University of Florida cycling club

Last updated
University of Florida
Cycling Club
Type Subsidiary
Headquarters Gainesville, Florida, US
Key people
Akram Weheba
Parent University of Florida
Website Team Florida Collegiate Cycling Club

The University of Florida's cycling club was officially founded in 1985 and has won numerous Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference and National Collegiate Cycling Association championships.



University of Florida Cycling Team (1986) First team photo taken at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street in 1986. Top Row L-R: Thom Cerny, JC Conte, Scott Stivender, Michael Franovich, Bruce Carnevale, Scott Edwards. Bottom Row L-R Tony McKnight, Andrew Kidder, John Lieswyn, Joseph Morelli, Sydney Maddock, Rick Shaefer. Not Pictured: Paul Staudhammer University of Florida Cycling Team (Team Florida) Spring 1986.jpg
University of Florida Cycling Team (1986) First team photo taken at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street in 1986. Top Row L-R: Thom Cerny, JC Conte, Scott Stivender, Michael Franovich, Bruce Carnevale, Scott Edwards. Bottom Row L-R Tony McKnight, Andrew Kidder, John Lieswyn, Joseph Morelli, Sydney Maddock, Rick Shaefer. Not Pictured: Paul Staudhammer

The first known edition of the University of Florida's Cycling Club was started in the late 1970s by a group of students who began meeting informally for recreational rides. By 1981, they were still meeting, but since almost all had graduated, they changed the group's name to the Gainesville Cycling Club. [1] In Fall 1985, students of Richard Beck's Cycling Class, [2] and other racers, organized a formal, university sanctioned, bicycle racing sports club (Team Florida). From 1986-1988, with significant funding from student government, and sponsor support from Peddlers Bike Shop, Cannondale, Continental Tires, Puma, Lake Shoes, Desente, Zepher Helmets, Go sports drink, Jolt cola, Chance Chiropractic and the Bicycle Club Apartments, the team's top riders competed in pro-am United States Cycling Federation (USCF) races throughout the United States, but primarily within the Southeast. Team Florida joined the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC) of the National Collegiate Cycling Association (NCCA) in 1989 and began racing in both USCF and NCCA races.

Team Florida's first participation in an organized race was a Primo Bike Works' 10 mile time trial starting and finishing at the Hopewell Baptist Church on Wacahoota Road Southwest of Gainesville in late 1985 or early 1986. The first Team Florida win was achieved by Paul Chludzinski in a Citizen's Class criterium in Cocoa Beach in spring 1986. The team's first USCF licensed win was secured by Michael Franovich in a Category IV road race on the Sawgrass Expressway, prior to its July 3, 1986 opening. The first collegiate race win was accomplished by Geoff Rogers in a “B” Category Race at the University of Georgia in 1989.

Although bike races had been held on campus as early as the 1950s, [3] the first race hosted by Team Florida was held in Fall 1986. The six turn USCF sanctioned criterium ran clockwise. It featured a start/finish in front of the Florida Gym on Stadium Road, turned right onto North South Drive (now known as Gale Lemerand Drive) pass the stadium, turned right onto East West Drive (turn no longer exists due to North stadium stands construction), from East West Drive right onto Fletcher Drive, left on what was a road between Pugh and Dauer Halls, right onto Buckman Drive which becomes Stadium Road, and past the Hub before returning to the start/finish. Andy Woodruff, who would eventually ride for Team Florida in the early 1990s, won the Men's Pro, 1,2,3 race. Team sponsored circuit races around Lake Alice were held in 1987 and 1988. The first Stage Race was held in 1989 and featured a downtown twilight criterium and a road race on Dungarvin Road.

Team Florida was recognized as the University of Florida's Sports Club of the Year for 2015-2016. In 2017, with student interest in racing declining, Team Florida leadership chose to have the club focus on noncompetitive recreational riding, the team lost its standing as a sports club, and stopped participating in SECCC events. As of October 2019 however, the team had regained its status as a UF Sports Club. Following a lengthy delay associated with the pandemic, Team Florida began competing in SECCC collegiate races again in Fall 2021.

Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Championships [4]



Mountain Bike


National Collegiate Cycling Championships [6]



Mountain Bike


Notable alumni

Team Florida notable alumni John Lieswyn in 1988 Lieswyn 1988.jpg
Team Florida notable alumni John Lieswyn in 1988
Notable Team Florida Alumni Rebecca Larson Rebecca Larson-crop.jpg
Notable Team Florida Alumni Rebecca Larson
Team Florida notable alumni Dan Larson Dan Larson.jpg
Team Florida notable alumni Dan Larson
Notable Team Florida alumni Phil Gaimon (front) and David Guttenplan Gaimon Guttenplan.jpg
Notable Team Florida alumni Phil Gaimon (front) and David Guttenplan

Club Presidents

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  1. "Early History of the Gainesville Cycling Club". Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  2. "UF Cycling". 2001-01-24. Archived from the original on 2001-01-24. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  3. "Bicycle race on the University of Florida campus". Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  4. "UF Cycling". 2001-01-24. Archived from the original on 2001-01-24. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  5. Writer, Erika Oakvik, Alligator Contributing. "UF cycling team rides to win". The Independent Florida Alligator. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  6. "UF Cycling". 2001-01-24. Archived from the original on 2001-01-24. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  7. "Karen Bliss inducted into US Bicycling Hall of Fame". August 29, 2019.