Charon Smith and The 52nd annual MBGP

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

Charon Smith and The 52nd annual MBGP

By Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery)

On Sunday, July 7th, we raced the 52nd annual MBGP! Surf City Cyclery/Sterling BMW attempted something very unique by trying to win Dana Point GP, State Crit title, and Manhattan Beach GP in two consecutive years. I believe this has never been accomplished.  We won DPGP and States, last on the list was MBGP!

 

Leading into the race, all of the racers wanted to do well, or have one of their teammates shine on this beautiful day in Manhattan Beach. The race course was shaped like a hot dog with a rise on the front side as well as the backside with the wind blowing south off the ocean, which sat within walking distance. Some racers shy away from this course because it can be risky and very painful if you go down, but hey, this is bike racing, we are built like gladiators; only difference is we wear tights with very little protection.

 

Our team plan, which I led, was simple; the goal was to race aggressively, establish a break and stack the move with some of our hammer heads. We had a few options on the move; the plan was to send two or three guys. We tried early on to establish a move, to feel the field out and to see who was willing to join us in taking on this hot dog-shaped coursed. The field was fresh and eager so nothing was established, but that did not stop our mad man John Wike. He kept attacking, and sure enough, the rubber band snapped; our guy Pat Bos, aka “Double Nickle”, made the split with Wike. Pat was peaking at the right time for us. It was a break of eight or so guys, including a SPY rider, as well Felt Audi rider Travis Wilkerson; riding a break is his thing. Of course MRI made the move with one of their many studs, Chris Demarchi. I believe Derek Brauch from Helen’s was in the split, and he has been rolling strong these days as well. I was thinking ‘awesome that is a solid selection’, and Wike had a great shot at closing as he has a wicked finish; the harder the race the better he rides. I was told a few guys were telling him to ease up in the break, meaning he was hurting guys in the move; perfect that is his job. I thought Time had a guy in the move, but I was told they missed the split, so they were forced to chase along with a few others who missed the move. MRI began setting up for a sprint finish by lining up their train, which meant it was time to get on board for the ride. [Read more…]

Jesse Anthony (Optum)reflects on MBGP

 

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

Jesse Anthony (Optum)reflects on MBGP

By : Jesse Anthony

Optum Pro Cycling | Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies

I lined up in the field with about 70 riders and planned to race conservatively for the first half of the race. I floated in the field for a bit, while riders at the front unsuccessfully tried to sort out a break away. The race began to split apart slightly only a few laps in, so I jumped across a gap to a large, merging breakaway. My attack sounded the alarm bells and the field was soon welded back together.

I again retreated mid-pack to recover and see how things played out, but I sensed a lack of cohesion and firepower in the field. My teammate, Ian Moir, told me that his legs were taking a long time to warm up, so I stayed attentive of the moves going off the front. Around the 20 minute mark I again jumped across the gap to a pair of attacking riders, bringing 1 rider with me. As soon as the 4 of us got together we began working together smoothly to establish a gap. There was hesitation in the field and we quickly gained 20 seconds.

The 4 of us now settled into a rhythm and I encouraged the guys to keep the tempo steady and see how the field reacted. I wanted our group to stay together because everyone was working so well together and we still had nearly an hour still to race. Our gap grew slowly to 30 and then 35 seconds and remained there through the meat of the race. Coming into the final half hour we twisted the throttle just a hair and our gap opened to 40 seconds with 20 minutes to go.

Our group was still rotating fluidly which ultimately ensured our success. In the last 15 minutes I tried to shake myself lose from my breakaway partners as I was confident the gap would hold. I didn’t want it to come down to a sprint, which I see as comparable with letting an MMA fight come down to the judges. I was unable to get away, though, and settled for sprinting it out. I was confident going into the sprint and came though the last corner in 2nd place. The rider in front of me, Brandon Gritters, led out the sprint from fairly far out and I jumped with 150 meters to go. I had enough speed to hold off the other 2 riders and very excitedly secured my first win in 2013.

