The Kona Factory Team announced its cross country, marathon, downhill, super D and enduro riders for 2011, including a mix of new and returning racers.
Spencer Paxson is the newest arrival for the 29er loving Kona cross country and marathon crew. He'll race with returning racers Barry Wicks, Kris Sneddon and Canadian National 24-hour national champion Cory Wallace.
The 25-year-old Paxson had his best career performance to date last summer at the US Mountain Bike National Championships, when he finished seventh in the elite men's cross country. In a post-race interview with Cyclingnews, Paxson had credited former Kona cross country star Eric Tonkin with helping support his progress.
Two downhillers, Mitch Delfs and Connor Fearon, have come onboard the Kona bus. The young Aussie duo will be looking to turn some heads on the 2011 World Cup circuit.
Delfs is a top 15 usual suspect on the tour with Fearon, who is still racing as a junior, another one to watch. The 17-year-old Fearon will be at the world championships, Crankworx and a few stops on the World Cup while also finishing school.
Finally, the super D and enduro part of the Kona team continues to grow. French racing legend Karim Amour and PNW speedster Matt Slaven of Portland represent Kona's increased commitment to enduro racing. The pair will compete in events like the Magic Enduro at this year's Crankworx.
"We're looking forward to the continuing dominance from our returning riders and some great results and film parts from our latest additions," said 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."
2011 Kona Factory Team
Karim Amour (super D & enduro)
Mitch Delfs (downhill)
Connor Fearon (downhill)
Spencer Paxson (cross country & marathon)
Matt Slaven (super D & enduro)
Kris Sneddon (cross country & marathon)
Cory Wallace (cross country & marathon)
Barry Wicks (cross country & marathon)