In the photo: Michael Kurnik
Written by Michael.
Alex Jonas and I made the trek in to the central valley on Mother’s Day to race the 7th Regalado Road Race. Having kept an eye on pre-registration all week, we both knew it was going to be a small field and a good chance to grab some points. Eventually 9 cat 4s turned up to race and the decision was made to combine P-1-2-3-4 fields for a total of 14 racers.
The course is consisted of a series of right hand turns on country roads, a mile of dirt with a few more right handers, rollers on the back section with an uphill sprint and one gigantic, bloated dead cow on the side of the road.
A break of 2 cat 4 riders went up the road halfway through the first lap and the bunch surged and stalled repeatedly, before settling down and finding paceline rhythm. Unfortunately for Alex, a flat tire in the first section of gravel put an end to his race.
The next hour was fairly uneventful but then the pace ratcheted up in the hill lap and the break was reeled in with approximately 2/3 of a lap to go. The cat 4 field had been reduced to 5 riders by the end of the last gravel section due to a series of flats and the other grades moved to the back to let us contest the finish. We spread across the road and I took advantage of being furthest from the cross-headwind. I went first in the sprint from the 200m to go sign, put my head down and just pushed as hard as possible. I ended up with a few lengths on the field by the finish line... need to work on my celebration though!
Overall, it was a really fun, tough course and I hope there’s a bigger field next year. Got to love those dead central valley roads.