DH

Kona Dream Builds: Connor Fearon’s 2018 World Champs Operator CR 29

Connor’s manager and mechanic Mathieu Dupelle and his buddies at Impact Designs have made a habit of making life hard for themselves when it comes to Connor’s World Champs paint schemes. Each one topping the previous one just that little bit, I mean how many ways can you paint a bike green and gold? Well, it seems that Mathieu has found another way, and we think you’ll agree that this 2018 World Champs is a pretty bloody snazzy looking whip and could just be the best custom Operator Connor has ridden yet! #RooShooter


Short Circuit: Connor Fearon Rolls into the Top Ten in Timed Training at La Bresse

It’s hard to believe the 2018 World Cup DH Season is almost over, after it finishes this weekend in La Bresse, France all we’ll be left to watch is the World Champs in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Timed Training has only just wrapped up and we’ve still got two days of World Cup DH excitement left.

The track at La Bresse is totally new for 2018, and its mix of bike park berms and flowy trail seem to be a hit with the riders. Connor had this to say after finishing 9th in timed training earlier today, “The track is fun, there’s actually heaps of pedaling in it which I didn’t think there would be after walking the track. The bottom section is sick, the dirt is pretty loose and slippery.”

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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!