Connor Fearon

Fearon Qualifies 7th, Malloy Makes the Big Show in Fort William!

It was a good day for the Kona riders in Fort William. Connor Fearon took the track by storm and finished with a scorching 7th fastest qualifying time aboard his fresh new Operator. On the women’s side Tegan Malloy laid down a 5:44 to qualify in 15th.

“I’ve been having heaps of fun at fort William as usual. I like the high speeds and turns the whole way down the track. I feel really comfortable on the 29er here… it’s the first world cup I’ve used it and I’m liking it! 7th is my best qualifying result at fort William so it’s got me confident for tomorrow. I think unless it rains a lot the times are going to be really tight for the top 20… so I’ll be trying really hard to be at the front of that bubble tomorrow!

-Connor Fearon

“The track here in Fort William is super hard packed and is running faster than ever. The new “woods section” has been replaced with a man-made rock garden that is running really quick from top to bottom. I’m going to run the exact same set up for racing as I did for qualifying, I felt comfortable on my bike with a few little things to tweak/ tidy up before finals tomorrow.” -Tegan Malloy

Congrats to both riders and good luck! Tune into Redbull TV at 4:30am Pacific Time to watch all the action live!

Connor 8th in Fort Bill Timed Training

Kona’s premier downhill racer, Connor Fearon stopped the clock with the 8th fastest time today at the Fort William World Cup. Connor will be racing his brand new carbon Operator with 29″ wheels because he feels they handle the rough track the best. There’s been some good coverage of Connor and his bike as well as Kona racer Anthony Poulson aboard his new Operator as well.

Check the links for the info:

Singletrack World: Kona has a new carbon Operator downhill bike, and it’s 29er ready

VitalMTB: Connor Fearon’s Kona Supreme Operator for Fort William

VitalMTB Raw sneak peeks of racers, including Connor, on track

Connor’s Operator at Fort William

Something very eye-catching is roaming around the pits at the Fort William World Cup. Connor Fearon’s super fresh new carbon Operator is out and about and so far the verdict is that it is one gorgeous bike. No word yet on whether he’ll be racing a 27.5″ or 29″ wheel. Want a sneak peak??

Check the link for the full coverage!

What are your thoughts?

Connor Fearon Rides in Gamble, Now on iTunes

Connor Fearon is part of a steller downhill cast in Steel City Media’s newest film, Gamble. Fearon along with other legendary downhill racers, take on some of the world’s most creative tracks. Narrated by Snatch’s Alan Ford, Gamble is sure to entertain the mountain bike crowd. Here’s the trailer. You can buy the film now on iTunes.

All photos by Boris Beyer.

Connor Fearon Kicks of His 2018 World Cup Season Croatia

here you go! When the UCI first announced their 2018 calander many World Cup riders and fans did a collective, “WTF?” Lošinj, Croatia? The small Croatian island had everyone hitting Google to find out actually where in the world it was and to see if any footage existed of this mystery track.

In the months following more and more POV footage emerged, the footage confirmed two things, it was short, and there were rocks, lots of rocks. Footage of epic beaches, sunsets and scooter shenanigans clogged Instagram leading up to the track walk last Thursday. It seemed that the island, the trail, and the locals had actually won people over. The track was not steep, but it was short. The fastest qualification time on Saturday was just 2:19:99!

Unless you’d been living under a rock you’d know that Connor has been testing our new carbon DH Operator. In Croatia, Connor had two bikes built up in both 27.5″ and 29″ configurations. After a swapping between the two on practice day and during timed training, Connor opted to run with smaller 27.5 wheels as he didn’t really get enough time on the rocky track to commit to racing them, especially while racing as an unprotected rider. “It’s short and rocky and the track actually rides better than everybody had thought after only seeing the footage online. There’s lots of lines to choose from and it’s really technical. Times are going to be really close as the track is only two and a half minutes long,” he said.

Connor was feeling confident after practice and, and like everyone else, he was eager to lay down some timed runs and land a solid qualification result. His wrist injury from the end of last season, as well as recent UCI changes, meant that he was not protected. A mechanical or flat in qualification would mean that he would not be racing on Sunday. Riding conservatively on such a brutal short track would not be an easy task. After Saturday’s qualifications though, Connor found himself in 23nd place.

“It was bit of a slow start for me this with qualis. I was really nervous for the run and not being protected meant that a flat tire or mechanical would see me out of the finals. I made a few mistakes which cost me, putting me pretty far back in the field at 23rd.”

