Randonneurs  USA

Colorado Front Range Flèche
"Vive la Différence!"
Rocky Mountain Cycling Club
Randonneurs USA 

Rocky Mountain Cycling Club

[ Flèche Rules  ---  Application Form  ---  Interest List  ---  Colorado Brevets ]

Date: May 7-10, 2009, Thursday-Sunday - We recommend that teams start on the morning of Saturday, May 10 so that teams may finish together on Sunday morning.
Entry Deadline: April 15, 2009 - Including route map, cue sheet, timetable and checkpoints, and rider list.
Fees: None - but each rider must be a member of the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club ($25 per year).
Destination: Louisville-Boulder-Superior Area - The destination is specified so that teams will be able to meet at the end of their rides.

"Flèche" - Qu'est-ce que c'est? – In a flèche, club members form a team (of 3-5 riders), design a route of at least 360km (224 miles), and complete it in 24 hours -- riding the final 25km (15 miles) within the final 2 hours of the 24.   Un peu d'histoire - "Flèche" is the French word for "arrow" -- this ride format is based upon the French Flèche Vélocio, where teams plot out point-to-point courses which converge, like arrows, upon a common bullseye. The epitome is the Concentration Pascale de Provence (Easter Rallye of Provence) where teams converge upon the Riviera (Côte d'Azur) city of Nice on the morning of Easter Sunday.

The Colorado "Front Range Flèche" – By the rules, organizers in snowy climes are allowed to hold their flèche events up to 40 days after Easter. Easter can fall in March, statistically Colorado's snowiest month, or April, which is not far behind. Teams may submit courses within the Front Range geography (theoretically from Cheyenne to Colorado Springs, but typically within the Denver metro area). 

Flèche Rules and Procedures - Courtesy of James T. Kuehn, DC Randonneurs (Flèche Centre Atlantique)

Each team is made up of between three (3) and five (5) participants from the same cycling club.  Tandems (riders may be from the same club or not) count as one participant.  A club may enter any number of teams. The event is closed to those with professional  racing licenses (Masters, 45+ category excepted); amateur racers are welcomed. Team members must be at least 18 years of age on the first day of the event. Participants will be required to sign a release form.  Changes in the makeup of a team after the entry form has been submitted must be approved in writing by the organizer.


Each team is responsible for choosing a route, selecting control points along it, and proposing a timetable for arrival at each control point.  Team captains submit the route information, including maps, cue sheets, designated control points, and timetables to the organizer.  The organizer prepares route cards to be carried by each participant and to be presented at control points.

The minimum distance that must be ridden in 24 hours is 360km (224 miles).  In addition, at least 25km must be covered during the last two hours of the 24-hour period.  Finally, for teams planning to cover routes longer than 360km, the actual distance completed must be at least 80% of the planned distance.  At least three (3) of the team members must complete these requirements together.  Each team member must complete these requirements — a flèche is not a relay!  Team members who become separated from their team but who complete the distance and other requirements will be certified individually.

The distance for which a team is given credit is based on the shortest mileage between control points as shown by maps rather than the actual distance covered as displayed by an odometer. The maps used must indicate the distances explicitly; measurement of a route using a vehicle’s odometer or using the map scale is not acceptable.  Maps produced by governmental bodies (e.g., states, counties) or by commercial mapping firms (e.g., AAA, Rand McNally) are suggested. Extra miles ridden as the result of detours due to road construction, bad pavement, etc. will only be counted if controlled at the most extreme point of the detour (using one of the control methods described later) and only if the mileage explicitly appears on an approved map.  For example, suppose the distance shown on a map between town A and town B is 20 miles, but that distance assumes use of a highway unsuitable for cycling.  If an alternate parallel route between A and B is taken instead, credit is given only for 20 miles, even though the parallel route might have been longer.  No part of a route may be used more than once (i.e., no out-and-backs or repeating loops over the same route).

It is useful to plan a route somewhat longer than the minimum in case you are ahead of schedule.  Remember, you may not backtrack to add miles; however, you can choose to deviate from the planned route and get credit for the extra miles by adding an impromptu control at the furthest point of the deviation.  It is also helpful to plan the route so that one is near a selection of restaurants, inns, gasoline stations, or stores during the last 50km.  These provide convenient resting places and locations for the necessary controls.


Assistance between team members is authorized but assistance between different teams is strictly prohibited, even if they are members of the same club.  Assistance from anyone not involved in the randonnée is prohibited.

No follow vehicles are permitted.  Any team which is followed either continuously or occasionally will be disqualified and the team and team’s club will be excluded from the event for the following year.  Use of a team support vehicle is discouraged; however, if used, it may meet the team at a maximum of three pre-arranged control points.


Each participant is considered to be on a private excursion and accepts responsibility for any accidents in which he or she may be involved.  Cyclists must obey city, county, and state laws and rules of the road, conducting themselves in a manner that will not bring discredit to the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club, Randonneurs USA, or Audax Club Parisien.

Any cycle is permitted provided it is propelled by muscle power alone.

Each cycle must have a primary lighting system consisting of a white front light and a red (or amber) rear light. The rear lamp must be capable of steady (non-flashing) operation to comply with state law and to facilitate group riding. The primary lighting system must be securely mounted and properly aimed for optimum performance. Participants must have backups for both the front and rear lights: two spare bulbs (and one spare set of batteries for non-generator systems) per primary light are required.  A complete redundant system may also be used as a backup. A reflective safety vest must be worn whenever lights are used. A rear red reflector is required by law. Pedal reflectors, reflective ankle bands, and/or reflective material on shoes are suggested. Supplementary lights, reflective tape, and light-colored clothing are strongly recommended. Riding without lights at night or during periods of low visibility is grounds for disqualification.  Riding in a group does not exempt any cyclist from using lights.

Helmets are required.


The start time is proposed by the team captain and may be any time between Friday noon and Saturday noon. If two teams propose to leave from the same location, they must leave at least one hour apart.  Departure times are first-come, first-served based on the date of receipt of the entry form.

Each team member will carry a route card provided by the organizer indicating the place names and passage times proposed by the timetable.  The card is to be presented at all designated control points, secret control points, and the 22-hour and 24-hour control points.  The card will also have space for any extra control points the team may require to claim additional off-route mileage due to road detours or other contingencies.  The route card must be presented if requested by any course official.  Designated control points will typically beat stores, restaurants, fire stations, or post offices.

At the start time + 22 hours, the team should proceed to the nearest place of business to have its exact position noted.  The name, address, and telephone number of the business are entered on each participants route card, the card signed and stamped by the shop-keeper, and the time of passage noted.  A similar procedure at the start time + 24 hours is followed. At this final control, the total number of miles completed is also entered. Note that no more than 24 hours may elapse between the start and the final control and no more than 2 hours is permitted for the final 25km. Route cards are to be collected and mailed to the event organizer within 48 hours of the conclusion of the event. Loss of route cards or other irregularities disqualify the team.

More Info For more info, contact John Lee Ellis, Colorado Regional Brevet Administrator.