I am really happy to win such a prestigious race and one of the oldest criteriums in California. I’m also excited for the upcoming Cascade Cycling classic and hitting the 2nd half of the season with some happy legs.

Big thanks to Acura for supporting us in their home region and keeping us mobile all around North America.

-Jesse Anthony

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, with Confidence

 

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Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, with Confidence

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, with Confidence

by: Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (TIBCO)

 

I lined up next to my teammate, Samantha Schneider, and showed her my trembling hands. I don’t think this reassured her that our talk about racing with confidence had stayed in my head very long. I looked over and saw my coach, Ron Peterson, and Big Orange buddies Lauren and Greg. They seemed excited and confident that today would be a great race. Whistle, it’s go time. Clip in time, ugh, fail. I’ve been practicing, really, but not with nerves. Straight to the back. I smiled, relaxed, and found my way right back to the front, with confidence. Goal number one, find the front, complete.

 

Goal number two, stay in the top ten and maybe even be productive up there. Productive as in cover attacks and keep the pace high. Unless Sam was in a break, I didn’t want one to get more than a few seconds on the pack. It is amazing how much more fun a crit/circuit race is when you are expending energy to help a teammate rather than to chase back on after gapping yourself out from the last wheel over and over and over again as you fearfully slow through the corners. Corners are meant to be taken with confidence. As Joy McCulloch told me, “It’s all about becoming one with that machine and trusting yourself!” Every corner that I thought about grabbing my breaks I told myself, trust your bike, trust yourself, and each corner became a little less scary for me and the racer who was on my wheel. Another good friend, Chris Cook, told me “A bike is a lot easier to handle than a horse, bikes do not get skittish, stubborn, spook, get tired etc. You can absolutely be a great bike handler and being confident in that fact is the most important element in accomplishing this feat.” In the last week, I heard that word “confidence” from my teammate, coach, Michael Engleman, Joy, and so many others. And then, I tried it out. [Read more…]

Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery) muscles his way to victory at Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

This past weekend was the 51st Annual Manhattan Beach GP, the longest running one day race in America. On the eve of the event I discovered my rear race wheel was flat and had no time to fix it, but thankfully Mike Faello had a spare set of race wheels for me. All he had to do was slap on the cassette, but that did not go as planned, which left me with no time to warm up and forced me to race on my training wheels. They didn’t have the best tires on them but sometimes you have to push through the distractions.

 

While waiting for the start I looked around saw everyone lined up. Monster Media/MRI showed up in their new pink outfits, and were getting a ton of praise before the race even started over the loud speaker. That pissed me off and got me more amped to do work. I was like what the heck? There are other good riders here and our team has been winning very often but anyway, we like being the dark horse every week. [Read more…]

Cory Williams wins #MBGP

Before the race my brother and I came up with a plan. The plan was to sit back because we didn’t believe that any of the moves would stick. We wanted to save all of our energy for the end because most likely it was going to come down to a field sprint. As the race started, the attacks came and went but nothing looked promising, so we didn’t change our plan. At nine laps to go, I started to follow my brother CJ like we had planed. It wasn’t really difficult following him through the tiny wholes, except when he went extremely close to the barrier and a rider came right into me forcing me to run over the legs on the barriers. That didn’t stop me from focusing on winning. With one to go I told him to stay up front and be ready for the serge. Coming into the final corner we were right where we needed to be, in the front. Unexpectedly, someone attacked forcing me to abandon my lead out a little early causing me to start my sprint at 250 meters. I went into the U-turn too fast and I lost two positions because I had to use my brakes. When we finally straightened up I gave it all I had and ended up with the win.

