Coaches News August 2014 TOPICS ▪ Coach Discounts - Reminder▪ Race #4 Course Change▪ Category Placements▪ Team Divisions▪ Deadlines for Race #1

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Coaches News August 2014

varsityboys jail start DH

Race #2: Jail Trail 2013 | Varsity Boys


Coach Discounts - Reminder
Race #4 Course Change
Category Placements
Team Divisions
Deadlines for Race #1
Scholarship Program
Race Ready to Ride?
Passing on the Trail
Send Updates
Race Schedule


Discounts for Coaches and Student-Athletes

In appreciation for all that you do, and thanks to the generosity of NICA sponsors, we are able to offer these discounts to licensed MN League coaches and MN League student-athletes. Discounts include Specialized, Cannondale and Trek bicycles.

Benefits Page

Race #4 Course Change

Due to unprecedented MN League growth, the MN League has decided to move the Duluth race to Mt. Kato, in Mankato, MN. During our latest course check last week, it was apparent with the increase in ridership, the slated venue in Duluth will not meet the league’s needs.

Our number one goal is to provide a safe venue and racecourse. The MN League is working with various groups in Duluth, including the Duluth team, to help develop a venue for future seasons. The Minnesota High School Cycling League is a state wide organization and we are committed to holding races from border-to-border.

Mt. Kato will replace Duluth on the calendar. We will be using the standard course (not the varsity lap) from last season at Mt. Kato.

Questions, please contact Josh Kleve.

girls whitetail

Washburn and Mpls Girls started their podiums this summer at MN MTB Series Race.


Category Placements have been posted on the NICA website. Josh and Bruce were contacting all coaches directly to alert them of any category changes.

For questions about the category upgrades, please reference rule 3.7 (page 11) of the NICA rule book.


NICA - Posted Category Placements

All athletes are allowed to submit a petition to move up or down in category. The petition must be completed and signed by the athlete, coach and parent before being submitted to MN League Director, Josh Kleve.

Deadline for Race #1 Petitions:
Thurs Aug. 28 10:00pm.


With the introduction of middle school athletes, a reminder, middle-schoolers may petition to race in the Freshman – Varsity classes. These will only be granted for student-athletes with past racing experience, and their results should be supplied as part of the petition process.


Not sure what division you are in? Quick breakdown of the MN League division structures.


Each MN League registered team has been set in the Pit Zone with their division based on the anticipated size of your team. If your division is incorrect, please contact Josh Kleve ( to have it corrected.


JV Boys Start - Salem Hills 2013


Salem Hills, Race #1 is almost here. Team practices are in full swing and the excitement is building for the 2014 season.

As our MN League grows, the MN League staff is working to support this growing field of student-athletes, coaches, parents and volunteers.

Want to eliminate some tension on race day weekend?

Register Online before the race weekend!

Deadlines for Race #1:

-- ONLINE PITZONE CLOSING: Pitzone will officially be closing for Race #1 on Tues. Sept. 2, 2014 at midnight. Please take the time to remind your kids and parents to get their forms submitted and fees paid. Go to Pitzone and review your team - who is Race Ready?

-- MAILING IN FORMS: After Thurs. Aug. 21, 2014, please do not mail in forms or waivers to the California office. Submit them directly to or fax to: 510-779-5597.

These deadlines will be posted the week of Aug 11 to the website.

NICA booster


We are committed to making our events (races, camps, and classes) accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.


If awarded a scholarship, you or your student-athlete should be prepared to write a letter explaining how the scholarship benefited all involved. Identity will be kept confidential at your request.

Scholarship Agreement
With the generous sponsorship from the NICA Booster Fund, we are able to provide these scholarship funds.

Application Deadline: Aug. 31, 2014


Nicole JV 205

Race #2: Jail Trail 2013 | JV Rider #211 Nicole


Summer is winding down. Record participants enjoyed the Thursday night race series at Buck Hill (thanks to League sponsor Penn Cycle!) and the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series is red hot, with the five events in the books.

As you are trying to slide practices in between vacations and working around summer activities, your athletes are likely advancing and chomping at the bit for race advice and guidance. Providing resources through references to literature and websites can be a useful tool.

Though I have raced for over a decade now, I still reference recommendations from the pro’s on race day prep. One of the most beneficial pre-race summaries I have found came from an article in a magazine posted by Specialized Factory Racing pro Todd Wells. My moto since implementing this basic, yet fundamental instruction has been: “If it can work for Wells, it can work for me too!”

Set Your Goals Early:
Are you going for the experience, or do you want to crush the field? “If you’re just hoping for a normal first race, jump in there and see how it goes,” Wells says. “If you have ambitions of crushing the field, you need to do a lot more prep work.” How? We’re talking intense training rides in the weeks (or months) leading up to the event, including interval rides and longer marathon sessions sprinkled throughout each week.

