Colorado Bike Expo – Friday Night Lights STREET SPRINTS! Everything you need to know…

From Lance Panigutti

Primal Colorado Bike Expo Street Sprints – What are they all about, how will the event unfold, what can be expected, and who’s favored – all questions everyone is dying to find the answers to.

What are they all about and can anyone join in the fun? The most simple explanation is these street sprints are a format that combines a March Madness elimination format with a Fast & Furious race course on bicycles.  Yes, anyone can join in the fun and the beginner categories are designated with a Cat 5 rating for men and Cat 5 rating for women.  For new racers who do not hold an annual USA Cycling racing license a one-day license can be purchased for $10.  Please note this event is pre-registration ONLY!

What can be expected?  We’ve received a handful of questions on whether the start will be a clipped-in format (volunteer holding your seat) or a one foot on the ground format.  The truth is we haven’t decided as both have there pro’s and con’s.  Sometimes volunteers can hold too tightly and we don’t want your race outcome being decided by a volunteer, so we’re leaning towards a foot on the ground start.  Each heat will have 8 men or women (depending on the total registration), you’ll hear the whistle (no false starting), sprint for 250 meters, and the top 50% of the athletes in your heat will advance to the next round.  For example, if your category maxes out at 64 athletes, then we’ll have 8 heats of 8 riders – top 32 advance, then 4 heats of 8 riders – top 16 advance, then 2 heats of 8 riders – top 8 advance – then a final championship heat!

Top 5 tips for the sprint
1) Strategy – It’s a chess match, if your field of 64 riders hits capacity you’ll be racing 3 elimination rounds before entering the championship heat, so you don’t want to burn all your matches early on.  However, you also don’t want to hold back and risk elimination.  Make sure you advance, but also if you’re favored be sure to hold something special back for that final heat!
2) Warm-up – a super sprint requires an extra long warm-up and making sure between heats that those muscles stay loose.  Feedback Sports will be on hand with eight Omnium trainers at the starting line to make sure you have quick and easy access to the best trainer possible.
3) Have fun – you might dress cool like Mario Cippolini, but let’s be serious you’re not Mario and this isn’t the Tour de France.  We’re out here to enjoy ourselves in a brand new format that’s about speed, team bonding, and a spectator friendly format.  If you get eliminated there’s no screaming or crying in a corner allowed.  Yes, 40 plus masters men this is directed to all of you – have fun, don’t cry!  If you intentionally swerve, throw an elbow, and try to take out another rider you’re DONE!  No rebuttal or review – your weekend of racing is over.
4) Regroup – you sprinted, you placed 3rd or 4th to advance to the next heat.  Please be sure to head back to the start line as we re-seed you for the next round.  If there’s a close call and we have to review the tape our officials/timing crew make the final call and alert the riders at the start line.
5) Team support – what makes this event special is the ability to cheer on your teammates.  Arrive early to get a sense of how things are flowing and stay late to cheer on your friends.  Let’s crank up the energy and make every race feel like the championship round!

Who’s favored? The sprinter with a burst of acceleration? The mountain biker with that snappy first crank? The cyclocross racer not afraid of tight sprints? Or the time-trial specialist with good closing speed?  We’ll find out Friday night under the lights on May 19th.

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