Racing came back to South Florida last weekend, and the damp weather wasn’t going to slow it down. The State Criterium Championship, sponsored by local cycling attorney Bill Bone, took place over two days at the St.Lucie County Fairgrounds on October 3rd and 4th. The first day covered all the age groups, from Juniors to Masters and Under 23. The second day, men and women in Cat 1 through Cat 5 competed for the state title.
First place finishers in the Juniors included Angel Rodriguez, riding with Stradalli, in the Boys 13-14 group, and Sam Morrison with team VeloBrew, winning the Florida State Champion jersey in the Girls 17-18 group.
Local favorites Focus Racing Team made their presence felt in the Women’s various age groups, taking a number of podium finishes. A bad crash in the course roundabout during the Masters A race brought the action to a temporary halt, but the racing continued shortly to reveal more champions.
Team Novo Nordisk Development took two spots in the podium for U23, with Robbe Ceurens and Louis Evans taking first and third place, respectively.
The action didn’t slow down on day two, starting with Women’s Cat 4 and 5. Adriana Ruiz (Focus Racing Team) took her second State title win for the weekend, this time in Cat 4. Jeanine Seeger from Alpha Cycling took a hard-won victory for the Florida Championship jersey in Women Cat ½, and the intense competition kept ramping up all the way to the final race of the day, the Men Pro ½. This tough race made for a spectacular finish, with Luis Zayas taking first place and Michael Hernandez (FloridaVelo) coming in with a very close second.
“I was delighted to finally produce a fun and exciting event on a new challenging course in these very challenging times,” said Race Director Kevin Abbate, from Extreme Sports Productions. “The entire team stepped up to the plate and pulled off a first-rate event, which was enjoyed by 383 riders and over 1,000 spectators. Everyone was respectful of the policies set forth as it related to COVID-19 procedures.”