What's Cool In Road Cycling

KMC Cross Fest

KMC Cross Fest Features 37 Bicycle Races in Three Days with Top International Competitors at New Connecticut Venue.

Equal Prize Purse Announced for Elite Women and Men.

Athletes on two wheels will dominate on dirt, grass and pavement at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut Sept. 30-Oct. 2. The eighth annual KMC Cross Fest will feature 37 bicycle races, including Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) events for an international field of women and men, and the first of three internationally- sanctioned cyclo-cross races in the U.S. this year for elite juniors.

KMC Cross Fest is sanctioned by USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale, (UCI, the international governing body of cycling). It is the fourth of eight Pro CX national events in the country for 2016-17. Equal prize money will be offered for men and women in the elite categories both days, with professional athletes earning points for Pro CX. The UCI Elite Junior races on the weekend (Saturday race under the lights) are the first of three UCI-sanctioned races for 17-18 year olds in the country. There are also sanctioned races offered for masters (40 years or older) and non UCI juniors (9 to16 years of age).

This is the first year the event will be held in Thompson, Conn., having been held previously in Providence, R.I. It is also the first time that Thompson Speedway will host cyclo-cross races, using the road course area of the property for cyclists and the new paddock area for the New England Builders’ Ball and spectator festival area with food and beverages.

“The inspiration for our transfer to this new venue came from Circuit Zolder, the famous Belgian raceway that has hosted World Cups and World Championships in cyclo-cross. In our efforts to truly become an international event, we needed just such a venue as Thompson Speedway. The course offerings are challenging and the amenities are amazing. We’re even adding a Belgian beer festival to stay on that theme,” said Richard Fries, KMC Cross Fest co-founder and event director. The Circuit Zolder, located in Heusen-Zolder, Belgium, is an undulating 2.5-mile race track complex that is famous for hosting motorsports and cycling events.

Staged in the enclosed Paddock of Thompson Speedway will be an Industry Trade Show and Exposition from 7-11 p.m. More than 50 exhibitors are expected to showcase products and services as New England’s only hand-built bicycle show. Admission is $5 per person (no formal wear is required).

The Madison of Cyclocross on Friday evening will feature two-person teams riding one hour on a closed course. Recall the final race scene in the cycling movie “Breaking Away”, and this will be the same Madison-style event. One rider reports to staging and will start on the line, the other rider waits in the pit. Exchanges can be made in Pit One, when a rider tags his or her relief rider, resulting in the relief rider continuing in a relay format. Multiple exchanges are permitted, with all teams required to make at least one exchange.

New participants can think of cyclo-cross as steeplechase on a bicycle, held on spectator-friendly courses. The event is free for all spectators and is held rain or shine. Family-oriented activities for all ages will be held at the paddock area of Thompson Speedway. Spectators can expect high- energy racing all three days in a fun-filled party atmosphere, with announcers, music, food and beverage options all around the course. Amateur racing starts at 8 a.m. each day with the elite women’s and men’s races and UCI Elite Juniors at the end of the day.

KMC Cross Fest organizers will host four non-competitive bicycle rides for recreational cyclists on quiet roads through Conn, Mass, and R.I. The Major Taylor Century, co-presented by Seven Hills Wheelmen, offers a 104-mile route with 6,700 feet of elevation gain on a mix of paved and gravel roads. Other rides include the 65-mile Metric Medio Fondo, 39-mile People’s Piccolo Fondo and 35-mile Pristine Piccolo Fondo. The People’s Piccolo Fondo also has a mix of paved and gravel roads; the other two ride options utilize paved roads only. All rides include a stop at Taylor Brook Winery and a post-ride meal at Thompson Speedway. Registration is $95 per person. Rides benefit the Major Taylor Association, based in Worcester, Mass., which is dedicated to recognizing sportsmanship, promoting nonviolence and caring for those less fortunate.

• Friday, Sept. 30
• Single Speed Races for Men, Women, High School Boys and Girls, 5 p.m. (free admission, $10-$35 race registration)
• Madison of Cyclocross, 6:30 p.m. (free admission, $60 race registration)
• 6th Annual New England Builders’ Ball, 7 – 11 p.m. ($5 admission)
• Saturday, Oct. 1
• Amateur races for men, women, juniors, 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. • Kim Fries Memorial Kids Races (ages 5-10), 2:30 p.m.
• UCI Elite Women/U23 C1, 4-4:50 p.m.
• UCI Elite Men/U23 C1, 5:15-6:15 p.m.
• UCI Elite Junior Men 17-18, 6:45-7:25 p.m.
• Expo Area with Food and Beverage, open all day
• Sunday, Oct. 2
• Amateur races for men, women, juniors, 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. • Major Taylor Century (with gravel sections), 9 a.m.
• Metric Medio Fondo (all paved), 9am
• People’s Piccolo Fondo (with gravel sections), 9 a.m.
• Pristine Piccolo Fondo (all paved), 9 a.m.
• Kim Fries Memorial Kids Races (ages 5-10), 2:30 p.m. • UCI Elite Junior Men 17-18, 4-4:40 p.m.
• UCI Elite Women/U23 C2, 5:15-6 p.m.
• UCI Elite Men/U23 C2, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
• Expo Area with Food and Beverage, open all day

For detailed information, visit the official KMC Cross Fest web site, www.kmccrossfest.com. KMC Cross Fest organizers will produce video clips throughout the three-day event, with comprehensive race recap vidoes of the elite men and women Pro CX events and the UCI elite junior race. Follow the race on Facebook (KMCcrossfest) and on Twitter (@KMCcrossfest). Follow the Pro Cyclocross Calendar on Twitter at @USACProCX.

About Thompson Motor Speedway
After 76 years leading the way in motorsports – introducing the first purpose-built road course and first asphalt high-banked oval in America – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is now proud to offer even more. TSMP today includes NASCAR racing on a 5/8 mile Oval, a 1.7 mile Road Course, a first class Golf Club, Clubhouse restaurant with a banquet and catering facility, exclusive Drivers Club, and an Exotic Car Driving Experience.

About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including BMX, cyclo-cross, mountain bike, road, and track. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 64,000 members; 2,700+ clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions over 3,100 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit usacycling.org.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.