Front Range Mountain Bike Racing Covered by 303Cycling

*** UPDATED 3-22-2010 RACE FLYER ***

Something new is coming to the ACA this year. A mountain bike series in the Front Range of Colorado. The series is being put on by Race Pace Promotions and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. The series consist of six races beginning on April 3rd. We recently asked Erik Werner from Race Pace Promotions about the races.

[303Cycling] Do you know the format of each of the races (i.e. circuit vs. short track)?
[Race Pace Promotions] All races will be twice the length (time-wise) of the short track events. So the Men's A race will be 60min vs. the 30min for short-track. Course lengths will be dependent on the venue; Bear Creek will certainly be one of the longer courses, and we’ve got additional track planned for the Louisville and NAAC venues as well.

[303Cycling] Do you consider this a “true series”?
[Race Pace Promotions] We certainly want to make this a true series. Right now the main problem we're dealing with is that the series spans 3 months. That is a recipe for sandbagging. Sandbaggers suck. Everybody loves a good series, and most folks will happily upgrade when they get the chance, but there are always the select few that just love to stomp the lower cat and gag at the thought of having to work for it in the next class up. If the series were spread over a month it would be easier to deal with, but that 3 month block makes it interesting. However, we gave the series that 3 month spread for a reason – almost every FRMTB race is scheduled the weekend before an MSC or Winter Park event so racers can get out there on the cheap and test themselves before the bigger events. But back to the ‘series’ nature of it, yeah, we definitely want It to be a true series. Racers will get points and we’ll track it all on our site, and we plan on having series prizes at the end – but again, we’re still working out the details per category and how to deal with the sandbaggers.

[303Cycling] I saw there were going to be quite a few categories. What are they?
[Race Pace Promotions] Categories are self-seed, but generally follow the USAC mountain bike Cat 1,2,3 system (expert/sport/beginner for the Winter Park racers). The cats that we’re running are:
Men's A
Men's B
Men's C
Women's A
Women's B
Juniors (might break it up boys/girls)
Newbie (combined)

[303Cycling]I see from your twitter stream ( you really dislike sandbaggers (who doesn’t). What will be the criteria for moving people up a category?
[Race Pace Promotions] We're still working on a set of criteria for bumping people up a category. Any ideas? How about the idea of a group voting method? "Everybody who thinks Bob needs to move up a Cat raise your hand." That would be classic, "well, you just got voted off the island, Bob... have fun with the A's." The only sandbagger 'rule' we've come up with so far is the Sandbag of Shame. It's literally a sandbag, albeit a small one, with the word "SHAME" written on it - and if a rider is clearly decimating the competition in one of the B or C cats, we'll stop him or her, give them the sandbag, and they'll have to finish the race with it. We'll likely put backpack straps on it or something to make it easier to ride with.

Seriously though, we want this to be a super fun race series for everybody involved, so we hope people can judge for themselves if they truly belong in a higher cat. Maybe we'll throw it out to the Facebook and Twitter crowd to provide suggestions for upgrade criteria. (

[303Cycling] I saw you had an online survey
( Are you still looking for more feedback? What have you learned from the survey?

[Race Pace Promotions] Feedback has died down at this point, but we succeeded in getting over 100 responses, which is pretty good considering the survey was sent out casually via Twitter and Facebook.

The main reason for putting the survey out there was to see what race licenses people have so we can in turn make the series as accommodating as possible to as many racers as possible. What we learned is that 35% of respondents have both USAC and ACA licenses, 26% have USAC only, an equal 26% have ACA only, and 13% have no license. Most of the folks that replied listed themselves as A racers, so the results were a bit skewed, but overall it was really valuable for us to the breakdown of licenses.

[303Cycling] Anything else you want to let us know about the series?
[Race Pace Promotions] The series is really coming along great. Sponsorships are starting to gel, as are volunteers, and other logistics. We received a LOT of positive feedback from people leaving comments at the end of the survey as well as emails through our website. The support is definitely out there, which is great!

We just want to get the word out there that the Front Range MTB Series is a local, grassroots series for mountain bikers to get their elbow-to-elbow racing fix in the springtime. Use the series as a go-to event, as a tune-up for bigger races, or for newbies as their first shot at mtb racing. We think the circuit format of the events will be a novel way for mtn bikers to race. Compared to a typical cross country race it’ll be shorter and at a lower level of technical difficulty, sure, but on the flipside there won’t be any downhills to recover on and regroup – meaning racers will be mashing the pedals all-out the entire time. Which naturally brings it into the short track sort of nature, but instead of 25-30min, racers will have to keep it going for up to an hour, and on a longer course. These races are going to be an LT taxing blast! ... and a perfect way to get high intensity race miles in your legs. All for just 25 bucks and a 25 minute drive.

