Portsmouth Criterium – Race Report – Cat 3 Men – September 18, 2011

By Joe Lynch

I will try to keep this short as I know many of you saw the length of my last memoir and pressed the delete button!

This year, Eric L, Carl, Graydon, Gene, Ed and Chris showed up for the Cat 3 race. I was determined to not drag the whole field around with me if I went and to support my teammates if any were able to get up the road. I managed to sit in for about 4 laps I think when I made it to the front and bridged to a dwindling one man break by riding through a prime sprint. I ended up with 6 (I think) boys in a terribly disorganized break. Looking back, I noticed that at first, we only had the field strung out behind us. But after a bit, another look revealed we had a REALLY nice gap. So I talked to my breakaway companions as sweetly as I could regarding going through corners single file so as not to slow the group and pulling through to share the workload. After a lap or two of this I decided to try yelling at them. Still, terribly disorganized with me doing all the work. On the next prime lap, one of the CCB boys actually went for the prime with no discussion. Much to early for such self centered tomfoolery, particularly from a man so unable to work a minute ago. So, I followed, on his wheel but with a muted effort, slowly turning it up, knowing he would fade after his effort. I turned the screws just a bit more as I passed him while pulling away to the side for the proverbial shake and bake. DISMISSED…. A look behind revealed that indeed, the rest of my companions were dismissed also! Not really my plan, it was only to make the CCB guy suffer for his efforts. But, what the heck? Why not try to do something with such a nice gap and sizable gap behind that! So I asked myself what Hank or Fast Fred would do?

After this point, I am not able to comment intelligently on the rest of the race. I put my head down and started trying to focus on a pace I thought I could hold for the next 35 minutes or so. I thought about missing the selection at the Clam Festival and how I felt I let my team down, I thought about riding the Raymond loop in the rain alone, I thought about sitting on the guardrail with Eddie and Jack waiting for the ambulance after I ran Hank over at another Clam Festival and the entire CycleMania Crew, “Joey, what can WE do for YOU to keep you on the road?” I thought about getting dropped on East Hawley Road earlier in the summer and taking a pee break when I was supposed to be leading out Jeff for an intermediate sprint at Green Mt., I thought about Doc Brown’s (OA) efforts on my knee and my struggle to ride to the stoplight on Blackstrap during my recovery with my dad, I thought about the patience and support my family has given me. I thought about how many of you push me and support me and then say “nice job Joey”, what did we do? Well, Art, Graydon, Gene, you listen. Jurgen, Aron, Chris G., Joe R., Eric W., F. Fred, Uncle Troy, Brett, you guys push me when I am tired and my legs hurt…. You attack me when I am already on the rivets, you call to make sure I got home if I get a flat.. Deirdre, you give me the Hall Pass to go!

So, if you are receiving this note, it is because I look at today as something that would NOT have happened if you all did not play some part in it. Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.

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