By Eddie Clark
(September 19, 2012) BREVARD, NC—The second day of racing provided a drastic improvement for racers with an easier course and pleasant weather. For some, the 32 mile stage was a relief since it was contested under warm dry skies, and for those on singlespeeds it was a day with more than enough dirt roads to spin out on.
At 11am, racers departed from the Cradle of Forestry center, which is locally known as the birthplace of forest conservation in America. The race started with another jaunt on highway 276 before a middle ring dirt road climb took racers to a fast downhill singletrack where they would exit for the first feed station. Next up was more singletrack and a dirt road climb that took racers to the top of the technical and rocky downhill on Farlow Gap.
Once on the Farlow Gap downhill, Sam Koerber opened up a small gap over Jeremiah Bishop by riding and cleaning the whole section. Opting for the safe route, Bishop ran the most technical parts of the downhill, and was forced to claw his way back up to Koerber on the tamer section of singletrack that followed. After another short bit of singletrack, it was basically a dirt road race back to the finish.
It was the last big climb of dirt road before the highway that Bishop favored for making his dig at taking the stage and gaining back time on Koerber. "It was my favorite part of the course", said Bishop afterwards at the awards ceremony. The move worked, and Bishop took the stage and roughly a minute back towards the overall against Koerber.
In the women's race, it was a virtual repeat for placing from the previous day with North Carolinian Kym Schifino winning the stage to extend her overall lead on Anna Lovisa Healy who took second, and Kelly Ault who finished in third place.