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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Race Results

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