Athlete Spotlight: Brent Turner of the Cantu Cycling Wheels CX Team

This week we talk with our cyclocross teammate, Brent Turner (BT), a true all season racer in the Texas Bike Racing scene. With Cyclocross Nationals in sight this coming January, he continues to dominate the Master's 40+ 1/2/3 races, plus race a second race with the Men's P123. That's four races in one weekend also known as the BT Special. The results speak for themselves. This season you can find him on the weekends crushing a cyclocross course on his Cantu Wheels (look for the red helmet). 

Brent Turner
Teams: 
Cantu Cycling Wheels (CX), Bike Barn (Road)
Racing Age:  45
Category:  1 Cyclocross, 1 Road
Residence:  Beaumont, Texas
Years of Racing:  30
Race Wheels:  Cantu CX Disc Brake Series (CX), Cantu Rebels (Gravel)

Cantu Wheels [CW]:  Take us back to your childhood, where you grew up, and athletic background.

Brent Turner [BT]:  Well, I grew up in Inez, Texas. Needless to say it was in the country. So hunting, fishing, and messing with horses and livestock was a part of daily life.  I went to a small school where all the boys played football, so I did too.  Eventually, I moved away Victoria and Levelland, continued playing football.  At some point the team was in trouble for some prank or something someone did and the coaches had us running as punishment. I decided that day, that was my last year to play football.  Besides, I was only 110 lbs in high school.

CW:  What inspired you to start bike racing?

BT:  About the time I decided to quit playing high school football, my mom saw in the Lubbock newspaper that there was a century (100 Mile) ride coming up in 2 weeks on September 8, 1988.  So the weekend before we drug out two old Raleigh bikes and went for a 40 mile ride.  I thought I was going to die.  I didn’t touch the bike all the following week.  The day of the century we showed up and started the ride.  I did 85 miles of the 100 miles and my mom did the whole thing.  A couple months later I did my first race.  It was a stage race.  I knew nothing about racing, but I survived.  I even won the TT for the juniors.  LOL

CW:  Any favorite pastimes and hobbies outside of cycling?  

BT:  Well, I like staying busy, so other hobbies include working on things, mowing the yard, or something along those lines.  Keeping up bike maintenance is thrown in there too.  In the past I did a lot of off-roading in Jeeps and buggies. I also play some on the guitar and dabbled in golf.

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CW:  What do you enjoy most about the Texas bike racing scene?

BT:  I like the Texas classic road races.  Lago and Pace Bend to be on top of that list.

CW:  Favorite cycling discipline(s) and why?  

BT:  My favorite discipline hands down is cross. This discipline has grown so much over the years.  I looked back to the 90’s when there was only handful of races to what it is today. Today, there is non stop racing every weekend for 3-4 month in the fall.  Each race is normally friendly for spectators and supporting your team and others.  The camaraderie at a weekend is great.  I have met so many friends through cross, and I look forward to seeing them the following weekend.  

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CW:  Can you give us a recap of one of your most memorable races?  

BT:  Couple years back I was in a four man break with one teammate.  We came to a four up sprint and everyone was watching my teammate when I launched my sprint for the line.  I clearly won the sprint.  When I came to a stop I noticed I had won the sprint on a front flat. 

2017 Training camp with bike barn

2017 Training camp with bike barn

CW:  Top 3 favorite races on the TXBRA calendar?

BT:  Only three, that is tough.  1) Lago Vista 2) Pace Bend 3) Georgetown Cross Race

CW:  How do you stay motivated throughout the year?  

BT:  I change up my disciplines to keep myself motivated.  If I start to get tired of training, I go race, and get re-energized.  Throw in some running and going to ride different terrains.

2016 Men's Open Texas Gravel State Championship

2016 Men's Open Texas Gravel State Championship

CW:  What has been the highlight of this year so far?  

BT:  I would say winning the Houston Grand this year was a nice highlight for the year.  I also managed to win my first cyclocross race this year, thanks to some help of John Wilmeth.  Since then I went on to win four more.

Taking the top step at the 2017 Houston Grand Crit.

Taking the top step at the 2017 Houston Grand Crit.

CW:  Best bike setup you've ever ridden?

BT:  I have ridden a bunch of bikes over thirty years of racing.  My favorite road bike is my Trek Emonda SLR10.  For cross it the Trek Boone.

CW:  What events or races are you most looking forward to in 2018?  

BT:  Cross Nats in Reno, plus a few of my local state favorites coming up in the next 6 months.  Looking forward to doing some gravel grinding too in 2018.

CW:  One piece of advice you would give to an up and coming cyclist?  

BT:  Be patient and stick with it.  It takes time to build up. 

Getting the win in the Masters 40+ at the 2017 Georgetown cx festival.

Getting the win in the Masters 40+ at the 2017 Georgetown cx festival.

CW:  Do you have any fun pre-race rituals?  

BT:  Not really.  I just like to get to races early enough to relax some before go time.

CW:  Favorite pre or post race meal/beverage?

BT:  Pre is normally waffle, eggs, yogurt and coffee.  Post is normally whatever I can find mixed with a beer.

CW:  What is something “If you would’ve known then what you know now?”  

BT:  I think I might have gotten a coach sooner in life to help balance my training in the early years.  I did a lot of over training that left me tired early on and or unprepared for what I was about to do.

CW:  If you weren't bike racing what would you be doing?

BT:  I would probably go back to doing some trail running.

Getting ready for the off camber descents of mt. krumpit at the 2017 UCI Jingle Cross cyclocross festival in iowa city.

Getting ready for the off camber descents of mt. krumpit at the 2017 UCI Jingle Cross cyclocross festival in iowa city.

CW:  Favorite songs or playlist to listen to while training or warming up?

BT:  Normally, it is some old country. 

CW:  When you think of a happy place, where is that?  

BT:  Out on a road ride, the sun is out, pace is comfortable, and the temperature is spot on.  Perfect.