Kona's Factory team ready to race

Kona's Factory Racing Team is returning for 2009 with its riders from last year along with one new...

Kona's Factory Racing Team is returning for 2009 with its riders from last year along with one new downhiller Joe Smith.

Tree Farm, also known as, Ryan Trebon, is back after winning the US National Cyclo-cross and overall North American Cyclo-cross Trophy (NACT) titles. Still tall and fast, Trebon's schedule will include a few stops on the Kenda US Cup Series, the Downieville Classic, Kona's 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo and a World Cup or four.

The other half of Kona's Twin Timbers, Barry Wicks, returns with his eyes locked on World Cup cross country races. Wicks will return to the BC Bike Race to defend his title along with teammate Kris Sneddon, who is returning after injury dampened part of his 2008 season. Wicks will also race at the Old Pueblo.

Back for his ninth season on a Kona rig, hometown hero Erik Tonkin will complete a handful of Kenda US Cup Series races and will attempt his first solo 24-hour race at Old Pueblo.

"It'll be like racing 24 'cross races in a row," Tonkin said.

Ripper Wendy Simms returns for another season, this one focusing on multi-stage races. Fresh off her fourth Canadian National cyclo-cross title, Simms will look to defend her BC Bike Race title with husband Norman Thibault.

Team newbie Smith, a three-time Junior Welsh National Champion and 2008 IXS European series winner, holds an impressive track record. He finished 18th overall and in the top five as a junior at the World Cups last year.

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