Don’t Overeat:
Wells says a racer wins on his stomach—and getting your stomach dialed for race day is one of the most-challenging aspects of racing, with no one-size-fits-all solution. “I would err on the light side for your pre-race meal at first,” Wells advises. “I’ve changed my meals quite a bit over the years. Right now I eat rice and a hard-boiled egg about 2.5 hours before the race. I’d say try to eat about 3 hours before the race so you have time to digest.”

Check Your Bike:
In the days leading up to the race, give your bike a good going-over. You don’t want to make major changes before the race—certainly no major maintenance the night before—but you do want to make sure that crucial parts are in good condition. “Make sure your bike is clean and your tires have some tread left and no sidewall cuts,” Wells advises. On race day, a little lube and a tire-pressure check should be all you need. And … you’re off!

I look forward to seeing you all out at the races soon!

Bruce Martens | Coaching Director

sam jv woods jail jw


I have had the chance to meet many NICA coaches and parents over the past few months. As you can imagine, a lot of the discussion time has been dedicated to the subject of passing. Successfully executing a pass is always a challenge. Race related passing skill development is critically important in both passing and in being passed and needs to be approached from the safety, good sportsmanship and race result perspectives. Let’s share a few thoughts on how the rules noted in section 6 of the NICA rules book will be applied.

As an important point of clarification, when referring to the race course (normally 36 to 48 wide), we are talking about the total trail width, not just the worn/groomed middle path. Trails can become overgrown and can be narrower in technical areas, but most trails in our area are designed for accessibility by emergency equipment such as ATV’s and will in many areas offer sufficient width to allow for passing on either side of the worn middle path.

Key to the passing process is the concept of “the rider in front owns the race course”; more on that to come. Passing and passed rider responsibilities include:

Responsibilities of riders who are passing.
-- Communication is critical to the success of a safe and effective pass. The passing rider is responsible to plan the pass and then clearly communicate their intended actions. “I am planning to pass/lap you at the next opportunity” then “I am passing/lap right or left” are effective communications methods to announce a pass. The communication must be done in a manner that gives the rider(s) to be passed time to safely respond. Failure to properly communicate a passing plan may mean a missed pass and can create an unsafe situation and may result in penalties.

--The passing rider may not use either their bike or body to force their way past other riders; in doing so an unsafe situation is created and can result in penalties.

-- A passing rider may not mislead others riders on the same lap by claiming that they are being lapped. Doing so could result in a un-sportsman like conduct penalty.

Responsibilities of riders being lapped
-- The passing/lapping rider is the front rider and “owns the course”. Riders being lapped are required to safely and quickly yield the course to the passing rider once a passing request communication is given. In certain course situations, this could mean the lapped riders may have to dismount to clear the course for the lapping rider(s). NICA goals are to insure the safety of all riders in a passing situation and also to minimize the impact on the flow and pace of the race. Failure to yield the course could create an unsafe situation and therefore result in penalties.

Responsibilities of riders being passed by a racer on the same lap.
-- In addition to remembering the rider in front owns the course, it is a race. It is logical and legitimate for a rider in front to speed up to avoid being passed. It is also legitimate for the front rider to “take the best line”, especially in technical sections where passing lines are limited by terrain. Conversely, when the trail widens, it is the responsibility of the front rider to hold their line or preferably move to the side, allowing faster riders to pass.

--The front rider(s) may not move from side to side to block the trail to impede passing riders.

-- The front rider(s) may not use either their bike or body to impair a rider in the process of passing.

-- A following rider(s) may not assist the front rider by co blocking the trail to keep others from passing.

All of the above could create an unsafe situation and result in penalties.

Safe and effective passing requires training, race situation awareness and patience. Spend time in practice training the needed skills to insure safety and to maximize results.

Tim Walsh | MN League Referee

armstrong info

Armstrong Info Meeting

Send Updates

Please do share your team updates and activities with Libby Hurley at

Pass on any upcoming team info nights, SingleTrack High Showings, fundraisers or registration nights.

Pass on team numbers and achievements that can be included in our SingleTrack Times. We have over 50 media writers on our email list - and they are always looking for new story ideas!

Or, post them to your social channels and be sure to tag MN Facebook or Twitter! Questions, on this - please send Libby an email


Please add these dates to your calendar today!

▪ Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 - Race #1 - Salem Hills, Inver Grove Heights, MN
▪ Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 - Race #2 - Jail Trail, St. Cloud, MN
▪ Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 - Race #3 - Game Haven, Rochester, MN
▪ Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 - Race #4 - Mt. Kato, Mankato, MN - NEW Location
▪ Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 - Race #5 - State Championships: Whitetail Ridge, WI
▪ Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 - Season Awards Banquet

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