Kona Team Update – October 2012

Second at Rampage, US ‘Cross Dominance, European Enduro Series Titles, National Marathon Championship Titles and More

Antoine Bizet, the flying 19-year-old French Phenom, pulled off a massive result at Redbull Rampage in the Utah desert. The young freeride star came back from a throw-away first run to nail four backflips and all his technical lines, including a flip above massive exposure, claiming 2nd place at his first ever Rampage. The amazing ride highlighted an up-and-down season marked with injury and accomplishment, and put a cherry on top of Bizzy’s FMB World Tour season.

Australian Junior National Champion Connor Fearon capped off an awesome season at the Downhill World Championships, placing 3rd in the Junior category. This was Fearon’s first taste of the World Championship podium, and we don’t expect it to be the young Aussie’s last. Connor is back home Down Under, getting ready for an endless summer chasing wins on the Australian National Circuit.

French enduro legend Karim Amour has been on a tear on the european circuit, winning the last three rounds of the Maxiavalanche Cup series in France and becoming the overall European Enduro Champion for 2012. Alex Stock is coming off a broken scaphoid bone suffered in training in Italy and will be on fire for the last few races of the year after putting in some serious work on the road bike during his down time.

Portland, OR-based ripper Matthew Slaven traveled to France for his first crack at the seven-day Enduro Trans-Provence race. Amazing riding, crazy weather and awesome competition saw Matt tearing up the French countryside, finishing a respectable 11th overall after consistent rides all week. The Trans-Provence event is quickly becoming the premier event in Enduro racing, testing athletes and equipment to the max, while producing some of the best gravity assisted riding in the world.

Helen Wyman has continued her streak of domination in the US cyclocross scene. The reigning UK National Cyclocross Champion came to the East Coast last year and went 12 for 12, winning every race she entered. This season was no different, with Helen winning 11 races, including the UCI Category 1 events in Gloucester, MA and Providence RI, along with multiple Category 2 events in between. After the strong US start, Helen heads back to Europe to battle the big guns on the World Cup and Super Prestige circuit.

Stateside, Barry Wicks, Sean Babcock, Spencer Paxson, Alice Pennington and Wendy Simms are now getting the cyclocross season underway in North America, with the upcoming USGP events in Ft. Collins, Colorado, Louisville, Kentucky, and Bend, Oregon on tap. Wendy will also attempt to recapture the Canadian National Champion title in a few weeks time, and proudly display the Maple Leaf at the World Championships in January, alongside many of her other Kona teammates as they make the push towards the big show in Louisville.

Barry Wicks capped off a successful endurance season with a 4th place finish at the US Marathon National Championships. Wicks battled in the lead group of four for much of the race, before finally getting bettered in the closing miles. Kris Sneddon rode a nearly flawless race at the Canadian Marathon National Championships until the final 200 meters where he was outsprinted for the win. Sneddon’s 2nd place was his best ever performance at a National Championships, and has left him hungry for the top step next season.