On race day things didn’t go entirely to plan for Connor. The Lošinj track was not going to be kind to any mistake, no matter how small. The extremely physical nature and its short length meant even the smallest mistake would be costly. Connor would make a few in his run that would ultimately cost him a top 20 result and any kind of protected status for round 2 in Fort William in June. “Don’t really have any excuses, just a couple of small things adding up to be a few seconds back which meant a lot in positions unfortunately,” he said.

Race Report From Australian National Championships

This past weekend Australian National Downhill Championships were held in Bright.

Leading the way for Kona was Connor Fearon, who, unfortunately, suffered some pretty bad luck throughout the weekend. He crashed in practice and suffered a nasty gash in his elbow. Not to be phased by the injury, he went on to race but suffered a flat tire in his run. He finished the race in 8th place. Not the result he was looking for Connor is happy to have that weekend out of the way and is excited to move forward with the core of the season.

On the ladies side, Tegan Molloy had a stellar weekend finishing second behind 10-time champion Tracy Hannah aboard her Operator. Congrats on a great weekend, Tegan!

All photos courtesy of @kaneophoto

Connor Fearon and his Carbon Process take Silver at the Aussie Enduro Champs

Words: Connor Fearon Photos: Kane Narrat

I was really excited for the Australian Gravity Enduro National Champs this year, it was being held at Fox Creek MTB trails which happen to be my local riding spot. I’ve ridden at this location since I was 10 years old and know the trails like the back of my hand. I usually race about two-three Enduro’s every year but unfortunately This year I had to miss out on Whistler EWS because of an injury. This would be the first time I got to race the new carbon process as well, which was exciting.

The format this year was eight stages spread over two days of racing. The first day was really hard because all four tracks were so physically demanding. The first stage had about a minute of all out sprinting at the bottom which toasted me for the whole day. It was mandatory to pedal up every liaison, which wasn’t actually to bad because the hill is only about 120 meters in elevation. That being said the liaison time frame was pretty tight so most of the racers where still exhausted from the stage before when they dropped in. The first day was good for me, I got two stage wins and two second places. I was sitting in the lead by four seconds coming into day two.

Unfortunately for me the guy in second place was none other than Troy Brosnan, who also lives locally and is probably one of the only guys to know the trails as well as I do. I knew he would be doing all he could on day two to bring back the time.

My four stages on the second day where all solid, there was a lot less pedalling and it was actually quite a bit more enjoyable. Troy ended up having a really good day and edged me out by just under three seconds after 17 minutes of racing. Third place was about 35 seconds back, which just shows how much it helped to know the trails like Troy and I.

Even though I didn’t win I was still happy with my result. I didn’t have to touch a single bolt on the Process all week and I’ve only just started feeling normal on my bike again after my hand injury which has been dragging on for months. Im looking forward to the Cannonball Festival in December at Thredbo and to race my downhill bike again, oh and to hitting some more EWS races next year!

Local Adelaide ripper Shelly Flood was also representing Kona, she rode her Process 134 onto the podium, finishing up in third after the two days of racing.

Ups and Downs with the Kona Gravity Team and the 2017 World Cup DH Season

The 2017 World Cup season was one of ups and downs for the Kona Gravity team. There was much to look forward to with Connor Fearon coming off a great 2016 season, Josh Button and Tegan Molloy anticipating the World Championships on home turf, and young gun Anthony Poulson seeking to improve upon his last year’s results.

Throughout the season, the team was supported by team manager and all-star mechanic Mathieu Dupelle, keeping track of the team’s logistics and ensuring their new Operators were as perfect as could be for timed runs. A team is only as strong as their support crew, and Dupelle does a hell of a job for our team not only on race weekends but throughout the year.

With three of our four Pro DH riders hailing from Australia, the World Championships in Cairns was not only a focus for the season, but a highlight for all. Below we’ve compiled a short recap of the 2017 World Cup DH season from each of the four riders’ perspectives with photos from Boris Beyer. Enjoy.


Dupelle and the team after Mathieu’s victory at the Boxxer World Championships in Cairns.


Connor Fearon

Coming off my best World Cup season ever, I had big expectations of myself coming into 2017. My off-season was really productive, I felt fit and made a few changes with my bike setup – the biggest of which was moving up to a large size frame which felt perfect after a couple months of riding. I was riding the updated version of the Operator as well which had a few small but good improvements. Our off-season is very long so by the time Lourdes came around I was excited to go racing.

