Big Mountain Enduro Rd 3, Sunrise Az.

KHS Pro MTB rider McKenna Merten on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.

Round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro Series took place at Sunrise Park Resort in Arizona. This venue is always a proper enduro, racing above 11,000ft on long physical downhills. Day 1 started with an hour and a half pedal to get to the backcountry where we raced two brutal but super fun raw stages before heading back to the bike park for the last stage of the day.

KHS Pro MTB rider Bella Naughton takes 3rd place at round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro series at Sunrise Resort, Az.
KHS Pro MTB rider Bella Naughton takes 3rd place at round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro series at Sunrise Resort, Az.

Day 2 was mostly in the bike park with 4 top to bottom stages that really got the arms pumping and tested all the fitness that I had left after day 1. I was happy to get a stage win on stage 6! After 40+ minutes of racing I finished 3rd overall in Pro Women. I am motivated to continue to improve and get faster. Next up for the team is the North American Enduro Cup in Kellogg, Idaho!
-Isabella Naughton

KHS Pro MTB rider Bella Naughton on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.
KHS Pro MTB rider Bella Naughton on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.

Sunrise BME is a great venue with a mix of raw bike park stages and “rough cut” backcountry stages. 2 physical days of racing at elevation on long rough tracks make for tough weekend. I was very excited for a dry race close to home. Day one started with two back country stages that I finished 3rd on both to start the day.

KHS Pro MTB rider Jackson Wicklund takes 3rd place at round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro series at Sunrise Resort, Az.
KHS Pro MTB rider Jackson Wicklund takes 3rd place at round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro series at Sunrise Resort, Az.Screenshot

Then e-bikes went straight into an uphill “power stage” that was a very steep hill climb with log and rock obstacles. We Ended the day with a top to bottom bike park stage that I finished 2nd on. With all stages raced on day one I finished the day in 3rd place 15 seconds away 2nd place. Going into day two I was planning on pushing hard to get into 2nd place.

KHS Pro MTB rider Jackson Wicklund on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.
KHS Pro MTB rider Jackson Wicklund on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.

The day consisted of 3 bike park stages, 1 backcountry stage and 1 uphill stage. I ended up getting 3, 2nd place stage finishes but didn’t quite make up the time I needed. I’m happy with how I was riding on the second day and to finish the weekend healthy in 3rd place.

KHS Pro MTB rider McKenna Merten on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.
KHS Pro MTB rider McKenna Merten on the course at the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series that was help at Sunrise Resort, Az.Screenshot

I was very happy with how my new SR Suntour suspension paired with Kenda tires handled the dry rough stages. I was running a new Duralux 38 fork with 170mm of travel and a Kenda pinner up front and the new Black Diamond tire in the rear.
-Lucas Cowan

KHS Pro MTB rider McKenna Merten takes 3rd place in the women's downhill at round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro series at Sunrise Resort, Az.
KHS Pro MTB rider McKenna Merten takes 3rd place in the women’s downhill at round 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro series at Sunrise Resort, Az.Screenshot
Super fun weekend with the team! Stoked to finish third in my first Big Mountain Downhill race on a really technical and physical course. Overall a great weekend of racing and cheering on everyone in the Enduro. Thanks to the KHS Pro Team and co-sponsors for the support and helping me chase my dreams each weekend!
McKenna Merten

Big Mountain Enduro Rd 2, Windrock Tennessee

KHS Pro MTB Rider Jackson Wicklund on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.

