New for 2015, the Kona Team splits into two separate groups: Kona Gravity and Kona Endurance. The move is designed to further the focus and brand reach of what was once the Kona Team. Kona Gravity includes both our big mountain athletes and our World Cup Team, while Kona Endurance includes our cross-country, marathon, cyclocross and endurance road athletes. Each group will be running different sponsor groups, with the Gravity team very excited to continue with a new 2-year contract with SRAM components and RockShox suspension, and another year on Stan's No-Tubes wheelsets. The Endurance squad will be running Shimano drivetrains and wheels, Fox suspension and Pro Cockpits, and clothing from Champion System. Both teams will be running Maxxis tires, WTB saddles and FSA headsets.Kona Gravity:
Graham Agassiz, Antoine Bizet, Connor Fearon, Andrew Crimmins, Tegan MolloyKona Endurance:
Barry Wicks, Spencer Paxson, Kris Sneddon, Cory Wallace, Helen WymanAgassiz, Bizet and Fearon sign new 2-year Contract Extensions
It's one of the most high-powered collections of young gun, gravity mountain bike athletes in the world. All in their early 20s, and all having grown up on Kona, we couldn't be more excited to be continuing our relationship with Aggy, the Canadian freeride superstar, Bizet, the French slopestyle aerialist, and Fearon, one of Australia's fastest downhill riders and a rising star on the World Cup DH circuit. All three have just signed new 2-year contract extensions and will be riding Kona Gravity bikes through 2016.
Huge front flip in the Utah dirt. Image by Lars Scharl
"The Kona family fits perfectly with my personality and the bikes are badass! I'm so stoked to go two more years with the cool Canadians. The best years of my career are coming and I'm stoked to spend them on my Kona.
Bike check image by Sterling Lorence
"This will be my 10th year with Kona, and what an amazing journey it has been. It's a real dream come true and I'm very thankful for all these years of support. The future just keeps looking brighter and brighter, and I couldn't be happier with where I'm at."
Bike check image by Ewald Sadie
"I'm really happy to be signing again for my 5th and 6th years with Kona. I'm looking forward to continue to improve my results and help create the best bikes we can with Kona.
Spencer Paxson is setting his sights on the Olympics. Image by Scott Robarts
He's one of North America's fastest XC racers, and he's been doing it all while holding down a full time job. Yes, by all accounts and measures a real workingman's pro rider. But that's all about to change for the 29-year-old Paxson, who has decided to go all in this year, putting 100% of his focus into racing as he makes a run at the World Cup XCO circuit and ultimately, the 2016 summer Olympics. Atta boy Spence!
Cory Wallace sticks it to the World Marathon scene. Image by Margus Riga
He's a quiet, humble Canadian hard man who spends his winters logging in the far reaches of the Great White North. But over the last decade or so of racing, Cory Wallace has emerged as one of the world's top marathon XC racers. He travels the world battling it out in epics like the 9-day Crocodile Trophy, which sees 100 of the world's best marathon racers grind it out over 700kms in northeastern Australia. From the Himalaya, Mongolia and East Timor, the current Canadian Marathon champion is either winning or earning a spot on the podium. Follow his always adventurous exploits on his blog
Helen Wyman did her traditional North American tour to start the 2014-15 cyclocross season. Building on her strong showing state side, the UK superstar strung together a series of top three finishes in the opening rounds of the Superpresige and GVA series, and also finished 2nd at the opening round of the World Cup circuit in Valkenburg. Helen looks to continue her success through the remainder of the season, focusing on securing a record 7th British National Championship title and doing her best to better her silver medal ride at last year's Cyclocross World Championships.
Kris Sneddon to keep focused on Endurance events.
Following his string of impressive wins last season at the BC Bike race and Single Track Six, along with his third consecutive silver medal ride at the Canadian Marathon National Championships, Kris brings his amazing skills and undefeatable attitude back to the Kona Team. Sneddon is a legend of mountain bike racing, always ready for the next chance to hammer anyone who dares challenge him. This season he will continue to focus on endurance racing, while also accompanying Paxson on his World Cup campaign, offering guidance and support from his years of racing.
Barry Wicks racing in Bend, Oregon. Image by Mike Albright
This season Barry will continue to pursue the emerging field of gravel grinder races, focusing on the Dirty Kanza 200. After amazing experiences and a sharp learning curve last season, Wicks is bringing his years of excellence and experience to this new race format. Barry will also continue to challenge at multi-day mountain bike stage racing, supporting Kris and Cory as they battle each other to be the top dogs of the Endurance mountain bike game. Barry will also continue on his cyclocross career on the North American cyclocross circuit, aiming for podium finishes and great rides.
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