It’s been said many times that one of the unique things in GNCC Racing, is the fact that it’s truly for everyone. Among those classes is that of the Senior B class. In 2012, Brian Villanueva put in a solid season to take home the class title. We caught up with Brian to hear about his 2012 season and more!
GNCCRacing.com: How's everything going today?
Brian Villanueva: I'm great, thanks, especially since we've just made it up to Ski BeechÃ in North Carolina.Ã
That sounds like fun! For those who may not know you, tell everyone a little about yourself. Ã
Well, my name is Brian Villanueva. Ã I'm 41 and married to my high school sweetheart April Davis. We have two girls, Brianna and Sofia who are 9 and 4, respectively. Ã I graduated from College in 1994 and spent almost 5 years active duty in the Navy with 5 years inactive before going to medical school. Ã
Medical school? So what do you do for your regular job? Ã
I'm a general surgeon. Ã I've been trained to operate on a variety of systems which range from skin cancers, hernias, gallbladders, thoracic issues, as well as colon cancer and bowel obstructions, and more. Ã I take care of just about anything that comes my way except forÃ broken bones, brain injuries, and heart issues.
Impressive! So what have you been up to over the winter break? Ã
I've beenÃ recovering from a thumb injuryÃ that I sustained at the Ironman race. Ã I'm just about 100% now. Ã Otherwise, just cutting on people! Just kidding! I love my job. Ã I love being able to fix people and knowing that someone trusts me with their life or their loved ones life is a great feeling.Ã
Are you ready to get back to racing?
Yes and no. I dread getting my butt spanked in the 40 A class (laughs) I think I'm going to race the Trail Rider class this year. I doubt anyone will notice as long as I ride under a different name! (laughs)
I don’t know, sometimes it easy to spot someone who’s in the wrong class! What kind of training and riding do you do during the winter? Ã
Well, nothing special. Ã I run, perform calisthenics, etc... Similar to what we did in the military. Ã I'll try get back into some triathlons later this year. I've been promising a friend of mine I would get backÃ into that sport.
So you had a pretty good 2012 season, tell us how that went. Ã
I had a great year! Ã It really took me be surprise. Ã I had a terrible start in Georgia when I got stuck in a mud hole on the third lap, I think. Ã It took three of us to pull me out. Ã Finished 16th I think, but I was doing well prior to that. Ã From there I just started riding smarter and more relaxed which got me 4 wins and several 2nd's. Ã I screwed up at Ironman when I turned over in the creek passing someone and I tore my medial collateral ligament in my right thumb. Ã That happened on the secondÃ lap and made the remaining race just miserable. But oh well, that's part of riding. I taped up my hand and rode Loretta's getting second. [Jeff] Smith is lucky I was having to ride gimped up or I'd whipped his little butt! (laughs)
How did it feel to end up with the class championship?
It feels great. Almost as good as finishing surgery residency. But not quite that good. You can't describe how much residency sucks until you live it for five years!
Yeah, I’ve watched Scrubs before, so I know how hard it is. Just kidding! Did you expect to win the championship heading into the season? Ã
I did not, nor did my good buddies Scott Skinner or Michael Lauth. Ã All I heard was how tough the B class was going to be and they would say "welcome to the real world!”Ã . Look who's laughing now! Just kidding.
What was the biggest highlight of the season for you?
Winning The Mammoth in Kentucky. That race was great!
How was the competition in the Senior B class? Ã
Pretty tough, except for that goon Devin Ferguson. (laughs) Just teasing! Ã
Sounds like you Senior B guys have a good camaraderie among yourselves but do any of the younger crowd give you guys a hard time for being the more "seasoned" group of riders in the Afternoon race? Yeah, we all like to joke around with each other and have fun. As for the younger guys, they don’t really have any jabs at us. Ã
So what are your plans for 2013?
Race some GNCC's and some National Enduro’s.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?
I just want to be in the top five in my class. Stay healthy and maybe get my youngest girl interested. My oldest is a diva and is into competitive cheerleading. I spend a fair amount of time at those events and man does it suck.Ã Although there are some hot moms running around. Ouch! I'veÃ just been assaulted by my wife! She's pretty hot too though and I love her more than anything, except maybe my girls.
(laughs) Yeah, better be careful there. It’s been great chatting with you Brian but before we wrap this up, who would you like to thank? Ã
Let me first thank my wonderful wife and children for allowing me to ride and race without much grief. Ã Next I'd like to thank my best friends Michael Lauth and Scott Skinner. They put up with a lot ofÃ joking by me and coming from the military, I can be pretty rough. Mike is always ready to ride with me and IÃ have to sayÃ that I love him like brother. Ã Although he can be kind of a candy butt at times! (laughs) Scotty is the reason I started racing about three years ago and he’s also my other brother whom I love.Ã I'd give them the shirt off my back if needed. Alright, enough of the emotional crap! I have to thank Tim Stephenson, Allen Carter, Mark Patterson (what a goon), Devin Ferguson (a bigger goon), and Jason West for riding and pushing meÃ to be a better rider and person. Ã Oh yeah, I need to thank Gary Gallison! Thanks for the interview and I'll be seeing you guys soon at the Cherokee Enduro and then The General. Feel free to ask for any medical advice if needed. Ã Adios Amigos! Ã