Today marked 6 days of racing at the 2011 Trans-Sylvania Epic. Only one more day of racing remains after this.

After a social roll-out from camp at 9AM to the start on Deaf Run Road in Rothrock, the race got underway with a climb out of Penn Roosevelt, up a steep hike-a-bike (rumor has it Jeremiah Bishop rode the majority of it), down a washed-out jeep trail, up and over Thickhead Mountain via Bear Meadows Road, down John Wert, back up Treaster Kettle to Bear Meadows, and finally to the feed zone/aid station. After refueling, the racers jumped onto Lonberger and headed down towards Three Bridges, then descended down to Bear Meadows Road for a ride back towards the aid station, and the best trail of the week: Tussey Ridge Trail, simply known as ‘The Ridge’ to the locals like the FreezeThaw/Notubes riders Vicki Barclay and Rich Straub.

My first photo-op of the day was on Bear Meadows Road on the first switchback descent the field would hit after cresting Thickhead. After catching the first quarter of the field coming over Thickhead Mountain towards John Wert, I headed straight for the ridge so I could ride out and get myself into a decent position to shoot the leaders as they blasted past. The lighting was a bit frustrating at first, given the bright, harsh sunlight and total lack of shade, however, I soon got into a groove and started catching some wonderful images after the first few riders went through. Check them out below.

The Men’s Open field attacked today’s stage hard, with Bishop (Cannondale) across the line in first, 30 seconds ahead of 2nd place Jason Sager (Jamis). Sager moved up in the Men’s GC today, passing Sneddon for second place. Bishop remains in the lead by 7 minutes, 30 seconds. In singlespeed, Morgan Miller nabbed another victory, beating out current SS-GC leader Rich Straub (Freezethaw-NoTubes) who rolled into the finish in second. Rich Dillen (Team Dicky) finished in third. The women didn’t take a day off either, with Selene Yeager (Team CF) and Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) duking it out throughout the stage until the final stretch on the open road, in which Carey opened up a 3 minute lead on Yeager for a solo finish, and increased her lead in the women’s GC over Yeager to 24 minutes. Vicki Barclay of Freezethaw-NoTubes, still hurting after a nasty fall on the first stage, toughed it out for a very solid third place finish, and remains third in the women’s GC.

Official results, race report, and more photos can be found on the Trans-Sylvania Epic website here.

More photos and video footage courtesy of Abe Landes and myself can be found on youtube here.

One more day remains in the 2011 edition of the TSE. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. Stay tuned for the final update tomorrow evening!

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