“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!
“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
“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
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
Podiums at First Race of the year for the KHS MTB team was last modified: January 16th, 2023 by Flick
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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!
US Open, Killington VT, EWS Switzerland was last modified: September 22nd, 2022 by Flick
Round three of the Big Mountain Enduro series fired off at Brian Head, Utah with over seven grueling stages at the high altitudes of 10,000 feet with very rocky terrain. It would be Kailey Skelton and Nik Nestoroff holding down the pro men and women’s Enduro categories.
Brian Head resort is very famous for their long rocky descents with high-speed technical sections and they’re very loose terrain. Thursday and Friday would be practice. Each athlete would be testing their limits on the loose terrain to find the best and fastest lines. Both Nik and Kailey were feeling good in the high-altitude Rocky Mountains. The first day of racing would be conducted on Saturday with only two stages being held. Those stages were the backcountry stages known as the longer grueling and more taxing stages with long stage transfers and over 5K of climbing. Kailey would wrap her day up with a solid third place overall finish going into Sunday’s finals and Nik Nestoroff would be fighting off some mechanicals he sustained throughout the week but would maintain a solid seventh position against the best American athletes in the Enduro race series.
Sunday’s finals would come quickly, both athletes would be trying their best to recover from those two grueling backcountry stages which took high demand on the physical body and mental status. With Sundays five stages to go that was still a lot of racing even under lift access circumstances. The athletes would be pushing their limits and it would be vital to maintain a steady pace without crashing to keep chipping away at the top times. Kailey would be sitting in top three position on her final last stage when she unfortunately had a pretty big crash and sustained no injuries but with slot her back-and-forth position. This was Kailey ‘s second Enduro national race in her career, which was still very impressive, grabbing a podium position on the national Enduro series level. Nik Nestoroff has been racing for over 16 weeks straight and was definitely feeling the grueling race schedule with back-to-back events and thousands of miles of traveling. Nik would maintain a solid seven position and hold onto that top five overall position going into the final BME of the year which will be held mid-September at Mount Bachelor. The team will have roughly 2 to 3 weeks off before heading off to Killington, Vermont for the U.S. Open and Nik Nestoroff will be holding down the final Big Mountain Enduro in Mount Bachelor to try and claim the Big Mountain Enduro series title. Steven Walton and Nathan Kitchen are both on the mend and will be all healed up and ready to go for the U.S. Open in Killington Vermont. The team and athletes would like to thank all of our sponsors, family, friends, and fans for all the continuous support! Hope everyone is enjoying the summer, once again thanks for taking the time to read this newsletter and support the team.
Big Mountain Enduro #3, Brian Head Utah was last modified: August 30th, 2022 by Flick
Massive doubleheader race weekend for Team KHS Pro MTB. We would have Kailey Skelton and Steven Walton holding down the Gravity Fest event in Big Bear, California. It would be Nik Nestoroff all the way across the United States of America holding down the World Enduro series in Sugarloaf Maine. On the West coast Kailey and Steven would be holding down Dual Slalom along with Downhill. On the East Coast it would be Nik Nestoroff holding down the top international field of racers in the Enduro category.
Big Bear, California has been hosting some of the best gravity races since the 90s and it would be one of the best race organization groups Team Big Bear who would be hosting the event along with Kyle Strait who spent multiple hours conducting probably one of the best Slalom tracks in the past decade. Friday would fire off with Slalom practice for both Kailey and Steven along with Slalom qualifications. Slalom consists of the top 32 riders in both men and women who will be taking to the finals which will be conducted on Saturday. The dual slalom track was the closest track to Supercross style riding which was very unique and a great step forward to futuristic tracks that should be implemented throughout the US and race events to come. Unfortunately, bad news would strike Steven Walton on his second run out of two he would sustain a crash which seated him 33rd place and not making the round of the 32 cuts. Kailey Skelton would make a few mistakes but would qualify in six position and onto the final for Saturday evening.
Saturday evening would be firing on all Cylinders for the final dual slalom final, the crowd was roaring with over 1000 spectators viewing. Kailey Skelton would make it through her first two rounds, but unfortunately in her round of eight she would miss a gate and get docked 1.5 seconds back against the current Dual Slalom US National champion competitor she was facing. With that Kailey still would put the hammer down and try her best to overcome this one .5 second deficit but would cross the line short and end her night in 6th overall. Kailey was really enjoying the SX type track and technical jumps that came along with that, she does not spend a lot of time in this discipline and acclimated on an above. She will be looking forward to more of these types of events.
