STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA – Seven days. Thousands of feet worth of climbing. Scorching heat. Flat tires for virtually every racer. Hundreds of miles of singletrack and gravel roads. Sound fun? Welcome to the Trans-Sylvania Epic, a seven day stage race in State College, Pennsylvania, that not only tests rider’s physical endurance, but their mental stamina as well. And this year, it was cyclocrossers Justin Lindine and Amanda Carey who would take the wins in their respective categories.
We were able to chat with them after the race was finally finished on Saturday afternoon, a 26-mile stage that Lindine won and Carey took third in. By the seventh day, Lindine’s lead had stretched to over 15 minutes and he took three stage wins during the week, while Carey comfortably held the overall, despite a wrong turn on Day 4 that set her and several others back a full 30 minutes. Fellow ’crosser Brian Matter also was in the race, but struggled with stomach problems the night before the last stage, and spent the day working to hold on to his third place spot on the podium.
Right after the race, we caught Lindine, who’d taken a tumble early in the stage and was nursing a quickly swelling knee. “I feel pretty awesome. It was a long week and it feels pretty good to be over, but I couldn’t be happier. It went as well as I ever could have hoped for.”
This is Lindine’s third time racing the Epic, and he laughed and added, “It just proves if you keep banging your head against the wall, it will eventually fall over.”
And as for his early-in-the-race crash, he grimaced, saying, “It was like, all I have to do today is not crash and break me or the bike. And both of those things almost happened.”
“Every stage was so different, and that’s what makes stage racing so much fun,” Carey said, exhausted post-race. “Tuesday was ’cross conditions, every single day has been so different. Thursday was the day we all took a wrong turn so the top four in the GC lost about 30 minutes.”
Did she lose motivation after getting lost? “The fasted you move on, the faster you catch up.” Carey also told us that she’ll be now racing for Stan’s NoTubes for cyclocross season as well as for the MTB season, which she’s extremely excited about.
“I’ve never trained for ’cross before, I’ve always raced into it. This year will be a nice change, I’m catering this year to being more prepared for ’cross. This year I’m being selective, trying to travel less, and actually train for cyclocross. I’m trying to be a little more focused.”
Amanda Carey on her win and the “offseason”
Justin Lindine on stage racing and the pressure of leading