Murietta, CA. Brett Clare works hard, trains hard, and plays hard. But
when it comes to cancer survivors, he's understandably got a soft spot.
“I’m dedicating this win to my Dad,” Brett beamed, moments
after winning the Tour of Murietta Criterium. “I know it sounds
cliché but I wish my Dad could’ve been here to see it.”
Brett races for Breakaway from Cancer, the masters bicycling team co-sponsored by the
Pacific Meso Center
, a non-profit dedicated to converting fatal asbestos-caused lung cancer
into a chronic and survivable diseases.
Breakaway from Cancer isan initiative of the biotech giant Amgen, Inc., which applauds PMC's
clinical interest in
immunotherapy. Three members of the BFC team have lost their Dads to
Gene Otto Clare, a former US Marine and journeyman ironworker , passed away from asbestos
lung cancer in 1995. “Dad died almost 17 years ago to the day,”
said Brett, who speaks of his Dad as if he was still very much alive.
“He took care of himself. He was an Eagle Scout. He played football.
Enjoyed sports of all kinds. If it wasn't for working around asbestos
for 30 years, he’d be alive today.”
This is Brett’s first year on the BfC team. “When the team
offered me a spot,” said Brett, “I jumped on it. I’ve
seen what cancer can do to even the strongest among us. I’ve always
wanted to be part of the solution to this cruel disease. Racing bikes
has been fun, but I’ve never had an emotional connection to a sponsor
like I have for Breakaway from Cancer and the Pacific Meso Center. I believe
in what they do and it helps motivate me to go a little bit harder.”
Going hard is Brett’s trademark. In the criterium, after his teammate
and former Olympian Thurlow Rogers shattered the 100 man field after setting
a blistering pace, Brett attacked with two other adversaries. The threesome
stayed away despite a relentless chase by the field.
“Some days you just know you’ve got that little something special,”
said Brett. “My legs felt strong, my lungs were relaxed, and I had
this sort of zen tranquility as I approached the final turn at warp speed.
I felt lucky. Lucky to have the chance to race for cancer survivors…
and my Dad...and win."
Luck, skill, dedication and teamwork all came together for Breakaway from
Cancer, as the team dominated the three day stage race. Thurlow Rogers
won the overall, while Brett took second, and teammate Steve Strickler
scratched and clawed himself to fourth place. Well done Gents!