With the sun high in the sky and the mercury hitting the 90°F mark, today’s stage was a brutal pressure cooker that left many racers searching for reserves that simply did not exist. In addition to the scorching temperatures and high humidity, mechanical issues were commonplace as well with even the current men’s GC leader, Jeremiah Bishop of Cannondale, snapping a chain halfway through the race. Regardless of the heat or technical issues, the pace set by the leaders was blistering, with many racers were reaching aid stations and marshal locations well ahead of schedule.

While the riders in the men’s open category fought a close battle throughout the day as they attacked each other on the numerous climbs, it was Kris Sneddon (Kona) who was able to capitalize on the tough conditions and clinch the stage victory, riding across the line a minute and a half ahead of second place Bishop, who managed to hang onto the GC lead that he had established on yesterday’s prologue stage.

Competition in the women’s open field was equally as fierce, with Selene Yeager (Team CF), Vicki Barclay (Freeze-Thaw/NoTubes), Karen Potter (MTBRacenews), Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt), and Sue Haywood (Shenandoah Bikes/Kenda/I9/Turner) jockeying for position throughout the first half of the race. At the line, it was Carey in first, barely a minute ahead of a hard-charging Yeager, who was forced to stop mid-stage to remove a stick from her rear wheel.

You can find the official race report, results, GC results, and more photos here.
Also, video footage of today’s stage can be found on Cyclingdirt.org here.

More images and video footage courtesy of both myself and Abe Landes can be found here.

The weather is expected to heat up even more tomorrow as the racers tackle roads, fireroads, and trails through Bald Eagle, Poe Valley, and Coburn. Stay tuned for another update.

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One day down in this year’s edition of the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Only 6 more to go.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering… what exactly is the TSE? Well, it’s merely a grueling 7-day stage race that attracts some of the best riders in the nation to the most challenging terrain the beautiful state of PA has to offer. While I may not be racing it, I am photographing it. Abram Landes (of A.E. Landes Photography) and I have joined forces as the official event photographers put in charge of documenting this year’s masochistic all-terrain sufferfest. So, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of awesome photos to go around this year.

Today’s stage was a deceptively tough 12.5 mile prologue loop run in a time-trial fashion with 1 minute release intervals. While today’s course paled in comparison to the other stages that are on the roster for the rest of the week, the heat and humidity certainly did their best to drain the spirits of many. However, neither muck nor muggy weather could stop Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) as he cruised his way into the lead with a blistering 47:56 time for the stage, 4 minutes or so ahead of the rest of the field. In the women’s field, Karen Potter (MTBRacenews) rolled in at 1:01:13, just a bit more than half a minute ahead of the defending women’s champion, Selene Yeager (Team CF).

For the full race report, race results, and photos, check out the TSEpic website: TSEpic 2011 Results – Stage 1. Also, below, you will find a small preview gallery of a few of my own images from today’s stage.

If you still find yourself craving more TSE2011 media, check out the video slideshow that contains images from both Abe and I: Trans-Sylvania Epic 2011: Day 1 – Prologue Stage

Tomorrow the racers roll out of Seven Mountain Scout Camp at 9:30AM en route to cover 42.5 miles of trail and fireroad in the Cooper’s Gap region of Rothrock. Stay tuned!

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Although the weather still feels like March here in central PA, it’s actually May. That means it’s finally time to call an end to the semester and ship our riders off to nationals in Wisconsin after a long, cold, wet season in the ECCC. Before everyone departed, though, I called the team together for a mandatory team photo with the Lehigh Valley crew and Coach Young.

Cool temps and cloudy weather aside, this was definitely the best team photo session yet. Thanks to everyone for coming out, putting up with the shenanigans, and waiting for Dr. Boner. The shots are definitely worth it! Enjoy!

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If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been waiting for me to post more progress on my 365 project. Well, as I’m sure you remember, this summer was a hot one for the Mid-Atlantic region (and other areas as well). Unbearably hot. Combine unbearable heat and humidity with a torturous work schedule made up of late nights and early mornings, and I think you know where I’m heading: Disaster.

