The Mens B race rolled out just after the Masters Men, no one will ever know why this was the chosen order, but that is cycling, you never know quite what you’ll get, but you can guarantee that somehow your field will be loads quicker than the one started in front of you. The field was small; a mere 15 riders took off on the soggy 70 degree Florida morning. Still, a nice change from the frozen conditions at Georgia Southern. Christian DiCenso and Nathaniel Rowe both hammered on the front from the start to drive the pace up and settle the group into a good rhythm. Sean Carroll soon realized how bad being out of shape really feels. Coming into the final sprint Christian lead Nathanial out, which unfortunately fell apart once the Auburn and Alabama riders who had marked the GT pair from the start of the race jostled the train out of position. Nathaniel gritted it to the line for a 3rd place finish after initiating the sprint too early, with Christian still nabbing 8th.
The Men’s C race was taken control of early by 3 racers, 2 of the Tech team (Philip Dewire and John Hooie). They were up the road in a three-man break with one other guy from FSU. They had a commanding minute gap on the field of around 60 riders coming through on the first lap around. The fun in the sun did not last forever as the rain started to pick up again and the break was caught with 2 miles to go in the race. The leading men then jumped back in with the peloton to dual it out for a sprint finish. Philip Dewire laid down some serious rubber for a 4th place finish. John Hooie, Chris Stout, and Chris Stuble finished just after him in a mass of riders.
The Mens A race was the last to set off, with Andrew Hodges in the mix for Tech. It quickly blew apart, with a large, strong lead group. There were a few chase groups throughout the race, but none strong or organized enough to catch back on to the breakaway group. Hodges came in strong with the main field for a top 20 finish in a very tough A’s race.
The team time trial (TTT) was the first to kick off. Chris Stout, Chris Stubel, John Hooie, and Sean Carroll represented Tech. The pace was high and the heavens were crying in pain. The rain made it hard to see up the road and caused some flats amongst other teams. Sean Carroll was quickly shelled and the remaining three hammered their way to the finish of the very quick 7 mile time trial.
The individual time trialists went off one at a time, Nathanial Rowe, Philip Dewire, Christian DiCenso, and Austin Isop all went off in the torrential downpour. Nathaniel won B’s and Philip Dewire took the victory for the C’s.
The Men’s C race was the first to set of in the crisp early morning. The Tech team set the pace for a large part of the race. Stout showed strong, coming out with 3rd place. Hooie, Stubel and Dewire came across in 4th, 7th and 8th, respectively.
The race officials wasted no time in starting the Men’s B crit. Sean Carroll got to the line to see everyone but his teammates. Rowe rolled up to the line at the exact instant that the gun went off to start the race, while Christian rolled up slightly later. Showing what was to come, Christian chased on to the group, then maintained speed and drove up the pace for the remainder of the race. Nathaniel relieved him a few times then sat in, only to chase down a one-man break with 2 laps to go. He passed the Auburn rider coming out of the finial turn and sprinted to take the win.
The Men’s A race started a little later in the afternoon and was full of strong riders. There were constant attacks from the start, which helped to keep the pace very high. Riders dropped left and right as the pace crept up. The peloton was soon gapped by a group of 8 who were able to hold their distance until the very end of the race. Hodges mounted an attempt to bridge, but the leaders threw in attack after attack to keep him back. Despite this massive expenditure of energy, Hodges came in with the main group and posted a decent finish.
It was a great weekend for Georgia Tech Cycling; we walked out with 3 1st place trophies and plenty more ribbons and podiums.