Racing

Wyman 3rd in Belgium

Kona cyclocross ringer Helen Wyman finished on the podium at the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Scheldecross in Antwerp, Belgium. After a grueling race on a track riddled with challenging obstacles, Wyman was able to hold off those charing from the behind to take home third place behind Sanne Cant and Katie Compton. Congrats, Helen, on another strong result.

Velonews has the full recap here.

Travel Insight: Clara Honsinger Crosses the Pond

Recently Under 23 cyclocross racer Clara Honsinger was invited to Europe for her first time as a part of USA Cycling’s 10-day training/race camp in the Netherlands aboard her Major Jake. She recounts some of the interesting cultural differences between racing in America and Europe in this insightful post she wrote to recap her trip. She found that both sides of the pond have lots of great things to offer, but the attitude towards racing and cycling is totally different in Europe. Check out her full recap here.

Wyman Wins in Spain!

Going to Spain for some training is a pretty standard event for me, something I’ve been doing for many years.  This season, though, I managed to squeeze a race into the training camp and help put some speed into my legs.  I’m glad to say it went well, with win number 6 now in the books.  Overall it was a good block of training and I’m now back in Belgium and ready for the busy block of races that faces me for December. These races outside of Belgium have become a vital part of this season, with my focus on gaining a higher UCI rank, following last season’s injury.  I’ve moved up to 10th in the world rankings now, which gives me hope of a front row start the World Championships in January.” – Helen Wyman

Pedaliero Team Reports from the German Enduro One Series

Here’s an update from Kona-supported pedaliero team in Germany, who have been busy racing the regional enduro series this summer. You can follow their progress at pedaliero.

Words by Stefan Westerveld. Photos by Nico Gilles.

For the third time the region around the 1024-metre-high Ochsenkopf was the venue for the growing German Enduro One series.

With the Bullhead House and the organizer WSV Oberwarmensteinach, the BABOONS crew had once again brought in two competent partners who made the best of the trails around the Ochsenkopf and the local bike park.

A total of five stages, with Stage 5 also being the prologue on Saturday evening, had to be raced on Sunday.

The relatively short round with 18km and 350hm had everything for intermediate technical skills but between there were always difficult bits which had to be mastered. And the very rocky terrain provided some flat tires for the riders.

Nevertheless I didn’t choose a tire with a double wall and rode my favorite tire Nobby Nic with a little more pressure on the rear wheel again which worked well in Laax.

The weather played along and everybody had a smile on their face at the end of the day.

But the organizers should perhaps think about Stage 4 again. A 40 seconds “straight line” along a lift corridor would be much more fun with at least a few berms.

In the end a top ten, a podium and a nice weekend was a perfect outcome.

The Enduro One series is a favorite for many Enduro racers these days. For a good reason! Be sure to join in if you’re in the area. In the beginning of October we will see each other at the final in Wipperfürth!

Cheers!
The pedaliero crew

Kona Riders on the Podium at Both USA and UK 2017 Cyclocross National Championships

Kona riders on both sides of the Atlantic had successful racing weekends aboard their Jake CX bikes at their respective 2017 Cyclocross National Championship races. On the European side we saw Amira Mellor of team NEXT Wyman racing in the British Cycling U23 Women’s race, while Kona Endurance team rider Kerry Werner lined up with the Elite Men for the final race of the USA Cycling calendar.

Amira Mellor 2nd in UK U23 Women’s Cyclocross National Championship

Beginning with Sunday’s races in Bradford, England, Amira Mellor clinched a solid second place in the U23 Women’s category. Following up on her first UCI win the weekend previous, Amira is riding strong in the final weeks of her season, and battled to regain position after getting caught behind traffic in the first lap. With a silver medal on home soil, Amira now looks forward to one final UCI round before the World Championships in two weeks’ time.

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amira-mellor-huw-williams-cxnatsPhoto: Huw Williams
Kerry Werner 3rd in USAC Elite Men’s Cyclocross National Championships

Lining up on the front row with the Elite Men in Hartford, Connecticut, Kerry Werner stormed into 2nd place off the start and held on to that position for the majority of the hour-long race. Conditions in Hartford were legendary, with snow covering much of the course and temperatures well below freezing. Kerry kept it upright for a 3rd place finish, enjoying that giant bottle of champagne with Stephen Hyde and Jamey Driscoll.

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Keep up with Amira Mellor, team NEXT Wyman, and Kerry Werner as they head into the 2017 Cyclocross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg on the weekend of January 28-29.

