This past weekend, we took a full team of thirteen riders down to Gainseville, FL to race the Swamp Classic, hosted by Topview Sports. Last year, this race weekend was taken off the calendar, so we were all happy to see it’s return. Unfortunately, the iconic downtown criterium course did not make a return, but the speedway criterium course that replaced it proved to be plenty fun. Our riders competed in the collegiate road races, individual time trial, and collegiate criterium races.
We had a number of riders who could not leave until after 5pm Friday night. Since the rest of us did not like the idea of rolling up to the hotel in Gainesville at 11pm, we decided to leave the trailer behind and take separate, personal vehicles to the race. By midnight Friday, we had all made it to the hotel, a fantastically priced Super 8, without a hitch.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early at 5:30am. The first race of the day, the C/D’s field, went off at 7:30am, so we had to leave the hotel by 6:30am to get everyone to the race in time to pick up packets, pin numbers, and warm up. After mowing through the instant oatmeal packets, watery coffee, and waffle machine mix that made up the hotel’s complementary breakfast, we headed off to the race course.
Besides multiple crashes in the C/D field, the Georgia Tech riders made it through unscathed. Evan and Kyle went first and second from the D’s field and John took fourth from the C’s. Unfortunately, in the women’s field Deborah was not so lucky and got taken out in a nasty crash. Thankfully, she is doing well and was back on the bike by Monday of this week! Jake Holt took 4th in the B’s field. In the evening, Evan went first in the D’s time trials and Wes took fourth in the A’s. The following day, Kyle took fifth in the D’s criterium. In addition to the racing, we were stoked to meet up with Georgia Tech Cycling club alumni Benjamin Engwall and Hunter Brown. Benjamin was racing in the road race, time trial, and criterium, and Hunter came out to support the team on Sunday during the criteriums.
Check out the pictures that made it into a local news article here!
Our next race is coming up soon! We’re sending a smaller group to the Sumatanga Road Race in Alabama on February 16th. Our next collegiate race weekend is the following weekend at Auburn.