Stage 5 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic offers a unique formula to the stage racing format. Originally conceived as a Super-D contest, it morphed into what’s referred to as a “Mini-XC Day.” Riders roll socially on a 28-mile loop that has four special sections. Classes line up and race sectors of trail that average about 13 to 14 minutes. Each one begins with a short climb and runs into ultra technical flat and downhill singletrack and times are tallied and totaled with the lowest combined time for all four winning the day. The concept was created to upset the status quo and produce a new podium. This year, besides being one of the more fun days for all competitors it produced a new winner on the day for the open men.

Bryan Fawely’s (Orbea USA) consistency riding a carbon hardtail gave him the overall over Kona’s Kris Sneddon and Jamis Captain Jason Sager. Fawley won section two and four (with Sneddon in second both times) and ended up tied with Sneddon on time but by virtue of winning two sections compared to Sneddon’s one, he got the top podium position and the Super D winner’s jersey. Cannondale’s Jeremiah Bishop snagged the third section just ahead of Sneddon and Sager. Bishop now has just a 2m:06sec lead over Sneddon and 7m:09sec over Sager on GC.

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