Timeline of KMC Cyclo-cross Festival
2004: Organizers win bid to host USA Cycling National Cyclo-cross Championships in New England for two consecutive years and start search for the optimal venue.
2005: Invited by the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, organizers settle on Roger Williams Park. The event is held in mid-December. Hit with a historic winter storm, the event is lauded as one of the most epic ‘cross nationals in American history.
2006: Held in unusually mild conditions, the event returns to Roger Williams Park and draws more than 8,000 spectators to witness the elite men’s national championship. The event is considered a turning point in U.S. cyclo-cross as participation starts to rise dramatically.
2007: Organizers put plans to promote annual event on hold to allow Richard Fries to care for terminally ill family member.
2008: No event held.
2009: GSD Events LLC promotes the inaugural Providence Cyclo-cross Festival featuring a UCI Category 2 event. Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic and Tim Johnson of Massachusetts are the champions.
2010: The event sees moderate growth as a Category 2 event. Tim Johnson returns to win the men’s event; Sally Annis scores the win in the women’s division.
2011: The UCI upgrades Providence to Category 1 status. Olympian Mary McConneloug of California wins the women’s division and Justin Lindine of Massachusetts wins the men’s race. Organizers co-sponsor the New England Bike-Walk Summit held at The Biltmore Hotel with Eric Weis and the East Coast Greenway Alliance coordinating the conference. The New England Builders’ Ball is also launched as a Friday evening event.
2012: Returning as a UCI Category 1 race, Providence finally enjoys a clear calendar date without any other Category 1 event to compete. Jeremy Powers of Massachusetts wins the men’s race; Helen Wyman of Great Britain wins the women’s race.
2013: Organizers create Providence Cross Fest LLC with Richard Fries serving as event director. Gaining prestige and notoriety the event adds a Friday night single-speed event and the first-ever cyclo-cross “Madison”, a relay race for two-person teams. Jeremy Powers returns to win the men’s division; Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic win’s the women’s race. Working with Kermesse Sports, organizers host the Sunday morning Gran Fondo New England. Second bi-annual New England Bike-Walk Summit is held.
2014: With a new title sponsor, the event is re-named the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival. Having been chosen as the best cyclo-cross event in America by Outside Magazine, Cyclocross Magazine and Behind the Barriers TV, Providence shatters attendance records for both riders and spectators. Broadcast live via Behind the Barriers TV, Providence receives 26,500 unique viewers. More than 10,000 visit Roger Williams Park for the weekend with 2,800 entrants. Gran Fondo New England doubles in entries. Jeremy Powers wins his third consecutive men’s title and World Cup Champion Katie Compton of Colorado wins the women’s title. The New England Builders’ Ball relocates successfully to the Roger Williams Botanical Center. The UCI notifies organizers it would welcome a bid for Providence to become the first American city to host a World Cup.
2016: In its eight year the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival moves to a new venue at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut. Organizers are working together with track management to establish a long-term partnership to draw the world’s best ‘cross racers to New England each fall.