Yesterday I worked the Napa River Velo Gran Prix as a race official. The race consisted of a tight .4 mile "L" shaped course, excellent pavement, one 180 degree turnabout (cut off the head of the crazy "P").
For all the races (except the pro race, who used standard win-and out) a "reverse win-and-out" format was used to score the top 5 places. So with 5 laps to go, everybody was racing for 5th place, then with 4 to go, everybody was racing for 4th place... and so on until the last lap where the race was on for 1st.
With the pros it was the opposite. With 5 laps to go everybody was racing for 1st place, with 4 to go they were racing for 2nd.... and so fourth. With one lap to go 5th place as up for grabs.
I gotta say, having never seen it done before, I wasn't sure about this format. After having been there, I'm sold. It made for really fun, interesting, really tactical team racing that was full of potential scenarios... especially since there were lots of primes with high value prizes. This was a day for tacticians, track racers, pursuiters, sprinters, triathletes and climbers alike... all because they had a strategy. And it was really fun to watch.
Anybody who likes racing events on the track I think would love this race. Excellent pavement, short course and 40-60 minute events. It was truely about who had the legs AND could play track event racing the best. Really a fun day of racing.
And I have to congratulate Jess Raphael, the City of Napa (very cool little downtown) and all the race promoters, organizers and volunteers. It was really well run. Great value prime prizes and good cash for the top 5's in each race.
Taleo Racing Masters Cat3
Captain, Taleo Racing 4/5â€™s
USAC Race Official # 205213
3483 Moraga Blvd
Lafayette, CA 94549