Submitted by Joe Reis
On the 18th of September, I traveled from the University of Vermont to the coast of NH for the Portsmouth Criterium. Having done this race last year, I knew that it was one that I could not leave off my race schedule. This is truly one of the best venues in the Northeast – big and enthusiastic crowds, great setting, and good sized fields with well-seasoned riders.
If there is one late season crit to watch, this would definitely be it in my opinion.
The race got off to a good start with riders attacking. There were some very strong riders who were determined to get a break started and this kept the rest of the field on edge and the pace high. I found myself sitting in the back and riding the tail for the first few laps as I had had a bit too much coffee and was a little jittery. I was back to normal in about five laps however and started to work my way into the middle of the pack.
The attacks kept flying and the primes kept coming. Because of this, the pack began to really stretch out and only came together a few times. I was just hanging on to wait for a good time to move up further and I soon found my chance. About halfway through the race, the pack ballooned on the backstretch and I was able to move up the right side of the road. Just as this happened, an attack flew from the same side. I found myself trying to bridge up with this move, but decided not to do so once I realized there were others that were more willing to pull everyone back. I let them take over and sat in.
The lap cards were quickly coming to an end and it was time to start thinking about getting on a wheel as the break was coming back. I was sitting up close to the front when the last break was caught and the peloton quickly ballooned. I was forced back as riders shot up the sides and I found myself in pretty bad position for the last couple laps. I tried to move back up, but the last laps of a race are not the right time to move up. I ended up finishing in the field for 38th.
The race could have gone better, but I am still happy since it was such a great day of racing and Joe Lynch was able to go solo for the win in his race. An amazing feat by any standard.