Florida Gravel Grinder series #2 – Green Swamp West – Dade City, Fl
With temperatures in the upper 80’s and no humidity plus no rain for weeks the second round of the series felt like more like a bike race in Arizona than Florida but it was all good for the racers once they got moving. For the first time in the young series history a time trial was held as a bonus points race and this venue proved to be a great place to hold it as the first leg of the course has a 9.4 mile out and back section that featured a canopy for most of the ride and smooth (by gravel standards) roads. The TT was held on Saturday and coming out on top was Ryan Woodall and Karla Antonio with a 24.7mph average and a 23.1 mph average respectively.
Sunday the race started at 9am and began with the same 9.4 out and back section that was used in the TT but then it turned North and entered the triangle route which was around 16 miles making the total for one lap 25.4 miles. The Marathon classes would complete two loops and the Sprint distance one. One feature that makes this course interesting (using the word loosely) is the return section of the triangle called “Cedar pocket”, it has several sandy sections and is tricky even in the best of conditions but since the recent dry spell the sand was particularly difficult and drew on the racers sand riding skills just to stay up much less ride fast. On this day it was again Ryan Woodall (23mph average) and with the top male spot and keeping it in the family his wife Darla Woodall (21mph average) taking the women’s win. Ryan Woodall is the new MUMU cycling wear leaders jersey holder going into round three and Karla Antonio will wear the jersey representing the women’s top rider.