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Bishop to Defend Trans-Sylvania Epic Title

Ben Cruz at the inaugural running of the Trans-Sylvania Epic in 2010. Courtesy photo

Jeremiah Bishop will line up in Pennsylvania this weekend against a strong field of pros to defend his Trans-Sylvania Epic title.

In its second year, the seven-day stage race (May 29-June 4) presented by NoTubes has attracted some of the top endurance riders in North America, including 2010’s second-place rider Alex Grant (Cannondale Factory Racing), as well as Kona teammates Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon, Jason Sager (Jamis), Ross Schnell (Trek/SRAM/Easton/Giro/Pearl), Mark Weir (WTB/Cannondale/Shimano/Fox Shox), Selene Yeager (TeamCF), Rebecca Rusch (Specialized Racing), Sue Heywood (Shenandoah Bikes/Kenda/Turner/I9), Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt) and more.

Along with a 10-mile prologue on day one, some 100 racers will see 43-, 47- and 42-mile  stages on days two, three and four respectively.

Stage five is unique in that it will be an “enduro” style day, where riders will hit four timed sections of trail allowing for regrouping in between each section. Racers will be started in groups of 40 based on general classification placement, with one-minute increments between starting groups. Racers will re-group following each segment and continue to the next start area. Race organizers anticipate that each segment will take 10-20 minutes to complete with a total of 28 miles.

Stages six and seven, meanwhile, are 38 and 26 miles respectively. Organizers say that slightly shorter stages of the Trans-Sylvania Epic, varied terrain, conditions and trails were purposefully combined to reward riders with a wide skillset and fitness. So riders like Schnell and Weir, who are not only powerful but also veterans of enduro racing, can make up time in stage five.

That race make up kept the podium spots in the men’s race in question into the final day of competition in 2010.

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