Daily Archives: 07/10/2018

Kerry Werner and Cory Wallace vs The 2018 BC Bike Race

The 12th BC Bike race kicked off in the Cowichan Valley, BC four days ago, and Kona Adventure Team athletes Cory Wallace and Kerry Werner are tackling the seven-day stage race. Cory, who won the event in 2016, would love another BC Bike Race gold medal for his cabinet while teammate Kerry, who just got married, is out there enjoying his honeymoon and proving to be a serious threat at the pointy end of the competition.

But ex-Kona rider, Geoff Kabush, and the other top five men are not making it easy for either of the Kona athletes with the opening three stages all favoring riders who prefer shorter courses. Today saw a little change up as the 62km day (10km longer than day three, and 20km longer than the first two days racing) is more suited to both Cory and Kerry’s endurance racing styles.

The first three stages have been very tight racing. A handful of seconds here and there, 1 minute gaps or less. Today’s stage four and tomorrow’s stage five will likely be a decisive stage with bigger gaps starting to form in the top three and those spots will be more or less solidified moving forward. Like Cory said, we have are going to try and make magic happen and widdle down our time losses. – Kerry Werner

At the start of the fourth day of racing this morning, Kerry was sitting in fourth overall while Cory was just one place back in fifth. Both riders played the long tactical game today and the lead changed multiple times as a result. Kerry and Cory rode hard and Kerry managed to solidify his second third place of the week with Cory finishing in fourth after a big 40km/h crash! The pace at the front with Kerry, Cory and Kabush has took it’s toll on the original lead pack but the two Kona riders still have their work cut out them if they want to nab that leader’s jersey. Kerry is now sitting in second overall, Kabush in first, still has an almost four minute lead on Kerry going into day five.

It’s been a hard start to BC Bike Race this year with a deep field of international racers. Kerry and I have been working together and are sitting 4th and 5th right now.  We’ve been having fun camping, hanging out with other racers and finding some good spots in the ocean to cool our engines after the stages. Three more days to go! – Cory Wallace

With the gaps between racers starting to widen it will be an exciting final three days of racing. For up to date info as it happens you can follow the BC Bike Race on twitter here or visit their homepage here for everything else.

All Photos: Margus Riga

Connor Fearon Experiences Four Seasons in One Weekend at Val di Sole

Val di Sole this past weekend marked the middle point of the UCI DH World Cup season and the return to one the more classic DH courses of the last decade. Val di Sole is not for the faint-hearted, massive roots, huge holes and its sheer steepness have always meant that the racing and results can be somewhat unpredictable.

Due to Connors hand injury, he missed last years final world cup round at Val di Sole where some major course changes were made. Arriving at the course for round four last weekend he had this to say. “The track looks good this year. Val di Sole is definitely the hardest track on the circuit. It’s just gnarly section after gnarly section the whole way down. I missed this race last year when they made lots of changes so about half the track is new to me. It looks like there’s some rain coming but the track dries up really quickly so I’d say it’s going to be dry come race day”

Connor was not wrong about race day being dry, however, the forecasted storms did arrive and timed training, practice and qualification bore the brunt of that. Rain on the track really shock up the qualifications with times posted before the downpour being considerably faster, a large number of riders from the back of the field made it to the main event while some heavy hitters, not able to cope with the changing conditions had to enjoy the non-quali-party. “The track is really hard to ride in the wet. There’s just roots and rocks the whole way down it’s hard to even steer straight” Connor, although protected and racing his qualification run in the wet, posted a solid 13th result, earning more points towards his overall standings.

Kona UK rider Josh Lowe took advantage of the somewhat drier qualification conditions earlier in the day and posted a 52nd, on race day he backed that up with a very respectible 49th!

“My qualification run was fine. Everyone knew it was going to be really hard to get down and the time gaps supported that. I had a steady run with no crashes and I’m super happy to get some points. Will be interesting if it’s wet like that for finals, but I think it will be dry!”

Connors positive predictions of a dry race day would come to fruition, if you hadn’t been there for the previous days you’d think it was a normal day in the Valley of the Sun. The only downside? No one had really had a chance to ride the track in the dry, and the Black Snake was for all intensive purposes a new course. A full days racing and practice in the dry had really shaken things up and when Connor crossed the line onboard his 29″ wheeled Operator on Saturday it would be for 19th place.

“I was pretty disappointed in how I rode for finals in Italy. The track was a lot different on race day because it had fully dried out and was much faster. We didn’t have much practice to get up to speed on essentially a new track. I just missed the speed a bit and didn’t send it hard enough. I still keep my 11th overall plate which is good. It has me fired up for Andorra where I know I can do well this weekend”

We think a top 20 in Val di Sole is pretty damn good!

Ti Tuesday: David rolls out the Red Carpet for his Ti Honzo build

As co-owner of Kona dealer Mud Cycles (Wellington, NZ), David had been jonesing for a Ti Honzo for a while, when the opportunity finally arose to secure one, he was not going to let the shiny lightweight frame slip through his hands. He’d been planning the build for a while, so much so that when the frame arrived almost all the parts had already shown up. David’s build, as blingy as it is, is built up as a daily driver, his shop is located just a stone’s throw from the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park and the weather and conditions there are often wet, muddy and miserable. The annual rainfall in Wellington is 1249mm, (Vancouver BC is 100mm less at 1117mm) so the bike and its components had to be able to cope with some rather inclement weather. We’ll think you’ll agree that the build straddles the bling/functional balance perfectly. Read on for more photos and detailed look at the bikes spec.

The drivetrain consists of Race Face Six C cranks and Crank Brothers pedals up front…

…and the always reliable Shinamo XT 11 speed out back.

The red chain is KMC’s X11SL DLC, and kicks of Dave’s red-themed build.

Like its steel Honzo sibling, the Ti Honzo also features sweet sliding horizontal drop-outs.

The red theme is continued in the cockpit with the ANVL Swage stem and the ANVL Mandrel carbon bar.

The cable routing is kept tidy with some nice use of black shrinkwrap.

Being a Kiwi, Dave runs his brakes “moto”, the bikes simple cable system supports this easily. Oh yeah, those are Ti bolts too.

Shimano XT stoppers, and XTR shifters look after one side of the cockpit…

…while the ever popular Wolf Tooth ReMote operates the dropper.

And that dropper is the KS Lev CI, the 120mm dropper features a full carbon mast and weighs in at just 420 grams

The wheels are built around Hope Pro 4’s…

Laced to Roam 29 carbon rims.

Theres an Ardent out front and out back you’ll find this 2.5WT Maxxis Aggressor

With ample clearance.

More Ti hardware, this time to hold the XT stoppers in place.

SDG’s amazing “Chepi” Ltd Edition Duster saddle continues the Ti theme.

Just a reminder its made of Ti, the complete bike, with chunky tires and pedals weighs in at 28 pounds.