Lindine, Armstrong Win Stage 4 of NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic

Race leader Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott) had a rough day. She broke her bike’s frame and had to borrow a spectator’s bike to ride to the finish, which cost her the yellow jersey during stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit - Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Phillips and Liu lead enduro classification with one stage remaining

Stage 4 of the NoTubes headed into Bald Eagle State Forest for a 26.9-mile course and the race’s shortest cross country stage. The day’s racing featured rocky singletrack, moto trail and plenty of tough gravel climbs. Crashes and mechanical issues helped reshuffle the top three spots in both the elite men’s and elite women’s races.

Elite men

(Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads) defended and extended his overall race lead in the penultimate stage during the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Justin Lindine (NBX/ Apex/ Hyperthreads) took the stage 4 win on Sunday, followed by Under 25 classification leader Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing) and Aaron Snyder ().

The day’s racing started out fast, with Kerry Werner ( Factory Team) pushing the pace after losing time from a flat tire on yesterday’s stage. Unfortunately, Werner flatted again in the first enduro segment, slipping to fifth place overall in the general classification and leaving race leader Lindine and runner-up Trudeau to battle it out for the remainder of the day.

Under 25 Leader Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing) had a good stage 4 and continues in second place overall among the elite men in the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

“We were together for most of the day,” said Lindine. “Then at the bottom of the second enduro, I got a bit of a gap, and I decided to try to push it from there. I just time trialed my way in.”

Trudeau said that a simple mistake caused that gap. “Toward the end of an enduro segment, I thought the course went straight, but it turned right. I just went off a little bit and had to get back on.” He retained his second place overall, but since he now trails Lindine by nine minutes, he will focus on staying safe in the final stage. “I’m pretty solid in second, so I’ll just hold it together and try to follow wheels like I’ve been doing all week.”

NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic regular Michael Wissell (B2C2/JRA) blasts through an enduro section during stage 4. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Third-place finisher and State College local Snyder didn’t feel great on the day but managed to pull off a podium. “I felt good for about five minutes during the whole day.” He rode most of it with yesterday’s third-place finisher Henry Nadell (CZ Racing). “Henry crashed on the last piece of singletrack, and that was enough.” Snyder moved up into third place in the general classification by a margin of 23 seconds.  

Cody Phillips (TRP/Ibis/DVO) held onto his lead in the enduro competition. He struggled with the day. “Today was hard for how short it was,” he said. “I couldn’t feel my legs because they hurt really bad, and I’m not sure if I’m going to survive tomorrow, but I need to stay on my bike, finish and do decently in the enduro stages.”

Race leader Lindine has learned from past experience how easy it is to lose the yellow jersey, so his plan for the final day is the same as his competitors’. “Stay safe… I just don’t want to have a major mechanical.”

Stage 4 Results

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)
  2. Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing)
  3. Aaron Snyder (Stan’s NoTubes)

General Classification after Stage 4

  1. Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads)
  2. Kyle Trudeau (CZ Racing)
  3. Aaron Snyder (Stan’s NoTubes)

Enduro Stage 4 Results

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

Enduro Classification after Stage 4

  1. Cody Phillips (TRP/Ibis/DVO)

Elite women

Race leader Sonya Looney (Freakshow ) had a rough day. She broke her bike’s frame and had to borrow a spectator’s bike to ride to the finish, which cost her the yellow jersey during stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

In a race with this much technical terrain, catastrophic mechanicals always threaten, and one such incident had a major impact on the women’s field in stage 4. Previous general classification leader Sonya Looney (Freakshow Scott) damaged her frame in a crash during stage 1, and as a result, the chainstay broke about five miles today’s stage. Nevertheless, Looney kept a positive attitude.

“I don’t only race to win, I race for the experience,” she said. “That’s why I didn’t quit today – because I love racing my bike. So I’m going to get to the finish line, even if it’s way worse than I wanted it to be.” Looney finished the stage on a borrowed bike, and as a result, took a one-hour time penalty, which dropped her down to 10th in the general classification. She still plans to race the final stage.

Kaysee Armstrong (LIV) was determined from the start to have a better result than she did on stage 3, when she got caught and dropped at the end by Looney and Barclay. “On the last climb today, I was alone, looked back and saw the pink blur [of Vicki Barclay’s kit] in a group of men, and I said, ‘No, not today.’ So I stood up and went crazy – this is it, you gotta go hard.” She finished strong and took the stage win.

Local Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda) on her way to second place in stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda) took advantage of Looney’s misfortune and her improving fitness to jump to second place on the stage and in the general classification. After Looney’s damaged bike started having drivetrain issues, Barclay was left to chase Armstrong. “I caught Kaysee after the aid station, and we worked together for a little bit,” she said, “until the next enduro, then she got a gap on me. I pulled her back until the last enduro – she’s just such a strong descender.” Barclay nevertheless pulled to within four minutes of Armstrong in the general classification.

Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo) has been riding strong all week at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo) has been steadily improving through the race and found herself in third today. “I had a fantastic day, yesterday and today,” she said. Kuyk-White is a relative newcomer to racing, having started with cyclocross in 2015; this is her first stage race. “I feel like I’m finally discovering how to pace myself a little more-as a newer racer, even day by day, I’m learning things about myself. That feels sweet and important. I’m excited for a spicy, all-out last day.”

The women’s enduro competition continues to be fast and furious. Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles) came in second for the day’s enduro, good enough to keep her overall lead, but Meghan Korol (Lead Out Services/) won the day and is now within 20 points of Liu. Jennifer Summers (Cutter’s Bike Shop) came in third despite a crash and kept third in the enduro classification.

Stage 4 Results

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)
  2. Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda)
  3. Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo)

General Classification after Stage 4

  1. Kaysee Armstrong (LIV)
  2. Vicki Barclay (NoTubes/Kenda)
  3. Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo)

Enduro Stage 4 Results

  1. Meghan Korol (Lead Out Services/Industry Nine)
  2. Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles)
  3. Jennifer Summers (Cutter’s Bike Shop)

Enduro Classification after Stage 4

  1. Gloria Liu (South Mountain Cycles)
Even after late nights in the media room, Sue George (Shenandoah Yoga/BikeFlights.com) has been enjoying each day’s singletrack at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo credit – Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team.

The Trails

Stage 4 took racers back into Bald Eagle State Forest for 26.9 miles and 2,748 feet of climbing. It was a relatively short distance for the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic, but with it being the fourth day of racing in a row, most racers were feeling the efforts of the first three days and welcomed the shorter stage. Three rocky and fast enduro segments and some moto trail were mixed in between gravel road sections to keep things interesting.

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