After a succesful season last year, Kona have obviously impressed motor magnates Ford enough for them to keep sponsorship when a lot of big name (particularly motoring) sponsors are pulling out of the sport.
Team Kona Ford Focus will take part in all Tissot/UCI World Cup rounds, The Tissot/UCI World Championships, NORBA XC Events and all UK National Points Races and SAMS events in 2001, including The Redbull 24 Hour Race and The 2001 Cheddar Challenge.
The Kona Ford Focus 2001 line up is as follows:
The Factory Team
Scott is 22 years old and from Doritwich, Great Britain. Scott has been with Kona since he moved over from BMX racing in 1995, Scott now races in the Dual Slalom and Down Hill categories and has proved that he is the UK’s best dual rider by finishing the highest ranked British rider finishing 5th in the world cup dual series. His best results last year were two second places in the UCI world cup in Cortina, Italy and Mont Saint Anne, Canada. Scott’s goal for 2001 is to finish in the top three in the world in Dual Slalom.
Tracy is 21 years old and from Worcester, Great Britain. Last year was Tracy’s first year riding for Team Kona Ford Focus. Tracy rides in the Down Hill category and she proved that she was a 1st class signing buy winning the British National Championships, British National Points Series and also the European Championships. As well as these top results Tracy completed her degree in Biology and received a 2.1. Tracy is currently in New Zealand training for her first year as a professional rider and has already won her first National championship race out there. Tracy is looking for a top 5 position overall in the world and to keep hold of her National and European Championship jerseys.
Geoff “Kaboom” Kabush
Geoff is 23 years old and from Victoria, British Columbia. Geoff has been with the Kona Factory Team since 1997. He completed his Engineering degree at the University of Victoria in May 2000 and went on to establish himself as one of the top Cross-Country riders in North America by taking a solid 9th place at the Sydney Olympics, the top North American rider. Geoff is currently ranked #18 by the UCI. His top World Cup result came in Mont St Anne, Quebec with a fine 8th place in front of a home crowd. Geoff also had x4 Top 5 results in the 2000 NORBA National Series, and took 2nd in the Canadian National Championships.
Ann is well-known for her total domination of the US Cyclo-Cross Super Cup and Championships for the last three years. She moved into MTB cross-country in 2000 and took x3 Top 10 results in Park City, Mammoth Lakes and Crystal Mountain. Ann is 26 years old and hails from Seattle, Washington.
Road, Cyclo-Cross and Mountain…Pete does it all. Member of the Kona Factory Team since 1997. Two-time Canada Cup Champion (1998 & 1999). 4-time Canadian Cyclo-Cross Champion (1997-2000). Pete is 27 years old and lives in Fredricton, New Brunswick.
Dale is a Cyclo-Cross hero from Tacoma, Washington, the dominant Cross rider in the Pacific NorthWest since 1996. He has x5 Super Cup victories under his belt as well as a US Cyclo-Cross Championship (1998).
Marc is from Fernie, British Columbia. His primary focus for 2001 (3rd year with the Kona Factory Team) will be the Canada Cup series where he took x3 Top 3 results last year. Marc has the same coach as Geoff and is on the program to follow in his tracks.
British Development Team
Kona have always been involved with grass roots racing and once again Kona Ford Focus will be supporting the riders at grass roots level. This year these include John Venness – 2000 Master National Points XC Series and National Champion, Becky Milbourn – 2000 Expert National Points XC Series Champion, Darren Howarth – 2nd overall in the National Points Series & also two old favorites Ross Tricker and Pete Lawrie.
Seeing as they’ve been kind enough to keep all these folk from turning up on our doorsteps trying to sell us double glazing or vouchers for the local restaurant, we though it only fair to let Ford have a quick word.
“The choice of partner was particularly important to us, since the last thing we wanted was to be a faceless corporate sponsor – We wanted a partnership, with a real rationale. Kona worked well for us because of the great similarities to Focus. Both Kona bikes and Focus are renowed for great ride and handling and we share a similar design ethos (funky & different).
As a mountain biker, you know how important the ride is – This is the first thing that hits you when you drive a Focus. Razor sharp handling and great feedback, but with a real plush ride. You don’t have to take our word for it – Focus was the first car ever to be Car of the Year in both Europe and in America. It’s got to be the best way to reach the gnarly singletrack.”
So now you know.
Additional sponsors are: RockShox, Tioga, Hayes Brakes & Clim8 Cables who we’re sure would also claim to be “funky and different” in their own right. If you still haven’t quenched your thirst for corporate sponsorship knowledge then even more facts, pictures and regular updates can be found on the teamkonafordfocus website.