skip navigation

Racing Rules and Etiquette

We ask all NSC Velodrome riders and racers to observe the following rules and etiquette.

We want to make riding and racing on our velodrome a safe and fun environment!


It is the riders responsibility to know the schedule of events on the track and to be prepared to enter the track for their respective races. The riders should report to the ready area (grass area just behind the asphalt strip on the home straight infield) while the previous race is nearing its completion. Drawing for position for some heat races, and pre-race instructions will often be made in the ready area so it is important to report there in plenty of time for your event. The officials will not wait for riders who don’t report to the start of their race when called!


Most of the races held on Thursday nights at the National Sports Center are mass start races. Riders are asked to roll off from the rail for a neutral lap before being given the starting gun.

Remember that when riding the neutral lap it is incumbent on you as leader to maintain a speed that is fast enough to prevent anyone from slipping off the banking (remember some may be riding much higher than you) yet not so fast as to make it difficult for everyone to be in position for the start as they enter the home straight.

As the leader, if the pace seems too slow, you can speed it up. If you are following someone else and they are getting around the turn at a set speed then you can probably do the same.

Remember to keep an even pressure on the pedals and steer straight without jerking. This should ensure that you get around the turn at the same speed as others who are at the same level on the track. At first if you are unsure you may be able to ride on the apron through the turns but must get onto the racing surface when the gun is fired.

Lap Gains

One of the unique aspects of tack racing verses road racing is that riders may be lapped by faster riders during races. In the event this should happen all riders need to be aware of how to handle the situation.

Riders being lapped

Be sure that when you are about to be lapped you do not interfere with those riders overtaking you. It is illegal and dangerous to interfere with the progress of another rider. Blocking is not allowed in track cycling. If you are very tired and unsure of your ability to move out of the way of approaching riders, the best course of action is to ride at the measurement line (bottom of the track) and allow the faster riders to go over you. As they pass you, after doing a thorough shoulder check, you may try to ride in their slipstream.

Often the more efficient method of being lapped is to move up track so that you can use the slope of the track to help you accelerate on to the back of the lapping riders. Warning! It is imperative that you make your move up-track after doing a thorough shoulder check and you must do it long before the faster riders approach you so as not to cause any uncertainty in which line they should take.

One should also be sure to ride high enough to allow an approaching group to pass completely underneath you without interference. This tactic of drafting a faster leading group may actually allow you to make up ground on the field from which you were dropped.

Although lapped riders may draft faster groups of riders, lapped riders may not take the lead or pace riders who are lapping them. Stay off the front of a group that has lapped you!

Rider Gaining a Lap

Riders who are gaining a lap on others may not take pace on riders whom they are about to lap.

Riders who are leaders on the track must make their lap without assistance from others who are behind the field.

This rule prevents riders from having teammates intentionally drop off the field to assist them in gaining a lap.

Sprint Rules Apply

This is often mentioned in the racing rules that once a sprint is engaged (riders are moving at or near full speed) and the leading rider has entered the sprinters lane they are said to control the lane (no other rider may overtake them on the left) and they may not move above the red sprinter’s line (unless sufficiently clear as not to cause any impediment of another rider). No abrupt movements from side to side are allowed (90cm maximum).

Chase or Not to Chase?

When a rider attacks the field and you are leading it you can either chase the attacking rider or not. You may however not block others from trying to chase.

It used to be a rule that a rider who does not attempt to chase after an attack while leading could be disciplined by the officials. Now it must be clear that a rider is actually trying to block other riders to prevent their chasing after an attack before a foul can be called.

If you are on the front of a group when someone attacks, assuming you cannot or don’t want to chase, you can do a shoulder check and swing off the front if it is clear. This allows the next rider to chase if he desires.

If you cannot chase an attacking rider you may also continue in your line of travel and wait for others to pass over you (or under you if you are clearly riding wide).

Rotating Through

When swinging off the front of the group, be sure no one is attempting to pass from behind.

If you are second in line and do not want to chase it is always better to rotate through to the front after the first rider swings up and then swing up after doing a shoulder check. This keeps the pace line moving forward  and prevents riders on the outside of the second rider from having to move up as well since often they are over lapping the second riders wheel.

No Riding on the Apron

During racing, the apron or blue band ( Cote D’Azur) is out of bounds. It is there to use as a run off area when entering and exiting the track.

It may be used during the neutral lap before the gun is fired to start a massed start race.

Riders are also allowed to ride on it during a Match Sprint when the speed is too slow to allow the riders to safely negotiate around the bankings.

It may be used to recover if forced off the track momentarily but may not be ridden on for longer periods of time.

The rules state that you may not advance your position while riding on the blue band.

In the Miss and Out or Elimination races not riding on the apron is more strictly enforced in that doing so may allow a rider to avoid elimination by holding a position while riding out of bounds.


At the completion of a race the riders are allowed only one lap to recover from their effort before exiting the track surface. After completing one lap after the finish a rider may roll to the back straight to exit the track but may not roll around to the front straight unless as the winner of the event he is asked to present himself to the crowd etc.

Velodrome Contact

Bob Williams

Track Director

Phone: 763.785.5614 Hotline: 763.785.5651

Weekly Schedule

View the general weekly schedule of when the velodrome is open for training and racing.

News & Results