Kailey Skelton Calms her Nerves to the Podium

KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

The Pacific Northwest always has provided some of the best tracks in the Nation particularly the one on Dry Hill in Port Angeles, Washington where the notorious under world cup race event happens every year. This Northwest cup race will bring the best racers from East and West coast areas also including some of the best downhill racers from the borders of Canada to all come together and compete against each other for the top spot.

With Steven Walton staying back home to finish up some suspension testing it was up to Kailey Skelton and Nik Nestoroff to hold it down for the team in the PNW. The team would arrive Wednesday in Seattle to make their four hour journey North to Port Angeles. The official first day was Thursday with only track walk and sightseeing of the course.

KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.
KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

After track walk both athletes were very excited to gear up for Friday’s practice session. After seeing the awesome well maintained track with tricky sections, lots of cornering, steep sections and roots to deal with, they were up for the challenging conditions.

Friday’s practice went very well for both Nik and Kailey; they adapted to the track very well and to their benefit they have raced this track for many years at past events. With that said they were getting up to speed very quickly and making very little changes to the bikes and they’re set ups.

KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in POrt Angeles.
KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

Qualifying day came very quick and they were excited to throw down a hot lap to see where they would stand up against the competition. First they had a great three runs of practice before a late evening 5 PM qualifying session which would seat Kailey in 2nd and Nik in 6th.

KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.
KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

With Sunday came the Downhill final event for the team they were gunning for top spots and podium positions both in the professional men and women’s Downhill category. Kailey Skelton would come across the line in an overall position of second place with a very solid run! Kailey stated “I struggled with confidence on this track all weekend and I was super grateful to walk away in second place” Kailey has put in the hard work and her consistent podiums have definitely been shining throughout the 2021 season. In the men’s category it was Nik Nestoroff who would stick in a consistent six place overall just one position off the podium. For the pro men’s category times were very tight with Nik only being five seconds off the winner of Charlie Harrison.

KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.
KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish.

The team’s overall performance was awesome throughout the weekend and showed that we can compete with the best no matter what track destinations we end up at. The team is always striving for the top spot and will continuously be our goal throughout the season!

KHS pro MTB Kailey Skelton on track in Port Angeles, WA. at the Northwest Cup.
KHS pro MTB Kailey Skelton on track in Port Angeles, WA. at the Northwest Cup.

Now with a three week break the team will refocus and get some good training and testing in before the first Downhill UCI World Cup event happening in Leogang, Austria quickly followed up with next week’s crankworx, Innsbruck event also happening in Austria!

Royal Ranch, WV. with Luke Whitlock

KHS Pro MTB rider Luke Whitelock riding at Royal Ranch, WV.

Luke Whitlock heads out to West Virginia for the first round of the FMB Bronze Slopestyle event held at the royal ranch with some of the best international Slopestyle riders in the world, competing against each other for the top spots of the Slopestyle Freeride world.
Luke Whitlock has been holding down the Slopestyle and big mountain freeride scene for the KHS Pro MTB team while the team has been showcasing race type events. Luke has been training hard from Reno, Nevada to Virgin, Utah and all the way to Santa Cruz California to keep his skills sharp and improving every day.
KHS Pro MTB rider Luke Whitelock riding at Royal Ranch, WV.
KHS Pro MTB member Luke Whitelock riding the Royal Ranch in West Virginia for the first stop of the FMB Golden Slopestyle tour.
Being on the freeride scene it’s more about video productions, social media and photos, but when it comes to competition Luke has been training hard to get on the top spot at his first 2021 competition. This is no little competition either it’s one of the highest ranked Freeride competitions in the world ranked at a golden stature just below diamond which is compared to an event like the RedBull rampage.
Luke would head out from his hometown in Reno, Nevada all the way out to the woods of West Virginia to compete against the best athletes in the world on a great Slopestyle course designed by some of the best. Along with the designers of this high competition course would be just as high demand judging from likes like Reed Boggs and Brett Reader.
KHS Pro MTB rider Luke Whitelock riding at Royal Ranch, WV.
KHS Pro MTB member Luke Whitelock riding the Royal Ranch in West Virginia for the first stop of the FMB Golden Slopestyle tour.
Luke only had 2 1/2 days total to practice and dial in all his tricks he really wanted to make it count with an unique run and showing the judges he has a lot of tricks in his bag. When it came to the finals he only had two runs to lay it down taking the best score out of those two runs.
His first run went very well with a huge bag of tricks down the course and consistent smooth riding would put him in sixth place. With what he was calling his safety run. Luke would have a lot more to come for his second run but unfortunately when he went for his double tail whip mid run he would slip a pedal and slide out.
KHS Pro MTB rider Luke Whitelock riding at Royal Ranch, WV.
KHS Pro MTB member Luke Whitelock riding the Royal Ranch in West Virginia for the first stop of the FMB Golden Slopestyle tour.
Luke would finish the day off in six place out of 30 of the top international athletes. Knowing that he had more in his pocket and could’ve and most likely would’ve ended up on the podium. Luke still gained great confidence coming away from this competition and huge success from the whole entire weekend with riding and competing against the best Slopestyle athletes.
Overall it was a very successful trip to compete against some top-notch competition and shake the competition bugs off to get prepared for his next competition down in Mexico! In the next couple weeks Luke will be heading down to a huge Freeride event in Mexico to challenge again some of the best free ride athletes in the world we wish Luke the best of luck and look forward to his success!

Podiums out in Fontana for the KHS Pro MTB team

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking the first place in the Pro Men's DH race out in Fontana at the final round of the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB riders Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton going 1 and 2 in Fontana at the final round of Enduro at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB riders Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton going 1 and 2 in Fontana at the final round of Enduro at the Southridge Winter Series.

It would be Steven Walton Kailey Skelton and Nik Nestoroff competing in Saturday’s Enduro and also Sunday’s final downhill race. Fontana has produced some of the best Enduro and Downhill racers in America and continues to do so. Saturday would fire off with Enduro racing with three complete stages the team would have to really focus in and stay consistent throughout each stage.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

Kailey Skelton would have some tough competition. She was leading stage one and two but with some minimal mistakes on stage III she would end up second place overall in Saturday’s final pro Women’s and Enduro category.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

As far as the pro men’s Enduro category goes it would be a battle between teammates Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton would be battling each other throughout all three stages to see who would come out on top. After stage one it was Nik Nestoroff leading the pro men’s category with a super blazing time. They would have to transfer over the Southern California mountains to stage two which Steven Walton would throw down a blistering time to win stage 2.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

It was very intense coming into the final stage with time so close and basically whoever won stage III would win the overall Enduro Pro men’s  category for the day. After it was all said and done Nik Nestoroff would take the win in the pro men’s Enduro category. After combining all three stage times it would only be a three second difference between Nick in first place and Steven in second place.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the DH track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the DH track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

Sundays Downhill finals started off with great practice for Steven Walton and Kailey Skelton. Nik Nestoroff would be on the sidelines due to Mother’s Day and his big win and the enduro category. The track was very technical and fast and the two KHS athletes were really enjoying the final Fontana course. In fashion it would be Kailey Skelton who takes the big win in the professional women’s Downhill category and to top the day off it would be Steven Walton who would come down with a blistering time to beat some of the top factory athletes to take the win!

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking the first place in the Pro Men's DH race out in Fontana at the final round of the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking the first place in the Pro Men’s DH race out in Fontana at the final round of the Southridge Winter Series.

It was awesome to see a KHS Bicycles take both wins in the Downhill category on the same day. History was made with both professional men and women taking top spots and continuing the teams domination of the Fontana Winter series.