Compton with game face on at Providence Day 2 2013. © Meg McMahon

Compton with game face on at Providence Day 2 2013. © Meg McMahon

Right on the heels of Gloucester’s announcement of Focus as a title sponsor comes Providence with their own changes. Starting this season, the grand finale of New England’s Holy Week will be titled the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival.

Bicycle companies acting as title sponsors is far from unheard of; Focus, Raleigh, Shimano, Trek, and plenty of other industry players have acted as partners of events and cyclocross series in years past. Still, if we treat the last few days as a measuring stick, we can get a vague sense that these companies are looking to invest more in cyclocross, particularly in races that have stood the test of time with their own branding.

Last year, the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival won our Reader’s Choice Award for best cyclocross course in the United States. It is a classic New England race with a great deal of European flair; we have spoken to a lot of elite racers about Providence as a destination that you can check out in our upcoming Issue 26.

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Official Press Release is as follows:

PROVIDENCE, R.I.–(August 5, 2014) Organizers of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival announced the signing of KMC Chains as title sponsor of the event, which heretofore will be the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival. The sponsorship will be for 2014 and 2015.

Registration for the 2014 KMC Cyclo-cross Festival opens on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at noon. See www.BikeReg.com for details.

Entering its sixth year, the event known as Divine Providence has proven to be one of the fastest growing cyclo-cross events in America. While the three-day event includes a UCI Category 1 race for elites, the organizers are especially proud of the festival components including a massive expo, food court, the Harpoon Beer Garden, and a kids’ zone. Additional events that include the New England Builders’ Ball and Gran Fondo New England. Everyone from nine-time US Cyclocross Champion Katie Compton to local frame builders to six-year-old kids are among the thousands of cyclists and fans who participate in this celebration of all things cycling.

The festival is scheduled for Oct. 3-5, 2014 at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I.

“We are very happy to have this great opportunity to be the title sponsor of the best cyclo-cross race event in the states,” says Bentley Lee of KMC Chains. “We look forward to the 2014 KMC Cyclo-cross Festival.”

“Last year KMC only had a small sponsorship with us, but it delivered a powerful return on investment. We’re not just proud of our race, but also all the elements that make this weekend truly a festival,” said Richard Fries, event director. “We work hard to welcome the entire cycling community into the venue.”

The ongoing pursuit of professionalism makes KMC Chain the most distinguished leader in the chain industry. KMC Chain is the celebrated pioneer to unveil the extraordinary X-SuperLight chain. As foremost innovators of bicycle chains, KMC Chain also excels in superior technology for motorcycle, automobile, and industrial chains. Racers at the festival love KMC’s new 11-speed chain, fine-tuned to handle the mud and grit of cyclocross racing.

The festival has grown in leaps and bounds over the past six years, adding events such as Gran Fondo New England, a single speed race, and the popular cyclo-cross madison. Additionally, while the Builders’ Ball showcases the most stunning handbuilt frames from New England’s top framebuilders.

ABOUT THE KMC CYCLO-CROSS FESTIVAL: Formerly known as the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, the event was selected as the best of American cyclo-cross by Outside Magazine and as the 2013 domestic event of the year by the editors of Cyclocross Magazine. The event will be held October 3-5 2014 in historic Roger Williams Park. The event hosts one of just nine UCI Category 1 cyclo-cross events in America. Family-friendly attractions include the a consumer expo, food courts, the Harpoon Beer Garden, the New England Builders’ Ball, and the Gran Fondo New England. For more information visit www.KMCcrossfest.com.