Sprint & Out?

At Casey's suggestion, I am considering trying a different format for the upcoming Napa Downtown and Riverfront Gran Prix on June 21.

Casey suggested adopting a "Sprint & Out" format from the track. The prizes go to the winners of each of the final laps. In other words, if there are six prize placings, the winner of the 6-to-go sprint gets 6th place, etc..., all the way to the final winner. Once you win a prize sprint your race is over.

The course is highly technical and short -- truly a Gran Prix -- with five turns including a small roundabout emptying into a wide, quick sprint finish. So a track format might suit the tactical course.

What immediately comes to mind is that solo breakaways can expect no better than sixth, so the pack could let one or two racers go without risking the victory.

There is a certain gambling aspect to it that makes it irresistably tactical.

Another obvious consequence is that we would not be able to split fields.

And needless to say, the final laps of every race are going to be blazing!!! Which would make the race nice and strung-out.

Anyway, while there's still time for commentary, we wanted to open it for discussion. It's the first "Cycling Circus" race ever, and we'd like to make it most memorable.

(And of course if the format has flaws, we can always blame Casey.)

By the way, the City of Napa is joining us to make this a party, Burlingame-style. We'll have vendors and a live band playing alongside the downtown course. There's a big new park, a brewery, several restaurants with patios, a coffee roasting cafe and a pro bike shop, all alongside or within a block of the course. So bring the family and prepare to stay a while!! It's Napa!!

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