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Kona Endurance Team Racer Cory Wallace Heads to East Timor for More Suffering

After his last incredible feat, winning the 158 mile (255 km) Tour of the Dragon race in Bhutan, Kona Endurance Team racer Cory Wallace spent a few more days in Bhutan after the Prince extended his visa. From there he headed to East Timor for a five day stage race, the Tour de Timor mountain bike race. Read on below for Cory’s detailed recap of his challenging time in East Timor and a 2nd place finish with his team:

After Bhutan it was back on a jet plane for a couple days to head over to the world’s second-youngest country in East Timor. This proud nation situated in Southeast Asia is just 14 years old and is full of an excited group of locals working hard to push their country forward. In 2010 they hosted the first ever five day Tour de Timor MTB race to promote the country as a peaceful place for adventure tourism and ever since the race has been an annual event.

This year the Tour de Timor was on the international cycling calendar (UCI) and attracted 120 racers, many of them top riders from Thailand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Australia, Singapore – and one Canadian. Home to a very hot climate and a crytsal clear blue ocean, the countryside makes a perfect place for a bike race. There is very little traffic and the rough dirt roads traversing all over the mountainous island make for some tough but great courses.

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In 2014 my UK friend Catherine Williamson and I came over for the Tour and were blown away by the rawness and roughness of the race. It was a long week rolling with the punches, sleeping 2-3 hours a night, losing weight eating white rice and dulling our teeth on leather-like beef. It took its toll on us but we both managed to come away with the overall titles. After a year of recovery we both opted to return in 2016, this time being blown away by the improvements which included proper food, huge police and army support shutting down all the roads to ensure our safety and a pretty solid overall organization. It was still a proper adventure given the grim living conditions at camp as we slept in dirty concrete rooms, showered with swamp water beside shitters and had little way of cooling down after racing in the scorching heat.

Teaming up with 2015 winner, Craig Cooke from Australia, and Catherine, it looked like we had an unbeatable 3 person team for this years race. We named ourselves “Team White Rice” and proceeded to fry ourselves to a crisp over the first 2 stages as the course this year stuck down along the ocean in some scorching temperatures and maxed out humidity. Trying to race against heat-resistant tiny Portuguese and Asian climbers was mission impossible for my Canadian Beef as I was overheating before we even started racing each stage at 7am. By the time the sun really came up at 9am, I’d be in full meltdown mode. Catherine being one of the toughest and most accomplished marathon racers in the world, looked at me after having a meltdown in stage 2 and said “I’m not sure about you but I’m getting to old for this stuff.” Being mid thirties, that’s far from the truth. The real truth is that 38-40 degrees is just too damn hot to ride a bike in!

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The week would roll along with hot racing, rough living conditions, but an all round great time as we had a solid group travelling together to take in the crazy experience. My buddy Ben had organized a support car for the week with Belinda and Joane looking after 6 of us riders. This made the week much more enjoyable than in 2014 and helped take the mind off the tough racing that was on hand.

Stage 3 looked easy on paper starting with a 20 km descent, a long flat stretch then a short climb to the finish. Hell came to earth in Timor this day as the heat and humidity took out close to a third of the field. Craig collapsed at the finish needing medical support and I had a bad case of heat exhaustion, unable to eat much of anything for the rest of the day and staying up most the night with a fever. Stage 4 was a survival mission, and by stage 5 the body was somewhat back in the game. By the end of the week, Team Fried Rice would end up 2nd overall, with Catherine finishing 2nd in the women’s division, Craig finishing 4th in the men’s, and myself 6th.

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After a couple post-race days hanging out on the island it was off to Singapore for a couple nights staying with my friends Ken and Laura. They were amazing hosts, helping me run around picking up more supplies, preparing nutritious meals, and finding a local shop to fix my Kona Honzo race bike.

Originally my flight was booked back to Canada for September 21st, but the organizers at MTB Himalaya were pretty persuasive and I now find myself up in the northern mountains of India getting ready for another 8 days of racing as I will attempt to reclaim my title from 2014.

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I’ve been lucky to have had such great support this trip and am actually still feeling alright considering all the travel and racing that has been going on. It will be an experiment to see how the body is going to handle this race but theres only one way of finding out its limits. After 10 days of high altitude training in Bhutan, 1 week of high heat training in Timor, and some OK rest I have my fingers crossed for something to be left in the tank.

Huge thanks to my friend Ben Jones and Shimano Australia for sending over a bunch of replacement parts and for Walton at Attitude Bikes in Singapore for giving my bike an overhaul as she has been hurting ever since riding 250 km across Bhutanese mud at the Tour of the Dragon. Of course without the huge support from my title sponsor Kona Bicycles this trip wouldn’t be possible as they have stood behind my adventures for over 7 years now.

Off to find some more curry to fuel up the tank…

Helen reports from Koppenberg

helen descending in sand The past weekend wasn’t exactly my best weekend on the bike so I’ll get that bit out of the way first. At GP Twenty20 Cycles, Koppenberg, I took the lead, crashed with no help from anyone else, and the pain that followed held me back and I wasn’t able to perform at all. A very sad 8th place finish in my hometown race was a big disappointment but I’ll be back. So it was on to Zonhoven, a sandy classic in the East of Belgium. (more…)