Round 2 of the Big Mountain Enduro Series  went down at Windrock bike park in Tennessee this weekend! Crazy rain at the beginning of the week made for pretty muddy practice days which made learning the stages a little challenging. The sun did come out though and started to dry up the dirt a bit and the racing was full on from there. The two days of racing were a blast but also brutal on the body.
KHS Pro MTB Rider Bella Naughton on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB Rider Bella Naughton on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
Day 1 was 3 stages with two being 8+ minutes of racing on rough, steep, rocky terrain that never let up the whole way down. The arm pump got me towards the end of stage 1 and it was a battle to try and tame it the best I could the rest of the weekend. Day 2 was another 4 stages of again, gnarly tracks that really tested fitness and skills. I
KHS Pro MTB rider Bella Naughton on the podium in 4th place for Pro Women's Enduro at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB rider Bella Naughton on the podium in 4th place for Pro Women’s Enduro at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
was happy I was able to keep it together and get some good stage results and make up some time. I finished the weekend 4th overall in Pro Women!
KHS Pro MTB rider Jackson Wicklund on the podium in 1st place for Semi Pro Enduro at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB rider Jackson Wicklund on the podium in 1st place for Semi Pro Enduro at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
I’m also super proud of the whole KHS team putting in great results! Jackson winning the semi pro class was pretty awesome to see!
KHS Pro MTB Rider Lucas Cowan on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB Rider Jackson Wicklund on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
Lucas 3rd in e-bikes and Shane with a solid 12th place in Pro men! We all have a lot of fun and I enjoy getting to learn from them at every race!Thank you to all our sponsors for supporting the team and making these race weekends happen! We wouldn’t be able to do it without all your help! I plan on putting my head down and working hard these next few weeks to get ready for the 3rd round in Sunrise, Arizona!
-Bella Naughton / Factory Enduro 
KHS Pro MTB rider Lucas Cowan on the podium in 3rd place for E-Bike at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB rider Lucas Cowan on the podium in 3rd place for E-Bike at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
Stoked to have been racing on some proper tracks this weekend. Was glad to be racing the big bike again and on some DH tracks. Saturday race day had some gnarly long tracks that were rad, unfortunately I had a few mechanicals throughout the day that kept me a bit further back.
KHS Pro MTB Rider Shane Leslie on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB Rider Shane Leslie on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
Sunday started to dry up and was able to charge a bit more. I was happy to have a top ten stage and start pushing the pace a bit more. I’m really excited to have a month at home prepping for my home race at Sunrise in Arizona. I can’t wait to be racing in the dry and be battling up front again!
-Shane Leslie / Factory Enduro 
KHS Pro MTB Rider Jackson Wicklund on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.
KHS Pro MTB Rider Jackson Wicklund on the trail at the BME round 2 in Windrock TN.

Big Mountain Enduro Round 3, Durango Colorado

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton riding to second place in the E-bike class at the round 3 of the BME in Durango, Colorado

“I had a fun weekend with the team in Durango for stop three of the BME Series! With a base elevation of 8,800ft and summit of 10,882 , this race was tough on the body! After over 40 minutes and 8 stages of racing I was able to come away with a 2nd place podium finish in Open E-Bike and continue leading the overall points standings going into the final event of the series! A huge thank you to the shimano crew on site for assisting to make sure my KHS 6555+ was running top notch all weekend in the tough colorado conditions.  Off to National Champs this week in North Carolina before diving back in to finish the Big Mountain Enduro Series with a bang!”
– Steven Walton
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton on the podium in second place in the E-bike class at the round 3 of the BME in Durango Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton on the podium in second place in the E-bike class at the round 3 of the BME in Durango Colorado.
“The week started off really well. I was looking forward to putting in a top-five finish and getting my first podium of the season, the KHS Pro MTB program has really been coming together, and I am feeling very acclimated to the bike and team. I had some great overall stage finishes within the top three but unfortunately on day one I had a massive mechanical, which would put me out of the overall. Looking forward to the fourth round which is hosted two weeks from now in Brian Head Utah. It’s time to get on that podium and finish out a strong season”.
– Shane Leslie
KHS Pro MTB rider Shane Leslie at round 3 of the BME in Durango Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Shane Leslie at round 3 of the BME in Durango Colorado.

Podiums at First Race of the year for the KHS MTB team

KHS Pro MTB rider Nate Kitchen out on the down hill course out at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nate Kitchen on the podium in first place at round 1 of the Southridge Winter series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nate Kitchen on the podium in first place at round 1 of the Southridge Winter series.

“The Team could not be prouder to fire off the 2023 season with Nate Kitchen & Steven Walton grabbing top podium positions out at the Southridge Winter series in Fontana, CA! It was not an easy weekend of racing with California dealing with torrential downpours, we were lucky to be racing and staying safe throughout these tough weather systems. Steven Walton would grab 2nd place in the Enduro & Down Hill events in some wet conditions. Nate Kitchen would have some dominance performance in the Jr. pros taking the top spot!

KHS Pro MTB rider Nate Kitchen out on the down hill course out at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nate Kitchen out on the down hill course out at the Southridge Winter Series.

“Solid weekend out here in Fontana for the first race of the year. Happy to start the season right with a 1st place finish. Southridge bringing the wall back and some rain made things tricky and super physical. Glad to keep it together and excited for what the rest of the year has in store”.

 -Nathan Kitchen – Jr. Pro Athlete 

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton out on the soggy Enduro course out at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton out on the soggy Enduro course out at the Southridge Winter Series.

“First race of the 2023 season is in the books! Had a huge amount of rain come in to shake things up for racing! Saturday’s Enduro race saw some cold and wet condition, and visibility was a challenge, but I stayed smooth for a 2nd place finish. Sunday’s DH race I was able to start the year with a second-place finish! I always enjoy the Fontana winter series as it’s great to see where your pace is at and what changes need to be made early on in the year before our race schedule gets packed”

 -Steven Walton – Pro Athlete 

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton out on the podium in second-place for Down Hill at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton out on the podium in second-place for Down Hill at the Southridge Winter Series.

