Kona’s Factory Team is one of the largest multi-disciplinary mountain bike teams on the circuit. For 2011, 11 riders will compete in downhill, freeride, enduro and cross-country races.
"We're looking forward to the continuing dominance from our returning riders and some great results and film parts from our latest additions," says Shawn ‘Smiley’ Nesbitt, Kona's sports marketing manager. "With the support of our partners, we're quite confident that a lot of great things are going to go down this year."
Downhill and freeride
Kona’s downhill team is made up of Mitch Delfs and Connor Fearon. The young Aussie duo will contest the 2011 World Cup circuit on Kona's new Supreme Operator. Fearon, who is still racing in the Junior category, is known in Australia as one to watch as he looks to break onto the pro circuit.
Kona’s Clump freeride team refocus their efforts with Graham Agassiz, Paul Basagoitia and Grant "Chopper" Fielder. Agassiz will film with Anthill Films, along with helping Kona develop and new freeride bike. "Stoked to be on Kona for a couple more years and being more involved than ever," said the 20-year-old from Kamloops, BC.
Basagoitia has plans to film with Freeride Entertainment in 2011, along with a busy slopestyle schedule, which he will ride on his signature Kona Bass. Fielder designed the course for last month’s Whitestyle in Leogang and will be promoting and running his school program and hitting as many dirt jump comps as he can squeeze into the season.
Fielder riding his Leogang course
Enduro and endurance
The Super D and enduro side of the team grows to promote Kona’s Magic Link equipped Cadabras and CoilAirs. French racing legend Karim Amour and Pacific Northwest speedster Matt Slaven of Portland, Oregon will fly Kona's flag at enduro races across North America and Europe this season. The racers will also provide feedback to aid the development of Kona’s Magic Link bikes.
Kona welcome a new member to their cross-country and marathon team, who now race almost exclusively on the brand’s 29in wheeled bikes. Spencer Paxson joins Barry Wicks, Kris Sneddon and Canadian national 24-hour champion Cory Wallace on the endurance circuit.
The 11-rider team are missing one big name, however – their long-time cross-country frontman Ryan Trebon. The third placed rider at the 2010 national cross-country championships has yet to announce a self-built program for 2011.
All of the Kona Factory Team’s race rigs are equipped with Maxxis tires, Shimano components, e*thirteen chainguides, RockShox suspension and WTB saddles. The gravity team will use Easton cockpits and wheels, while the enduro and endurance racers look to FSA cockpit components and Stan’s Notubes.com wheels.