Photographer and amateur cyclocross racer Chris McIntosh of C. McIntosh Photo made the trip from Boston to Thompson, Connecticut to document the UCI C2 Day 2 of the KMC Cross Fest. Below are McIntosh’s images and impressions from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
I’m going to miss the KMC Cross Fest being in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island. The urban rhythm of Roger William’s park added a lot of flavor to an unforgettable UCI race. The foot traffic brought many newcomers to watch the races and opened up the city to racers from all over the world. But change was needed. The race needed more space and more freedom. As it was the first year for the event at Thompson Speedway, the production crew worked hard to make this race even more memorable.
Just as they did the years before, the crew utilized every available piece of terrain to build a fun, fast, and incredibly challenging course. The steep slopes and the perfect amount of rainfall provided a uniquely difficult technical section on one side of the park, and the flat straightaways allowed for exciting shoulder-to-shoulder sprinting. The carpeted flyover, a crowd favorite in years past for the KMC Cross Fest, was another welcomed element during the weekend, with riders descending at alarming speeds into a roller coaster of turns.
What was missing, however, were the crowds that seemed to double in size every year in Providence. Especially on Sunday, it almost seemed like there were more people racing than observing. The vibe was certainly much quieter than usual. It could have been for the lack of food trucks, the sprawling landscape of the motorsports park, or the hidden away suburban location that lacked the buzz of the city. The food options at the festival were lacking, a problem that often burdens much smaller races.
A Dunkin’ Donuts truck joined the park’s usual greasy food stands, expanding a hungry racer’s options to processed breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Considering the success the local food trucks brought in the past years, I hope to see more additions to good food options next year.
Of course, we don’t travel to races because of the food. It’s to witness the racers and drama of racing, and on that count, the KMC Cross Fest delivered in spades at its new venue.
With the new, uniquely challenging course, the possibility of operating two races simultaneously, and the hardworking team to make it all happen, I believe we will see KMC cyclocross festival continue to expand as one of the nation’s most prominent races, and perhaps one day, an opening event of one of Europe’s top cyclocross series.
See you there next year. Look for me, with camera, by the food trucks.
Full photo gallery below. See all of our KMC Cross Fest coverage here.
2016 KMC Cross Fest Photo Gallery by Chris McIntosh: