The King’s Way

14 May

“Drumul Regelui” or the King’s way in English is a point-to-point race in Arad County, about 250km away from Cluj. We can not call it a marathon because it has only 42.5km, 18 of them being on tarmac.

As I was sick for the past 5 weeks, more or less, I tried to keep my fitness level as high as possible. But it wasn’t easy. The weather was also a bad factor so I had to adapt.

Feeling a bit better and having the will to test my legs I left last Saturday with Cipri Pop to “Drumul Regelui” even though the days prior to the race weren’t good: lots and lots of rain. Prepared everything and before 6 A.M. we were out of Cluj.

Once arrived in Petris, we got our racing numbers, prepared and started the warm up. The start was pretty hectic because of “rookie” who insisted to be in the front row. The peloton stretched during the first 9km of tarmac. It was also a good continuation of the warm-up. But then the chaos started. Lot’s of potholes with water, having no clue how deep they are. I’ve made a few mistakes that made me loose the front group. Once I’ve arrived on the crest top things started to go better, but it wasn’t enough.

On the last descend it was once again a lot of water from the previous days rain. The set-up was as good a possible for the conditions with Schwalbe Racing Ray / Racing Ralph tires with PTN inserts and a 1.18/1.25 bars pressure. Pushing hard made me get out of the track about four or five times, loosing even more time. Then once again another 9km of tarmac.

Ended 5th, about 3 minutes behind of the podium after just a bit over 2h of racing.

So I would recommend the organizers to solve somehow that tarmac witch is almost 50% of the course and then for the faster/more experienced riders, to assure them a place in the first 2-3 rows, in order to avoid these situations again.

I can’t say that I am happy with the result or with how I rode, but you know: sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. It was a good test for the upcoming races. Many thanks to everyone who supported me, especially my family and sponsors.

Cheers, Vlad.

Foto credits: Antonio Gandore, Adina Diana, Radu Rusu

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