News Item: 


Single Speed

If you all could add a single speed cat, it would be greatly ppreciated. Why? Because coming in last in the C's looks worse than coming in last in SS. E.g. 50th vs. 15th respectively. You could run us with the smallest group and just write "SS" in red marker next to our numbers so you can keep track.

I love the sand bagger of shame idea. Nice touch. Maybe Colin at would give you some ideas on identifying and shaming sand baggers.

It should be noted that the promoters of this race are great communicators. I emailed them a few questions and got back paragraphs of responses from two people within 24 hours. Not bad considering some promoters (won't name names) either don't respond or it takes a week. Also, sending out a survey before the series shows great foresight. duh!

I do have the race information

Sorry everyone, the promotor has given me the race information but I have yet to put it up in our calendar... I will do that in the next 24 hours.. but until then here is a cut and paste job...

2010 Carmichael Training Systems Summer of Cycling

Sand Creek Sports, Inc.

January 15, 2010

Ascent Cycling Series (MTB)

Saturday, May 22
Palmer Park

Wednesdays, June 2 & 9
Bear Creek Terrace

Saturday, June 19
Bear Creek Terrace
Alison Dunlap Junior Mountain Bike Series Race
Final Ascent Cycling Series Awards at Carmichael Training Systems after the race

Carmichael Training Systems International Classic (MTB)
July 9-11
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
UCI C2 Stage Race: $10,000 cash Prize List
Stage Race for All Other Classes/Categories
USA Cycling Pro XCT Series Final
World Championship Selection Race
2012 Olympic Team Qualification Race
Final National Championship Qualification Race
USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Calendar Race
Alison Dunlap Junior Mountain Bike Series

Rocky Mountain State Games -Falcon 100km (MTB)
Sunday, August 1
Air Force Academy, Falcon Trail
One or two laps with the five lap Falcon 100 KM option

Pro Cycling Colorado Senior Road Championships
Sunday, August 15
Air Force Academy
(Closed road course w/Start/Finish at Falcon Stadium)

Front Range mtn biking, and SS category

Hey, my name is Erik and I'm putting on the FRMTB Series. Don't know what the flame war above is all about, but it's a drag that it had to go that direction on the very first post after the article.

Yeah, we are the new mtb series on the block - you can see that as a good thing or a bad thing. I see it as good. We started the series because a group of us were sitting around wishing there were some mtb races in the springtime. We didn't even consider the races in the Springs because they're just too far for us. That's not a dig on the sandcreek series, it's just a reality - for that type of race I'm not willing to drive almost 2hrs each way. If you live down near the Springs, perfect, you have a race in your backyard. But up here in the north metro and Boulder area, we didn't really have one in our backyards, so we looked at putting a couple on. One of us had startup experience, one had race director experience.... that's how the series came about.

As the new kid, we expect to take flak from existing race promoters - I mean it's a threat to their market share. And when those folks had a monopoly to begin with, well then it must really blow to have someone new come in and put on a new race series. The Front Range cycling community sure comes out ahead though. And don't think there's some giant pot of gold motivating us to do this.... check out Chris Grealish's post here on 303Cycling about what goes into promoting a bike race and what little is left over ( It's an interesting read - and don't forget that the 'profit' at the end doesn't take into account the hours we spend working on this endeavor.

The FRMTB Series is for people to come out and get their race on, pure and simple. Take the start line for a race or three and be your own judge if having a new race series here is a good idea. I'll be in the main tent area every race and welcome your feedback and suggestions.

As for you single speeders, I am seriously impressed with how much campaigning you guys and gals have done to get us to add an SS category. I will give it some serious thought this weekend and see if we can squeeze you all into our schedule (or if we can juggle our schedule to MAKE it work). It makes judging a bit harder for shorter courses, but I'll look into that as well. Just know that if we add a cat for you 1x1 addicts you better put on some sick elbow-to-elbow racing. Nobody wants to see 4 single speeders spinning it out with 50sec gaps between each of you. Nope, elbow-to-elbow, that's what it's about..... but from the sounds of all the campaigning, you SS'ers know how to bring it.

Enough out of me for today. If anyone has questions, shoot us an email from our website contact page, and don't forget to include your email address if you want us to get back to you.

Ride safe.