Better late than never, I suppose. After all, my personal coverage of my week at the Trans-Sylvania Epic would not be complete without at least saying something about stage 7.

For some racers, the 7th stage was a celebratory parade lap (way to have fun and put on a good show, ladies) filled with smiles, laughs, and friendly conversation. Last year, the single-speeders also partied their way around the last stage, even sipping on beer the whole way. However, this year, Morgan Miller refused to participate in this parade lap tradition, instead choosing to maintain his efforts to move up the GC board. This decision forced the warriors of the SS category to postpone their merrymaking and and don their game faces once more to defend their ground against the attacks of the hard-charging Miller. In the open men category, ‘easy’ is nowhere to be found in the respective vernacular; they kept the pedal to the metal and mashed their way around the course in search of either gaining time or defending their position.

The stage was a relatively short (in comparison to other stages) loop from Seven Mountain Scout camp, down a ‘fat boy descent’ into Poe Valley, up Tower Trail out of Poe Valley and back into the camp via singletrack and fireroad. I set myself up early in the stage in hopes of grabbing the action of the open men and singlespeeders on camera, and perhaps catch a few shots of the ladies parade rolling past as well. Once the field rolled through, I jumped ahead to the climb up Tower Trail that lie in wait for the racers. I jumped on the bike and headed into the foliage tunnel of Tower Trail, hoping to beat the leaders to the top of the climb. While I made it, I was almost caught unprepared as Bishop (Cannondale), Sager (Jamis), and Lindine ( were hustling up the trail at me before I had a chance to dismount, get my gear out, and get into position. Luckily I was able to jump off, toss the bike off to the side, and whip out my camera before the lead group blew past.

In Men’s open, Lindine took the stage victory with a blistering 1:49:36 pace. He crossed the line 6 seconds ahead of Bishop, with Sager in third. Barclay (FreezeThaw/NoTubes) led the ladies parade across the line, and in the Singlespeed category, Morgan Miller posted another first place finish ahead of Rich Straub (FreezeThaw/NoTubes). Although Miller’s attack on the last day moved him past Rich Dillen (TeamDicky) and into second in the SS GC, it was not enough to beat out Straub for the GC win. Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) walked away with the women’s GC victory with a five-minute lead on last year’s champion, Selene Yeager (Team CF). Finally, after a strong week of consistent racing, Bishop claimed his second consecutive TSE title after establishing a lead on the first day that he was able to maintain all week through consistent finishes and strong efforts. Will he be able to clinch a third next year? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Stage video coverage can be found on Cyclingdirt here.
Official TSEpic stage results, the race report, and more photos can be found here.
The final overall results are here.

And that, folks, brings a wrap to the 2011 Trans-Sylvania Epic. A special thanks goes out to Abe Landes, Ray Adams, and Mike Kuhn for the invitation to participate as an official race photographer this year, and thanks to all the racers for just being awesome. I had a freakin’ blast partying in the woods for a week with you guys.

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1 comment in “TSE 2011 Day 7 – Bald Eagle/Little Poe”

  1. Donna says:

    Thank YOU, Zach, for being out there for us!! 🙂

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