The Killington Mountain School Cycling Team traveled to Thompson, CT to compete at the KMC Cyclocross Festival. Coach Brad Ramsay shared a recap of the races, where the KMS cyclists had quite a bit of success: “A classic and always-epic cyclocross race — formerly the Providence Cyclocross Festival– moved to Thompson, CT this year, and the course certainly lived up to the event’s reputation. Off cambers, loose, sandy run-ups and descents, fly-overs, stairs and wet conditions made it another epic event! Though heavy mud clinging to bikes was not a factor (due to sandy soils), there were rocks not visible at the bottom of sandy mud holes that could pop tires, loose sand that caused plenty of tumbles on off-cambers and plunges; especially when “senior moments” allowed otherwise technically competent riders to pull their front “chicken” (aka brake) lever. Wet pavement also led to a number of unplanned dismounts over the weekend.
Non-matriculated KMS Cyclists Madeline Smith and Leo Kirkpatrick-Baird both put-forth impressive efforts this weekend. Maddy was smooth and consistent, finishing 11th and eighth in her fields Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Leo, in only his second year of CX, rode hard and posted lap times that would have landed him mid-pack if he had raced in his adult cat-3 field instead of challenging himself racing among the international elite juniors.
It was nice to spend time with KMS Alum Noah Barrow, who travelled to CT with his UVM Collegiate Teammates to race among the international elite. Noah rode technically impressive races; soliciting comments from the pit area that he was descending the sand plunge noticeably faster than any other UCI Elite Rider, riding noticeably faster across the loose sand and getting up the stairs faster than most of the elites. He even threw tail-whips off the fly-over, soliciting loud cheers from the KMS Tent!
Thriving on the difficult courses, all of the full-time KMS cyclists posted impressive results and/or had individual successes this weekend! Aliza Tobias, riding her sixth and seventh CX races ever, continued to show dramatic improvement in her skills, speed, and confidence and is now finishing mid-field among masters and Cat 4 women. Her commitment and determination are inspiring! Similarly, Johannes Stomski rode impressive races; finishing 30th and tenth, respectively, on Saturday and Sunday among competitive fields of 90 and 120 Cat 3 racers! Among the UCI Elite Women, Turner, the youngest rider in the race (at 16) also rode exceptionally well; she finished 22nd and 19th overall and fourth and third among U23 racers Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Moving on to UCI Elite Junior Men (racing age 17-18), Vivien looked strong as he sprinted out of the corners, punishing those around him who were constantly chasing to catch back on. Despite a couple of tumbles (experiences shared by the vast majority of riders this weekend), Viv posted impressive 14th and 16th place finishes. Last, but not least, Tyler Clark put his impressive riding skills and endurance on display this weekend against some of the top junior CX racers in North America. He created the winning break of three riders, who attacked each other lap-after-lap, and sprinted to third place Saturday. On Sunday, he again moved to the front and made the lead-break of five riders who took turns attacking on power sections or technical sections depending on each rider’s strength. He again looked to have a good shot at the podium, until a flat in the fifth lap forced him to lose contact with the lead group and lose time running to the pit to switch bikes. Despite that, he rode to a strong 12th place finish!
It was a great weekend of racing with impressive effort and commitment exhibited by every KMS athlete! The cycling team will race in Troy, NY this Saturday before setting their sights on the UCI Races in Gloucester the following weekend.”