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix by Hiro Fujita 7-8-12

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Manhattan Beach Grand Prix by Mpu Dinani 7-8-12 RD-3

Any item(s) to be shipped will be processed as soon as possible, any digital item(s) can be downloaded using the encrypted links below. All purchased photos will be delivered to your Paypal email address.
Resolution will be 800 pixel image sized from the long end (Same size as the watermarked image) The version you have received has a watermark. We will send you the un-watermarked version to your PayPal email with in 48 hours.
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Manhattan Beach Grand Prix by Mpu Dinani 7-8-12 RD-2

The Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix features nine races catering to all levels of USA Cycling (USAC) racers, as well as Cyclingillustrated.com as the main media outlet. Fan favorites include the kid’s races for children between the ages of two and 14, which begin at 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m.; the Women’s Pro Race at 11:15 a.m.; Men’s Category 2 Race at 1:10 p.m. and the Men’s Pro National Racing Calendar (NRC) race at 2:10 p.m. Riding either a bicycle or a tricycle, kids compete for various medals and each participant receives an official race number, t-shirt, medal, goodie bag and Chevron toy car. Adult cyclists take on the challenging course in an effort to win a portion of the $21,500 in prize money being awarded that day and one of the coveted Grand Prix winners’ jerseys.

Any item(s) to be shipped will be processed as soon as possible, any digital item(s) can be downloaded using the encrypted links below. All purchased photos will be delivered to your Paypal email address.
Resolution will be 800 pixel image sized from the long end (Same size as the watermarked image) The version you have received has a watermark. We will send you the un-watermarked version to your PayPal email with in 48 hours.
All photos ©Mpu Dinani for personal use only. For commercial use or prints, please contact: Cycling Illustrated

 

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Manhattan Beach Grand Prix by Mpu Dinani 7-8-12

The Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix features nine races catering to all levels of USA Cycling (USAC) racers, as well as Cyclingillustrated.com as the main media outlet. Fan favorites include the kid’s races for children between the ages of two and 14, which begin at 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m.; the Women’s Pro Race at 11:15 a.m.; Men’s Category 2 Race at 1:10 p.m. and the Men’s Pro National Racing Calendar (NRC) race at 2:10 p.m. Riding either a bicycle or a tricycle, kids compete for various medals and each participant receives an official race number, t-shirt, medal, goodie bag and Chevron toy car. Adult cyclists take on the challenging course in an effort to win a portion of the $21,500 in prize money being awarded that day and one of the coveted Grand Prix winners’ jerseys.

Any item(s) to be shipped will be processed as soon as possible, any digital item(s) can be downloaded using the encrypted links below. All purchased photos will be delivered to your Paypal email address.
Resolution will be 800 pixel image sized from the long end (Same size as the watermarked image) The version you have received has a watermark. We will send you the un-watermarked version to your PayPal email with in 48 hours.
All photos ©Mpu Dinani for personal use only. For commercial use or prints, please contact: Cycling Illustrated

 

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Manhattan Beach GP-Danny Munson

 

The Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix features nine races catering to all levels of USA Cycling (USAC) racers, as well as Cyclingillustrated.com as the main media outlet. Fan favorites include the kid’s races for children between the ages of two and 14, which begin at 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m.; the Women’s Pro Race at 11:15 a.m.; Men’s Category 2 Race at 1:10 p.m. and the Men’s Pro National Racing Calendar (NRC) race at 2:10 p.m. Riding either a bicycle or a tricycle, kids compete for various medals and each participant receives an official race number, t-shirt, medal, goodie bag and Chevron toy car. Adult cyclists take on the challenging course in an effort to win a portion of the $21,500 in prize money being awarded that day and one of the coveted Grand Prix winners’ jerseys.

Any item(s) to be shipped will be processed as soon as possible, any digital item(s) can be downloaded using the encrypted links below. All purchased photos will be delivered to your Paypal email address.
Resolution will be 800 pixel image sized from the long end (Same size as the watermarked image) The version you have received has a watermark. We will send you the un-watermarked version to your PayPal email with in 48 hours.
All photos ©Danny Munson for personal use only. For commercial use or prints, please contact: Cycling Illustrated

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