Barel and Moseley start season with podium finishes
Kona boosts its 2007 roster with the full-time addition of Wendy Simms. The team hopes to build on last year's success which netted five national championships and an overall world cup victory.
Simms makes the move full-time to the Kona factory team after splitting time with Velo Bella-Kona. Last year, she took fourth in the cross country at Sea Otter and 16th at two World Cups. For 2007, Simms will focus on the NMBS races and select World Cups in hopes of boosting her chances to attain a spot on the Canadian Olympic team roster for the 2008 games.
Two-time world champion and current French downhill champion Fabien Barel will return to the team along with Tracy Moseley. Barel comes off an injury-plagued 2006, much of which was spent rehabbing a broken foot, but Moseley won three World Cups and never finished off the podium on her way to the overall World Cup victory in 2006. Along the way she took home a British National Championship, too. Her focus this year is on winning the World Championship title on what she considers her home track in Fort William, Scotland.
Both Barel and Moseley started off 2007 well with podium finishes at the 2007 Maxxis Cup Round #1 in Gouveia, Portugal, even after both sustained injuries during practice runs prior to competition. Moseley won the women's semi-final round; likewise Barel did the same by beating Cedric Gracia by two seconds. Moseley dropped to third in the final run, but Barel held his advantage and took the win.
Current US Cross Country Champion Ryan Trebon leads the men's endurance team. He also won the cyclo-cross national title, becoming the first rider in over 20 years to hold both elite men's jerseys in the same year. When not riding for Kona, Trebon will make guest rider appearances with the Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada road team. Otherwise, he will focus his energy on the North American NMBS series and defending his national titles. Barry Wicks, reigning US National Short Track champion, will join Trebon on the cross country circuit.
Other racers include Canadian Kris Sneddon, American Erik Tonkin, Canadian U-23/Espoir National Champion Neal Kindree, and 4X'er Kamil Tatarkovic, who finished third in last year's World Cup. The team will be managed by Mark Peterson.