by Phil Tintsman (MRI)
The Brentwood Grand Prix was on our radar lately as being a focus for the MRI Endurance P/B Monster Media Elite Masters race team. With a few of us heading to The Tour of Vietnam this week, Brentwood would be our last hard day before flying out. Coming off of some really good hard races like San Marcos criterium, we knew we were in a great position to manipulate the race in our favor. Brentwood is a great technical hard course, and our team is strong with everyone firing on all cylinders.
The race started fast and very quickly into the 2nd lap we started pushing the pace causing splits and eventually a break happened with 4 of us from the MRI Team and a good mix of others including 3 from SCC and current 35+ national road champion Rudy Napolitano. While we rotated early to establish the break, others were sitting on and it took us a good 5 laps to start really pulling away from the field. Once established while still driving the pace we had to start getting rid of those who were sitting on, including Charon Smith, so after I made my pull at the front I made sure to go all the way to the back behind Charon and my teammate Randall dropped in front of him after his pull and proceeded to pull him off the back. As this was going on, I attacked to get back to the front leaving Randall and Charon. Just at that moment Chris Demarchi and Michael Johnson (both teammates of mine) touched wheels while simultaneously shooting to the front to drive the pace. Chris got the short end of that stick, hitting the ground sliding on his ass as I was staring at and narrowly avoiding him at 30 mph. In the process of him crashing, it also took John Wike to a stop. Fortunately, Chris took his free lap. Choosing not to, or not realizing he was entitled to a free lap, was John Wike, who tried chasing but along with Randall and Charon would be brought back by the field.
The race proceeded with the breakaway containing 5 riders (me, Chris Demarchi, Michael Johnson, and Rudy Napolitano and Patrick Bos) who were all working to make sure we stayed away. With the MRI team controlling the field, we had built a small but comfortable lead going into the last 5 laps. Chris was taking big digs at the front and I knew the biggest threat of the group would be Rudy, who is always strong, but we had to keep an eye on Patrick. We didn’t have enough of a lead to start really screwing around, so a few small attacks were shooting off with nothing really sticking leaving us all together on the last lap. Chris lead it out with Rudy jumping early into the sprint and with me on his wheel. I jumped with MJ on my wheel claiming the top two spots of the podium.
Overall, the MRI Endurance Team did an amazing job all of the way around from in the break to in the field accomplishing our goal of coming away with a victory. Now onto the Tour of Vietnam with me, Chris Demarchi, Ivan Dominguez, Karl Bordine, and Sang Vu. Please follow us on each of our Facebook accounts for up to date results and news from overseas. It is going to be an awesome experience!