Long known as one of the cycling industry’s most interesting, eclectic and diverse collections of international athletes, the Kona Team returns in 2014 more focused, while introducing a new member in Andrew Crimmins, one of the fastest junior DH racers on the planet. Building on their myriad successes last season, this year’s team sees a total of 10 athletes across five disciplines (XC, CX, DH, Enduro, Big Mountain/Slopestyle) and five nationalities (UK, France, Canada, Australia, U.S.A.). The goals are simple: contribute, influence and win (or come darn close anyway). Armed with great support from Kona’s cast of incredible sponsors, look for this cast of wildly talented bicycle riders to make big waves in the coming months.
Led by current UK and European Cyclocross Champion, Helen Wyman, American cross contenders Barry Wicks and Spencer Paxson have their sights set on competing for podiums on both the national and international scene. Aboard her newly designed and lightning quick Super Jake, Wyman will continue her ultimate quest to win the World Championships.
The XC boys, who saw victories in the 2013 BC Bike Race (Kris Sneddon) and Mongolia Bike Challenge (Cory Wallace), a streak of wins in 100 mile MTB races (Barry Wicks), and podiums at the U.S. National Championships and Crankworx (Spencer Paxson), will look to continue their winning ways in everything from multi-day stage races to 24 solo marathons; hour-long super crits to gravel grinders. In 2014 look for the XC Team to be at the Sea Otter Classic, Whiskey 50, BC Bike Race, Single Track 6, 24-hour World Championships, Dirty Kanzaa 200 and many more punishing events around the globe.
Portland, Oregon-based Enduro racer Matt Slaven was off to a banner start in 2013, taking his Process 134 and 153 to a flurry of podiums until a bum in a park shot him in the shoulder, knocking him out what was promising to be a career season. But a bullet can’t keep a good man down. Look for Slaven to come out of the gates in 2014 with a newfound hunger for domination.
Connor Fearon’s 2013 race season ended with a bang–10th at the World Cup Finals in Leogang, Austria. The result landed the young Australian rider firmly amongst the sport’s elite. Helping push him continued success in 2014, comes fellow Australian and junior phenom Andrew Crimmins, who, at 16 is one of the fastest DH riders in the world. The two will be racing one of the lightest downhill bikes on the circuit in the Supreme Operator.
Kona is proud to sponsor two of the sport’s most exciting riders when it comes to Big Mountain, Slopestyle and Freeride. Aggy came a slipped grip away from winning the 2013 Red Bull Rampage, while Bizet’s double back flips, front flips and all-round go for it style won him numerous Best Tricks at a host of European slopestyle events. Both have huge plans for 2014… huge, secret, blow-the-world-away plans. Stay tuned.
Visit the new 2014 Kona Team page to find out more about each individual athlete.