5

  1. Cody Phillips (TRP/Ibis/DVO)

Elite women

The elite women’s race was a battle until the end. As we’ve seen time and again at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, anything can happen, and few time differences are large enough to take for granted.

Despite losing her GC hopes the day before, Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott) was all smiles on the final stage of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo Credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

In the end, Kaysee Armstrong (LIV) won the final stage and held on to her lead to take the general classification. “I knew Vicki [Barclay] was only three or four minutes down, and you can totally make that up in a stage,” she said. “Anything can go wrong. She was definitely riding stronger today, and she’s the rock fairy. So I decided to sit with Vicki all day and make sure that she didn’t get any time on me.”

Despite the slippery conditions, Armstrong knew that she could gain time on Barclay in the enduro and planned to put in a big attack on the final climb. Her plan worked. “I was thinking, ‘Don’t mess this up, anything can happen – I don’t want to lose it on the last day.’”

Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda) felt her form returning day by day and used it wisely in stage 5 to take second place on the day and in the general classification. As she was still recovering from health issues, Barclay kept her goals for this race simple: stay unhurt and gain fitness for the rest of the season. “People were saying, maybe I could bring back the time,” she said, “but I knew I’d have to severely outclimb Kaysee because she descends so well.”

Meghan Korol (Lead Out Services/Industry Nine) is all smiles on the final stage of the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic after a solid week of racing. Photo Credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Bryna Blanchard did out-climb Taylor Kuyk-White () to take third on both the stage and the general classification. Blanchard had not been feeling well yesterday, but recovered in time to put in her best effort. “Today was magic. It was redemption after yesterday,” she said. “Yesterday I felt sick – I thought I was done. But then I woke up this morning and felt good, especially once on my bike.” Kuyk-White was the faster descender overall, but Blanchard has been working on her downhill skills this year, and she was able to put in a huge effort on the final climb to make up the three-plus minutes Kuyk-White had on her going into the stage. “I did it by 20 seconds. It was as hard as I could go,” she said.

In the women’s enduro competition, Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles) stayed consistent to take second on the day and the overall win. “I’m so excited!” she said. “It’s my first stage race – I just came here for the experience. I’m stoked about this week – I kept remembering all the time that I was just here to have fun, which took some of the pressure off.”

Stage 5 Results

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)
  2. Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda)
  3. Bryna Blanchard

General Classification after Stage 5

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)
  2. Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda)
  3. Bryna Blanchard

Enduro Stage 5 Results

  1. Meghan Korol (Lead Out Services/Industry Nine)
  2. Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles)
  3. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)

Enduro Classification after Stage 5

  1. Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles)
After five days of racing, singletrack summer campers let loose with skills competitions to close out the 2017 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo Credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

The Trails

This year’s Cooper’s Gap stage started and finished at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic base camp. The lollipop loop unfortunately had to be modified at the last minute due to excessively wet recent weather, so some of the classic central singletrack was removed to protect the local trails. However, racers still had plenty of opportunities to ride wet and challenging East Coast rocks. A mountain top finish up Stillhouse Hollow then capped off an awesome five days of racing.

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