Sunday morning would kick off with Downhill finals Kailey and Steven would take a few practice laps on the famous Miracle Mile track that has been raced for over three decades from the best competitors in the world. Both Steven and Kailey would make huge redemption for Sunday’s final Downhill event and would both take the top spot for the men and women’s Pro Downhill event!
3000 miles across the US would be Nik Nestoroff competing in the high mountains of Sugarloaf Maine. He would fire off Saturday with one of the Pro stages which was definitely very slick technical and physical conditions he would fight his way through to 11th position. Sunday would have five more stages that were all very technical and high demand. Throughout the day Nik would grab some top 15‘s in multiple stages and also grab a six place overall in one of the stages, which was absolutely phenomenal since he was competing against the absolute best racers in the world. Before the last stage Nik was running 11th place, which was unbelievable and amazing to see Nik throwing down some of the best results of his career. On his last stage he would push very hard to capitalize on a top 10 but would have a minimal crash that would set him back overall in the top 20 which was still one of his and the team’s goal to break into the top 20.
The whole entire team will be traveling throughout the US to all meet up in Brian Head, Utah for the Big Mountain Enduro series that will be hosting some of the best rocky mountain terrain mountain biking has. It will be Nik Nestoroff, Kailey Skelton, and Steven Walton holding down the pro men and women’s fields for the Big Mountain Enduro. We also want to give a shout out to our Junior Pro who was still healing up from his broken collarbone Nate Kitchen, we will be seeing him soon in the U.S. Open being held later in the season in Killington Vermont. Once again, the team wants to thank all our dedicated sponsors, family, friends and fans. We definitely couldn’t do this without all the support from everyone above. We will see you guys all soon in Brian head, Utah!
Gravity Fest & Enduro World Series Sugarloaf was last modified: August 25th, 2022 by Flick
Big Sky Montana, Round 2 of the Big Mountain Enduro Series brought some of the best Enduro racers from the world (Richie Rude, Cody Kelley). The racers would have to ride 8 grueling stages throughout the Montana Mountains. They would be climbing over 5,500ft day 1 and 1,500ft day 2. The 8 different tracks were unique with all different types of conditions. From steep shoots, rock gardens, and natural fresh cut sections the 8 stages truly brought everything to the table condition wise.
Day 1 would start out with the first 4 stages; stage 1 was one of the longer and more physical tracks. Nik Nestoroff would drop into stage 1 and end up 14th place. Kailey Skelton would unfortunately have a massive crash in her stage 1 run and suffering a mild concussion which would force her to pull out of the remainder of the race and completely. Nik Nestoroff would carry on to stage 2 with the climb being difficult 1,200ft climb at a high altitude. After stage 2 he would pull some time back and move himself into 12th place going into stage 3. Stage 3 and 4 were also very physical tracks with times being over 5 minutes long. Nik’s consistency with during the day 1 stages would place him in 9th place going into Sunday’s day 2 stages.
Day 2 would be an exciting day for Nik with the tracks being more downhill oriented. He would fire off his first stage of the day with 7th place. Only 3 stages left, and Nik was really giving it his all to pull back time. Stage 6 would also be a great stage for him with a 4th place finish, and only 2 stages. All of the racers were really feeling the physicality on top of the long endurance days. Nik would go into stage 7 with a 5th place finish. The final stage would be the highlight of Nik’s weekend with a 2nd place stage finish. This was impressive as it was the most challenging and technical stage of the event. With all the times combined Nik would complete the race with an impressive 8th place overall.
Nik stated “It was a very successful weekend of learning more about Enduro Racing. You have to keep consistent and it’s a fine line of pushing too hard or not enough.”
The team’s next stop will be Nik and Kailey in Whitefish, ID for a Northwest Downhill Cup Race, and Steven Walton will be competing in the Strait Acres Slalom Race in Big Bear, CA. The following weekend August 3-8 the team will all be meeting up in Mountain Creek, NJ for round 2 of the National Downhill GRT Series.
Big Sky Enduro Round 2 was last modified: July 26th, 2021 by Flick