2019 KMC Cross Fest

Shepard and I returned to the downsized KMC Cross Fest at Thompson Motor Speedway. KMC intentionally shrunk the scope and scale of the event after several years as a multi-day UCI event. This year, it was a one-day (non-UCI) race and part of the CT Series of CX. 293 racers showed up which isn’t bad given that the location is in the rural Quiet Corner of Connecticut. There was a race in New York that drew another 253 riders, so the northeast region had two options for a late-November Saturday event.



The course was quite different from the last time I did it, but I still had fun. The motorsports track makes it a unique venue. There was a lot of wide-open riding. I would describe it as a “roadie” course. That made singlespeed tough. Only eight of us lined up for the SS class. We started two minutes behind the Elite Men.


Shepard did the Junior 12-14 year old race with his CCAP Team HORST Junior Squad teammates Alexandra, Boden, Lars, and Owen. Ethan did the 9-12 year old race. Sean and Cole did the Junior 15-16 years old race. Sean also did the Men’s 3/4 race along with Brett. We were well-represented in the Masters races with Rich and Art in the 40+ race. Wade and Tom did the 50+ race. Dave and Keith did the 60+ race.



Saturday races are always tough for me. I was a little worn out after a long week, but it helped that I had all day to get warm. My race started at 2:47 P.M. Shepard’s race was earlier in the day at 9:47 A.M. so we had some hanging around and cheering to do in between the events.



With only eight riders, there was nowhere to hide. I was with the front three riders halfway through the first lap, but they came to an abrupt halt on one of the tricky off-camber sections and I slammed into the back of Anthony Vecca. That resulted in a big endo where I went over the handlebars. By the time I got up and sorted, they had a 10 second gap and were gone. I ended up with two other riders but eventually distanced them and spent the rest of the race in “no man’s land” coming across the line in 4th place.



The drive to and from the race was nice. This part of the state is a great place to ride. Debbie and I were out there in August when we did a loop that included a lovely section of the Air Line Trail. It will be interesting to see what happens to KMC in 2020. There was talk that they were looking for a new venue, but that didn’t material for 2019. I have some small complaints about the race. One is the $5 parking fee that goes directly to the venue. I don’t mind paying a fee, like we did at Look Park, but they are  a nonprofit with a great mission. The cost seems high when you consider that adults paid $36 to race plus the Bikereg fees. The Club Row team tent fee was $75 plus the Bikereg fee, which was also stiff. For that amount of money the parking should have been included.


Richard Fries and the race committee described this as a “reset” year. Like I said, we still had fun and the event was low key and despite the small complaints, the production of this mostly grassroots race was appreciated.


Race Results

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