Caleb Swartz grew up riding bikes in Madison, Wisconsin, so the trip to Iowa City for Jingle Cross has been an annual pilgrimmage for him and his bike-racing family.
Swartz first raced at Jingle Cross in 2010 when he lined up for the Junior 11-12 race. Little did he know, but eight years later, he would find himself at the front of a UCI race at the Johnson County Fairgrounds racing with Europeans and U.S. domestic pros.
Swartz ended up finishing fifth on Friday night in a memorable race that certainly tops all the Junior, Cat 4, Cat 3 and Cat 1/2 podiums he has scored over the years.
We briefly chatted with him after the race.