If you have seen the latest edit from Connor Fearon and Steel City Media then what you are looking at is the bike Connor rode for most of it. This being the Kona Process 167, a bike perfect for his home town of Adelaide where you often don’t need a full blown downhill bike. We were lucky enough to grab some pictures before Connor departed for the next world cup in Scotland. We have added some simple descriptions to the pictures, enjoy.
There you have a quick look at a very capable do it all bike!
As long time supporters of Connor Fearon this has to be one of our favourite Inside Infos ever, without further adieu we hand it over to the man himself;
Coming into Leogang I had mixed emotions. The first two world cups this year I had a crash and a flat tyre so was disappointed to say the least. Especially after training so hard in the off season I had high hopes for this year. Leogang has always treated me well. In 2012 I placed 3rd in the junior world championships, 2013 I got my first ever top 10 (10th place) and 2014 I got my best result at the time of 9th. I was nervous that I would ruin another race in a row… Fun fact while I’m here, I ended up with plate number 36 for this race. A number I always thought was lucky because C and F are the third and sixth number of the alphabet… I’m not one to be superstitious but I was a little excited when I saw the number.
Anyways, we arrived in Leogang and had a look at the track. There where quite a few new sections which I think made the track better. People always complain about Leogang being to “bike parky”. Meaning it’s hard pack dirt with wide berms and braking bumps everywhere from having a lot of bike traffic on it. There was a lot off fresh loam but after it rained and practice went by all the dirt moved and exposed hundreds of roots. I felt comfortable on the track straight away but took some time setting up my suspension looking for the best performance I could get. In timed training at the end of the first practice day I put in a couple of solid efforts and was around 5th so I thought another top 10 in the finals wouldn’t be out of reach. Next was qualifying. I had planned to just have a solid clean run and not to push the envelope to much because I wasn’t protected. I thought this should land me in the top 20 somewhere. I guess I proved myself wrong when I crossed the line in 2nd place behind Aaron Gwinn. I was happy for about 10 minutes then the nerves started setting in. Getting a World Cup podium is a massive dream for mine and this was the golden opportunity.
I couldn’t really sleep that night because I was so nervous and on race day I just wanted to hurry up and get the race over and done with. I had 2 practice runs and then went back to the hotel and chilled for a couple hours before I had to race. My race run was really good. I hit all my lines perfectly and rode on the edge the whole way. I got to the halfway mark and knew I was on a really good ride so decided to just push it to the finish. Dropping into the last section I rode an inch wide off a fade away drop and landed just outside the track for a split second before returning to the course. I knew people had been harshly disqualified for this in the past so I didn’t know if that mistake would cost me. I came across the line in first which guaranteed me a top 2 spot.
Aaron finished and just beat me with no chain somehow but I really didn’t care I had rode the best race I could. Still feeling so nervous I was going to get disqualified I didn’t feel relieved until after the podium. It felt amazing to stand up there with the worlds best riders and especially my mate Troy who I’ve been racing for 10 years since we where 10 years old. It’s definitely a massive weight off my shoulders to get a podium and I think it’s going to make racing easier for me in the future with this new confidence.
Massive thanks to all my sponsors Kona Bikes, Fox Head, HT components, Fast Twitch gym Adelaide, Yakima racks, Maxxis and all the other team sponsors!
Coming off a devastating result at the first World Cup at Lourdes I really wanted to get a good result in Fort William. In the past I’ve done pretty well there and last year I was inside the top 15. Everyone who follows the world cups knows that Fort William is the roughest and longest track of the year. It has technical woods, flat out rocky sections and the infamous highway at the bottom where you have to pedal the last 45 seconds of the track. By the end your physically exhausted that’s for sure. This year there was a new woods section that had no shortage of slippery roots.The worst part about this race was the terrible weather. It rained non stop and was insanely windy. Especially the top half which is completely exposed as there’s no trees what so ever .
Practice and Qualifying was average for me. With the high winds it was hard to feel good on the bike. The whole top half felt really slow battling a head wind the whole way and also added to the exhaustion because sections of the track you could usually roll with quite some pace everyone had to be pedalling hard to maintain speed. Due to the high winds qualifying and practice was cancelled on Saturday. This meant that qualifying and racing would be held on Sunday, starting at 6:15am!
Sunday was a big day for everyone with the pits coming alive at about 5am. The weather didn’t seem much better although the rain had died out a bit the wind was still terrible. My practice runs where better on race day. I kept changing springs on my shock and never got comfortable on the Friday but I felt like I had it right finally. Most people only got to do one practice run in the morning due to the changed schedule. Since I was out of the top 20 I wanted to have a smooth run to guarantee me a spot in the finals. I must have hit something pretty hard because I broke about 8 spokes in my rear wheel about a minute from the finish. I could feel the wheel slapping both sides of my frame so cruised it to the finish to avoid the wheel collapsing. I still qualified 25th which came to a surprise. Still disappointed because if I hadn’t broken the wheel I could’ve got points for qualifying in the top 20.
My race run started out great I was riding all my lines fast and confident. My improved fitness was also helping me in the more technical sections because I wasn’t as fatigued as the last few years. I noticed my front tyre starting to go flat about halfway and I was devastated. It held enough air to ride but slowed me down significantly and was completely flat by the last section of the track.
I finished 34th still which means I at least got a few points. The last two races have been really disappointing for me because I know I had potential to do really well at them. The next race is Leogang which I’ve done great at in the past so I’m really hoping i’ll have a clean race there!
Thanks to everyone that helps me race- Kona bikes factory team, Fox head, fast twitch training centre Adelaide, Yakima rack, HT components
Follow Connor on Instagram @connorahoyhoy and we will check back with him after Leogang this weekend.
Images: Isac Paddock follow on Instagram @_paddock
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Are your eyes glazing over? Is your mouth open and drool running out like a waterfall? If it is already you may just be eating some donuts or you’ve just seen this beast in front of your eyes! If you’re not you will be after casting your eye over Troy Brosnan’s fresh new Specialized Demo race bike. Put together by his ace (or should that be race) mechanic Aaron Pelttari (look out for an interview on Downhill247.com real soon!) we were fortunate to have Kaneophoto shoot it before it got packed up bound for the UK and more specifically Fort William.
Now….. Troy was good enough to let us get some shots of the bike and show them to you guys but with a condition, we can’t show you guys too much of the bike as there is some trick prototype stuff going on! So we are going to show details but there is a good reason you wont the bike layed out fully in front of you! A sneak peak if you like…
Well wipe the drool up that’s a wrap! Now we can’t wait to see what Troy can do on it at Fort William.
Enduro bikes are in. We saw it at the first Australian national round late last year and whilst that was mainly due to the track set up there is no denying that enduro type bikes make good downhill bikes in a lot of places! Add to the fact and we can’t all afford to have multiple bikes so having a do it all bike is an even smarter idea!
That’s a wrap for the moment, we will be checking out a bunch of other bikes too so stay tuned!
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It seems every riding location around Australia has a local pinner or an up and coming kid who shreds. We had a quick chat with Darcy Grooby, an 18 year old kid who started riding in 2011, as a lot of us do he started on dirt jumps before turning his bike down some trails and getting the downhill bug. A few years later and we have a genuinely nice guy who can win a state level Under 19 downhill race by an easy 4 seconds such as what happened at Fox Creek earlier in 2014! Continue reading “Inside Info: Darcy Grooby”→