by Don Stefanovich
Source: Trans-Sylvania Epic/Mike Cushionbury
After a grueling day three, Bishop held a near eight-minute lead over Snedden and nearly 12 minutes on third place Lindine. For the women, Carey sat eight minutes ahead of Yeager and 14:12 over Barclay.
Breaking humidity and cooler temperatures greeted riders as they sprinted two 20-mile laps around Raystown Lake’s undulating loop for day four of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.
As the men roared off the start, and up the paved 20-percent grade toward the singletrack all the contenders were accounted for minus Kris Sneddon who missed the selection, and later his teammate Barry Wicks who flatted yet again today. As the group came into the first feed zone at mile nine it was Jason Sager and Adam Snyder, Jeremiah Bishop and Alex Grant, Justin Lindine and Drew Edsall. Bishop was left behind as the group exited the feed and flatted twice before the finish. Sager attacked on the gravel climb a lap and a half later splintering the bunch to take his second stage in a row.
Amanda Carey was the first of the women onto the singletrack followed by Selene Yeager, Sue Haywood, Rebecca Rusch, Vicki Barclay and Sonya Looney. Looney was the first to drop as Yeager began to pull away and Haywood and Rusch took chase, gapping Barclay shortly after. Haywood and Rusch regrouped with Yeager on the gravel climb midway through the first lap. Haywood was the next to go on her own while Rusch and Yeager worked together to bring her back. Eventually Yeager had to back down and let Rusch go. At one point Haywood looked to be closing in on Carey, but it wasn’t enough. Carey won by a safe two-minute margin over Haywood and Rusch. This extended Carey’s overall lead above Yeager to nearly 16-minutes.
While neither category saw major overall changes, the men’s field has grown exceptionally close with less than five minutes separating the top three.
In singlespeed action, Morgan Miller topped the day followed by Rich Straub and Greg Martin. Overnight leader Rich Dillen finished fifth, losing the jersey back to Straub.