We would like to thank Southridge Racing for always putting on the best Winter series possible and all our sponsors and supporters! Bootleg Canyon State Championships will be held next weekend! Kailey Skelton will be debuting her first race of 2023 at the Costa Rica Open at the beginning of February and Shane Leslie will be debuting his first race at the Tennessee National second weekend of March!”

-Logan Binggeli – Team Management 

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton out on the podium in second-place for Enduro at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton out on the podium in second-place for Enduro at the Southridge Winter Series.

 

US Open, Killington VT, EWS Switzerland

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track in Killington VT at the US Open.

Wow, where to begin the whole team was literally racing all over the world from Killington Vermont to Crans, Montana Switzerland. All the way over the Atlantic Ocean would be Nik Nestoroff holding it down for the world Enduro series for the second to last EWS of the season. A brief quick summary he would continue a success on the world tour with Saturday and Sunday firing off with racing stages. The first day would intel of the pro stage which was over six minutes of racing in snowcapped conditions. Yes, you heard that right, the Switzerland alps are already getting snow and it would be tough conditions for Nik Nestoroff who would end up 41st in his pro stage and moving onto the next day Sunday for his next final stages. Nik would fight through the day and end up top 50 overall in the Swiss Alps. He would overcome some mechanicals and have an overall steady finish.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff at the EWS event in Crans, Montana Switzerland.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff at the EWS event in Crans, Montana Switzerland.

Back on the soil in Killington, Vermont it would be Kailey Skelton, Nathan Kitchen, Steven Walton holding it down for the U.S. Open Mountain bike event which was the final event on USA soil. This event was mega and would bring athletes all across the world! With a massive prize purse each event showcasing $15,000 for the winner people would gather to try their best to claim the big prize money! To fire off into the event it would be our junior pro Nate Kitchen holding down first place in dual slalom! Nathan Kitchen was fresh off his collarbone injury from US national championships and would make everyone proud for finishing on the top step of the podium after continuously rehabbing his collarbone and starting from ground zero back on the wood.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nathan Kitchen on track in Killington VT at the US Open.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nathan Kitchen on track in Killington VT at the US Open.

From there Nate, Steven and Kailey would be holding it down full-time in the Downhill professional and junior professional categories. Also, our superstar free ride athlete Luke Whitlock was also attending the U.S. Open for the whip off contest. Luke would have full attention Saturday night under the lights with a mega freestyle jump throwing down backflips, Superman ‘s and obviously the best weapon. Luke is definitely an asset when it comes to our free ride side and it’s great to see him showing off his skill sets among the thousand fans scattered across the mountain side watching the whip off contests.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track in Killington VT at the US Open.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track in Killington VT at the US Open.

Back at it with the racing events held in Downhill, Kailey Skelton was on a long journey overcoming some health issues on the way out traveling over 3500 miles from California she was dedicated and showing great passion towards her career. She would have a long five days ahead of her with two practice days, a qualifying day and a final held Sunday she had a lot to overcome in the least to say, the team was very proud of her. For the two boys Steven Walton holding it down in the professional pro men’s downhill field and Nathan Kitchen holding it down in the junior pros field they were showing great speed and great qualifying times but just couldn’t put it together when it came down to the finals. Both of them would unfortunately crash out and end up top 25 in both of their categories. It was all up to Kailey Skelton to hold it down for the team in the racing categories, Kailey would push very hard and cross the line in fourth place against some of the best races in the world. Those racers would be Nina Hoffman, Jill Kitner and the list goes on. Kailey did an excellent job finishing on the podium against the best international racers in the world. We are all very proud of her for throwing it all down for her final race of the season!!

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton on track in Killington VT at the US Open.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton on track in Killington VT at the US Open.

Nik Nestoroff will continue his Enduro campaign in European territory, heading off to the world Enduro series final which will be hosted in France, from there he is heading to the trophy donations. Some detail on that event is that he has qualified in the top three positions for all American racers to represent team USA at the highest level of Enduro racing. We are very excited to see what Nik can do on these last two events overseas and wish him the best of luck.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff at the EWS event in Crans, Montana Switzerland.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff at the EWS event in Crans, Montana Switzerland.

As always, the team is very dedicated, passionate and grateful to be racing mountain bikes across the world and showcasing each individual ‘s talents. We want to thank all of our continuous sponsors, family, friends, and all our fans that support us throughout the season who make all of our dreams come true. Till next time I’ll see you between the tape!

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on the podium at the US Open in Killington VT.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on the podium at the US Open in Killington VT.