Lourdes was definitely the highlight of my season this year. The track is always fun and pretty gnarly, it was pretty much the same as the last two years apart from a couple new loam sections. I didn’t qualify very well at Lourdes. I don’t really know why but I just had a really average run. In finals I was able to put together a really good run and come away with 5th place. Being on the podium is the best feeling ever and it was awesome to come to the first race of the season with the number 5 plate and leave with the number 5 plate.

Round 2 was Fort William. It’s not my favorite track with heaps of gnarly rocks, lots of straight sections and the mud bog in the middle. That said it’s the hardest track physically and technically, and also presents a high risk of injury because it’s so fast the whole way down. I ended up 8th, my personal best result for Fort William, which I was stoked with. My time was pretty close to the podium times as well. So for a track I’ve always battled with it was definitely a boost of confidence knowing I’m improving on last year’s results.

After a 10th place at Leogang we headed to Andorra where my season would take a turn for the worst. On a really good run which should have seen me easily inside the top 10 again, I crashed in the second-to-last corner and I broke one of my fingers pretty badly. I still got 28th which was a pretty good result considering a huge crash. I tried to ride the next week at Lenzerheide but I just couldn’t deal with the pain/loss of grip strength in my hand. After Lenzerheide I got my hand checked out and actually needed to get surgery to put wires in my finger. That would put me out for the rest of the World Cups which was devastating. Injury is something that’s hard to avoid in this sport, yet I hadn’t missed a World Cup since 2011 – a pretty good run.

I made the decision to come back and try to race World Champs in Cairns. I had the best looking World Champs bike ever and racing and riding in my home country in front of a home crowd is something I’ll never forget. After 6 weeks of not riding any bikes or training properly, along with my hand not being fully healed yet, it quickly became apparent to me that I couldn’t ride anywhere near my full potential here. My goal became to just have fun and not crash and re-break my not-yet-fully-healed finger. I finished 24th which was actually better than I thought I could do considering the circumstances. I was pretty disappointed with the whole situation but apart from the result it was an awesome week back on the bike.


Josh Button

Another year of World Cup racing is complete. For me, it was a really tough one.

Lourdes started me off with a decent result, I was happy, and I was ready to build off of that. Unfortunately, a knee injury during my time at home before Fort William, left me having an arthroscopy, 4 days before flying out. So I was sidelined for round 2.

The next 3 rounds, I felt like I was playing catch up, my mentality wasn’t there. I felt OK in practice, but come race run, I just couldn’t find that intensity that you need. I had a really good break in Bromont before the next few races. I put flat pedals on, rode my bike every day, and just tried to get back to basics.

Mont Sainte Anne rolled around, and I felt much, much better. I was pushing myself in practice, trying lines, and being a whole lot more playful on my bike. Race run though, I was still having these “average” runs, and I knew it was all my race mentality and confidence.

We decided to sit out the final World Cup Round after Connor’s injury, which I was happy with, considering I had more time to prepare for World Champs in Cairns. Cairns rolled around, I really enjoy that track. I felt very comfortable all weekend, I felt I had a good result in me for sure. All my practices went really well, I was ready. Unfortunately, a little off track excursion up the top, and a small crash at the bottom, prevented any result from me. I was gutted!

I’m assuming I am just putting too much pressure on myself, because these stupid mistakes are happening even when I’m not pushing hard. I will spend the next few months reflecting on my season, working out what I need to do to sort myself out, and hopefully plan some races for next season.

Thanks again to Kona and all our supporters, you guys rock!


Tegan Molloy

There are lots of highs and lows as this season draws to a close. This season has been a tough one for me. With a new UCI rule change that now only allows the top 15 women to qualify for racing I had my work cut out for me. After not qualifying in the first couple of World Cups I struggled mentally to be able to put together a qualifying run decent enough to even be allowed to race. I had a solid training regime over the southern summer so I knew I could do it, although my results did not reflect this.

Changing things up a bit this year I took on a few EWS rounds including New Zealand, Tasmania and Whistler, this was a new challenge. I had lots of fun practicing as a team, getting lost, and riding some sweet new trails. Crankworx Les Gets was one of my favorite races this season. I hadn’t been to Morzine/ Les Gets before but the track used for the downhill race was really good. With fast open grass turns, a super fun woods section and a few jumps in the mix, it was a super fun track to ride and race. I would jump at the opportunity to race there again.

