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.
As the race got under way the tension was high and there was very little talking and smiling going on, not to mention one rider punched another rider on the backside of the course. As usual Monster Media/MRI sent off a few attacks but with the pace being high and steady nothing was able to stick. My amazing teammates Tommy, Travis, Kyle, Mike, Robbie, and Slover were on everything and we functioned as one unit as we normally do week in and week out.
Going into the final laps Tommy asked me how I felt and reminded me to stay alert. He said, “We have 8 laps to go so pay attention.” I love this guy. He is always strong and ready for war. Still, I found myself sitting too far back. Mike came along my side and took me up toward the front after I yelled at him to do so. Sometimes you must push your teammates especially if they are as strong as him. He dropped me off perfect but the paced slowed and I lost a great position.
Within moments Slover appeared on the back side. I yell again for him to take me up and he began making his effort but it was not hard enough. I look at his gears and said to myself, ’this sucka is holding out on me!” So, I said, ‘Give me more,” and he dropped down a few gears and put the old school V8 to work. I slotted in sixth going into the final turn thinking it was a bad position for this course, but oh well, I had to play the hand I was dealt.
As the sprint started I was on the far left. The winning move from this course always comes from the inside and about third or maybe fourth wheel. I began to kick and kick picking off one guy at a time. Phil Tintsman (Monster Media/MRI) was going pretty good but I closed in on him. He was the last guy I had to catch to close the deal luckily. I have a V12 big block engine, which allowed me to reel him in before the line and take win number 11 for myself, and Surf City Cyclery/STERLING BMW team.
I would like to thank all the riders, sponsors, officials, photographers, fans, and vendors who make this event such a blast and fun for everyone.