Geri Mewett lived the dream Sunday.
The former University of Tennessee swimmer turned professional racing cyclist soloed clear and lapped the field en route to winning the Maryville Downtown Criterium bicycle race.
Mewett jumped clear of the men’s professional field in the race’s early stages, taking a glance over his shoulder before continuing on. By the time the field decided to give chase, the Hincapie/Coca-Cola sponsored rider was half a lap ahead on the 1-kilometer course.
“At the start, I just gave it a little gas,” Mewett said. “This is a really good course for getting in a rhythm.”
At less than a minute per circuit, professional riders covered approximately 40 miles in less than an hour’s racing. Mewett was on his own for all but a handful of those miles, delivering the dagger and lapping the field as he crossed the start/finish line with only a handful of laps remaining.
The signature verse “How does it feel?,” from the Bob Dylan standard, “Like a Rolling Stone,” blared from the portable public address as Mewett overtook the pack.
From there, the Bermudan national team rider sat comfortably in the draft of his stunned competitors to the finish.
Sunday’s solo was probably as much perfect timing and bad decision making on the part of the field as it was fast legs, Mewett said. They waited too long to chase, and he was having a great day. Mewett coasted to the finish line in mid pack, arms raised in a fitting, two-handed salute.