I really enjoyed riding my DH bike in Bromont in between races, and not having to travel back to Australia was beneficial as riding back home is not an option due to the winter season. Mont Saint Anne was my best World Cup result this year as it was the only race where I qualified and had the chance to throw down a race run. I only wish I could have done this consistently throughout the season.

Being selected to race World Champs at home in Australia was definitely a highlight for me this season. Racing a World Championship is pretty special and is quickly made even more special on home turf. The crowd was ecstatic and having lots of friends and family there to support me was awesome. I didn’t produce the run I had in my head but at the end of the day I gave it 100% and came away with 12th. The atmosphere at this race was electric and something that I will not forget in my racing career.

A big thank you to everyone who has continued to support me; I appreciate being a part of the Kona Family and the experiences it has given me.


Anthony Poulson

The 2017 season surely had some good highs and good lows but overall I’m happy with how it went. I didn’t get all the results written on paper but became a way better rider than I was before. I got my best ever World Cup result at my home race in Mont Sainte Anne, where I finished in 14th. I also had a podium finish at Crankworx Whistler.

My World Championships race run was going well too with top 20 splits but I went down near the end. Still one of my best races this season, the track was good and the weather was perfect. I was bummed to leave Cairns with no results but it definitely gave me some good motivation for next season and my move into the Elite category knowing the speed is there.

I’ll be making sure I will be the best I can be mentally and physically coming into the first race next season. I’m happy with my results this year but feel like I could have done it more often and even better – I just need to figure everything out to be the racer I want to be and to be consistent. Really happy to have the Junior years behind me and excited to go race against the big guys next year.


Keep up with Connor, Josh, Tegan, and Anthony on Instagram.

Check Out the Kona Gravity Team’s Custom World Championships Operators!

Photos by Boris Beyer.

As has become tradition at this time of year, Kona Gravity Team manager Mathieu Dupelle has been working hard on custom graphics for Connor Fearon, Anthony Poulson, and Magnus Manson in anticipation of this weekend’s 2017 UCI Downhill World Championships.

The Operator frames that the Gravity team rides are the same frames that you can buy at your local shop or through Kona Ride Online – and we’re happy to announce that the new Operator models with trunnion-mounted metric shocks, revised leverage curves, and updated spec and graphics are now available for purchase

Head over to Konaworld.com to check out the new Operators, and peruse Connor, Anthony, and Magnus’ bikes below…

Connor Fearon – Team Australia

Anthony Poulson – Team Canada

Magnus Manson – Team Canada

An Update from Connor Fearon as Three Kona Gravity Riders Prepare for the DH World Champs in Cairns

Earlier this week the Australian National DH team was announced and Kona Gravity team rider Connor Fearon made the list along with teammates Josh Button and Tegan Molloy. You may be wondering what Connor’s been up to recently and may have noticed his absence from the World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne.

We caught up with Connor and Kona Gravity team manager Mathieu Dupelle in Squamish during the North American Kona Ride launch to get the scoop on the situation. Connor gave it to us straight:

“Alright, so way back at Andorra World Cup I crashed 3 corners from the finish in my race run. For the next few days my hand was pretty swollen and sore from the crash but I could still ride and thought whatever was wrong would heal.

After 3 weeks of it really slowly getting better I got x-rays to see if anything was broken. Turns out my little finger was pretty much broken in half and I had to get a little surgery to put wires into my finger to keep it straight. This really sucked because it would mean I miss out on MSA and Val di Sole. These are the first and second World Cup I’ve ever missed since starting in 2011 (42 World Cup starts).

Thankfully, my hand will be 100% by cairns world champs. I’m so determined that this injury will not slow me down at that race. I can still do most of my training and my full focus is now on world champs!” – Connor Fearon

Mathieu weighed in with his side as the team manager for one of the most consistent riders on the World Cup circuit:

“Unfortunately, this is disappointing for Connor, but it’s part of every pro athlete’s career at some point to have to step down from a couple events to get better. Thankfully, he will be OK for the World Championships in Cairns, in his home country of Australia. He’s been looking forward to this particular race for the last couple of years.

Connor is a smart, hard working person that is determined with what he wants. He will do everything in his power to be 110% ready for the World Champs and will be even hungrier for a good result since he will have missed the last two World Cup races.” – Mathieu Dupelle

So there you have it: an update from Connor, a particularly gnarly x-ray image, and a plan for what is arguably Connor’s biggest race of the year, the World Championships in Cairns. We look forward to watching Connor and fellow Australians Josh and Tegan represent on home turf!