Enduro World Series #1 has come and gone and Rotorua did not disappoint! Kona gravity team members Connor Fearon, Miranda Miller, Rhys Verner, and Shelly Flood were able to cut their teeth on the 2019 circuit as a new team on the steep, dusty tracks that have become famous on the north island.
After a busy week at Crankworx racing the downhill event and competing in Whip Offs, Connor Fearon had to race three of the five stages totally blind due to conflicting practice times with other events. While EWS isn’t new to Fearon, his focus has always been primarily on downhill racing. “This enduro business is not easy,” he said. “I raced 3/5 tracks blind so had a few surprises in my race. I finished 35th yesterday. I’m looking for more practice and a better result this week in Derby.”
Sliding just ahead of Fearon in the standings was young Rhys Verner, out of Squamish BC. Verner has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons so his main goal was to complete the race clean and have a good time on course. “I’ve got to say I was a bit nervous to start another year of EWS racing. After last years disastrous start it felt great to put down a pretty well problem free day,” Verner said. “I eased Into the day a bit and felt I really hit my stride for stages 3 and 4 where I finished 28th and 27th on the stages respectively… The whole week with the team was just amazing! Everyone gets along super well and it just was next level to have everything as dialed as it was! Can’t wait for Tasmania and another week with the team!”
On the women’s side, new team member and enduro-hopeful Miranda Miller had a wild
Rounding out the Kona riders for the weekend were Shelly Flood and Alexander Kangas. Flood was recovering from bronchitis, took a nasty spill and wrapped up the weekend in 24th place aboard her Process 153—a real head turner of a bike throughout the weekend. Kangas finished the weekend in 79th place.
Next up the crew heads to Tasmania for the Derby stop of the EWS which takes place on Saturday and Sunday. It’s sure to be a rowdy week for the squad. Stay tuned for the action throughout the week!