The JAM/NCC race team had a big showing at the KMC Cross Fest at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut over the weekend. The blue, black and white team colors were spread out over several categories, making their presence widely visible in one of New England's largest cyclocross events.
On Saturday, elite team rider Jack Kisseberth had an outstanding finish in a grueling battle in the mud, getting 7th place in the premiere event--- the UCI C1. In a pretty tight race, Kisseberth finished seconds ahead of some of the toughest guys in the field including Justine Lindine (NBX), Anthony Clark (Squid), Cody Kaiser (Specialized), Danny Summerhill (UHC) and Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo).
"I didn't start at the front but I moved my way up throughout the race," Kisseberth said. "It's my best C1 race result, so I'm happy."
On the women's side, Natalie Tapias had a solid finish in Saturday's Cat 2/3 race, getting 6th place, while teammate Rhys May finished in the top 15.
"My objective was to finish within the top five, but unfortunately a few mistakes kept me from achieving that goal," Tapias said. "Sunday's course had a lot more logical flow to it but was still challenging."
JAM Fund/NCC grabbed top podium spots in a few races. On Saturday, Trent Blackburn won the Cat 2/3 race-- the largest field of the day -- with 120 riders. It was an impressive victory with a 50-second lead over second place. On Sunday, Blackburn lined up with Kisseberth and Scott Smith and raced the elite men's pro 1/2.
Katie Johnson took the top step of the podium on Sunday, winning the junior women 15-16. Her first and second place finishes over the weekend earned her the overall KMC champion jersey in her age group.
After getting 9th on Saturday in the Cat 2/3, Kale Wenczel put the hammer down and won the Cat 3 race on Sunday in a field of 90 riders that also included fellow JAM Fund grant recipients Erik Carlson and Ben Jankowski. Devo team rider Chris Niesen also raced in the Cat 2/3 on Saturday and crashed but recovered to finish 23 seconds behind Wenczel.
Other recent JAM grant recipients raced this weekend including Anna Savage in Cat 3, Mira Fowler in 13-14, Aiden Mapel in 15-16, Beau Guenther in 13-14, and Jaden Wise, who crushed the junior 13-14 field winning back-to-back races on Saturday and Sunday.
And the coaches were out on course too. Al Donahue and Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) dueled over the weekend in the Masters 35+ 1/2/3. Donahue finished 2nd on Saturday, about 35 seconds ahead of Myerson. But on Sunday, the two were neck-in-neck in the long sprint for the finish and Myerson nipped Donahue at the line for the win. Still, Donahue earned the KMC leader's jersey for getting second place both days.
JAM Fund/NCC heads to Charm City Cross next weekend in Baltimore. Keep up with the team events at http://www.jamcycling.org/new-events/.
Banner photo courtesy DaHanger.