UF Swamp Classic: Crits on Crits

This weekend, February 4th and 5th, saw a grand total of 11 Georgia Tech riders compete in Team Florida’s Swamp Classic. With the weather a balmy 75 degrees all weekend, it was hardly a struggle for anyone to get motivated and stay warm in the early mornings.

The golden Florida sun pours down on turns 1 & 2 of the Sunday Crit.

Saturday registration troubles aside, the Cat C Men’s race at the Gainesville Raceway (same location as last year’s rainy Sunday Crit) went off a little after 8:30am with all 8 C riders at the start, more or less ready to go. Lasting only 25 minutes, Georgia Tech was able to secure points in all three prime laps and a top finish by Joshua Longenecker in 5th place out of nearly 50 riders. Jack Heberton, Jackson Esoda and Sean Carroll represented in the Men’s B race, showing poise in the smaller but skilled pack. Jack Heberton worked hard midway through to get a 1st place prime and Jackson Esoda came through strong on the final lap to string out the pack in an effort to set up Jack for a finishing sprint. Final places will be updated as they come through.

Men's B Saturday Crit at The Gainesville Raceway

After a long break, the Team Time Trial began just before dark at 6pm on a 7 mile strip of road (originally set to be 10 miles) in front of the the Raceway. Tech entered 3 teams, with all 11 riders participating. Results still pending, we speculate that Tech’s C1 team (J. Longenecker, Nathaniel Rowe, Chris Stout, Ben McAdoo) beat out our B group (Jackson Esoda, Jack Heberton, Christian DiCenso, Sean Carroll) with a time around 16:20. Not cool guys. Team Hairy Legs (Andrew Gifford, Phillip Dewire, Conrad Lawson) went hard in their first ever road race, finishing strong with energy to spare.

Sunday, again, yielded wonderful weather for the second crit, located in the heart of downtown Gainesville. The course was a classic 4 corner criterium; last used in 2010, it featured a rough cobble section along turns 1 and 2, a long downhill straight into a big sweeping turn 3 and 4 with a sprint-worthy uphill finish. The Men’s C race was underway again at 8:30 am. Georgia Tech was able to nab points in two of the three primes, with Tech riders continually working the front of the large group. Riders Christian DiCenso and Joshua Longenecker were able to secure 5th and 6th place respectively in the end uphill sprint. With the weather warming up, the Men’s B race was underway. Sean Carroll grabbed a 1st place prime lap like he was getting paid and continued to work hard for sprinter Jack Heberton, who after J. Esoda’s scorching lap-and-a-half pull to string out the group, finished 3rd, edging out a Cumberland rider with ease.

Jack Heberton sprinting. Fastly.

Check out pictures from the Men’s B races here at Joshua Longenecker’s photography page and even more photos the GT Cycling Facebook.

Keep an eye on the website for results as they arrive later this week. They can also be found on SECCC.net

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