So, I regret to inform you that my 365 project officially flat lined on July 1st after 150 days of consecutive shooting. One hundred-fifty consecutive days of photographs. That’s five straight months of shooting every day. In that time, I managed to record more than 6000 shutter actuations, and I trucked right past the 10k mark on my 50D. By July 1st, I had simply grown weary of coming home late every night after spending a long day in the sun and humidity only to have to find something to photograph by midnight. It ended up being rather frustrating.

So, in the end, my 365 project ended up devolving into a 100 Photographs of 2010 project, which in itself, is no small feat, considering most people don’t make it past the first two weeks of shooting every day, let alone the first month. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, why only 100 photos, if I have photographs from 150. I’ll be honest. I’m not totally thrilled with every single image from the last fifty days, thus I am choosing to be selective about what images I publish. Also, the process of editing the images from the 365 project has been very time consuming and it has been holding me back from starting any new projects or submitting any photos to contests or exhibits. It’s time to move on.

Perhaps I’ll have the time and energy to give it another shot in the future, but that’s neither here nor now. When I began the 365 project in February, I set out with the intent to make sure that each photograph ended up being more than a mere snapshot; I wanted to do more than fulfill the basic objective of simply taking one photo per day. Even though I was not able to reach my goal of 365 successful photographs, I have absolutely no regrets about ending the project early. This project pressured me to find new and creative ways to photograph and edit, and drove me to find new and creative subjects as well. I taught myself how to deal with creative frustration, and I also captured some great images that will help bolster my portfolio for many years to come.

Below, you will find a preview of my 100 day project. Click on the grid of images to visit the complete set on Flickr. If there are any images within the set that you would like to have a print of (8×10″ or 13×19″ are the standard sizes), please let me know in the comment area. I will be glad to fulfill any requests for prints.

 

100 Photographs of 2010

On a more positive and radically different note: Something else that kept me busy (and in shape) this summer and fall was the 2010 mountain bike race season. The new Niner I built up last fall served me well, allowing me to complete 13 races (XC and STXC) from April to October with no DNFs or DFLs, four podium finishes and my first win. I even managed to finish 5th in the points series in my age group (Senior I, 19-29) and category (Sport/Cat 2) in the Mid-Atlantic Super Series.

 

Photo Credit: Tori Sulewski

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In my last blog entry, I mentioned that two of my photos, Solitude and Within Reach, had been chosen as images of the day on the photography website, One Daily Shot. Well, the month of April has finally ended, and the Image of the Month contest on One Daily Shot is now up and running.

If you may, I request that you visit the following link and please vote for my photographs, plus another of your choice. You may choose three total images. Voting ends on May 16th.

Link to the contest: CLICK.

Also, I’d like to mention that another photo of mine, Levitation, has been chosen as today’s (Tuesday, May 4th) image of the day.

Levitation
86/365 by Zachary Repp on flickr

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Lately, I’ve been trying to make an effort to take my photography a little more seriously and also make an honest effort to get my name out there, especially since I’m graduating in just a tick over 365 days from now. My 365 project on flickr is one step in the right direction – it’s motivated me to shoot every day regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. Well, I’ve taken one more step in the right direction. This month, I submitted two photos of mine to a new photo of the day contest: One Daily Shot.

Prior to submitting my photos to One Daily Shot, the only contest I had actually entered, was the F-stop Scion Photography Contest on Urbanracer.com. While I never thought I had a chance at winning the contest, considering my inexperience in digital photography compared to other entries I had seen, I made a last-minute decision to enter before the contest entry period ended. After the dust settled, I actually ended up walking away from that contest with the grand prize; three thousand dollars, and a chance at future photographic opportunities with Urban Racer. I was able to make a significant gear investment with the winnings from the Urban Racer contest; I replaced my aging Canon Rebel XT with a new 50D, and I also purchased a used 70-200 f/4 L IS telephoto lens to give me something fast and reliable to grab from my bag for times when my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 wouldn’t seal the deal.

Well, it seems that things are continuing to look up. The two shots I submitted to One Daily Shot have been published as daily winners (Solitude & Within Reach). Later this month, they’ll be put up against the other daily winners from the month in a Photo of the Month contest. I’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, click here and vote for your favorite image from last month on One Daily Shot.

Solitude
70/365 on flickr.com

Within Reach
Within Reach - #22/365 on flickr.com by Zachary Repp

– Zack

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