The 2023 Fox US Open of MTB at Killington, VT is in the books! The race organizers did a great job putting together the most prestigious event in American Mountain Biking. Thank you, Clay Harper and Crew!
This was definitely a unique race for me, being the only KHS Pro MTB Team Racer in Vermont, with KHS Pro MTB Team Racer Nate Kitchen being sidelined with two broken arms due to a practice crash at his home and Shane Leslie racing the EDR Enduro in France. I enjoyed racing the 2023 US Open of Mountain Biking in Killington. With huge roots and slippery rocks scattered throughout the course, it made the race quite challenging. I was stoked to finish 5th in the Open E-Bike Enduro class against some stacked competition. Not my best result, but I’m happy to finish the season with all E-Bike results in the Top-5. Consistency is key.
I would like to give a huge thanks to KHS Bicycles and everyone else who supported the program! The entire team will be heading into the off-season to start preparations for 2024. We will be working hard throughout the Fall and Winter and have some exciting non-racing video content coming out. See you on the trails!
Steven Walton – Pro Athlete – KHS Pro MTB Team Racer
FOX US OPEN OF MOUNTAIN BIKING was last modified: September 27th, 2023 by khsadmin
The festival would take place in the Big Bear, California San Bernardino Mountain Range, which is known for some of the best mountain biking in North America. Shane Leslie would be competing in the Pro men’s Enduro category with some tough competition ahead. Shane would overcome all the presented stages and take the overall victory.
It was great to see Shane on the top spot of the podium and gather some more confidence heading into the back half of the season with some EWS rounds left on his schedule. The main highlight of the weekend was the Dual Slalom which brought some of the best racers around the world to compete for the top spots. It would be our Jr Pro Nate Kitchen who would be stepping up to the premier class and Steven Walton both athletes would be among the best to duel it out for the pristine Strait Acres event. Friday would be Slalom qualifying with everything trying to make the night show which was only the top 16.
Steven Walton would give it his best attempts to get in the final rounds, but would barely fall short at the end of the day qualifying 18th. Nate Kitchen would take his skills among the best and would have a blazing qualifying run to sit in 6th position. Finals would be hosted Saturday evening with Nate’s eye’s on the prize, his first round was going very well beating out top athlete Nik Nestoroff in the first red lane, but would have some quick misfortune by losing his chain in the next battle and not making it onto the round of 8.
Nate showed amazing speed alongside the top professionals as he was still a Jr. Pro. Sunday would be hosting the Downhill event which was going to be some of the best action all week. With Hurricane Hilary on the move, it was in everyone’s best safety that the race had been canceled and was most likely being moved to the next weekend. The overall weekend was amazing. We want to thank everyone at Team Big Bear, Strait Acres, and Snow Summit for hosting another great event! The team would also like to thank all our sponsors, fans, friends, and family who continue to support!
Big Bear, CA Gravity Fest / Strait Acres Slalom Event was last modified: September 15th, 2023 by khsadmin
“Big Sky was epic this year with some wild conditions in the mud. Day 1 was going well sitting just outside the top 5 until a big slide out at the end of stage 4. Day 2 went much better with a couple top 5 stage results and moving back up a bit on the overall. Can’t wait to keep building into the Morzine EDR next month.”
“That’s a wrap on the 2023 Big Mountain Enduro! I’m extremely stoked to end the series with a hard fought win and claim the E-Bike Overall Title! Myself and 2nd place were swapping stage wins all weekend and after 8 stages of racing in the tough muddy conditions only 1.5 seconds separated us.
Thrilled with how my KHS 6555+ performed this weekend and super impressed with the durability of the bike and components throughout the entire season. We have a few more races coming up before the close of the year that I’m looking forward to and I’m already excited to start working towards more great E-Bike results at next year’s Big Mountain Enduro Series! Huge thank you to everyone at KHS, our team sponsors, our great distributors, and everyone else who supports us! This wouldn’t be possible without you!”
“Tough week with extremely challenging rain conditions as it down-poured all day, everyday during our practice and race days. Race day #1 was so smooth until it wasn’t! I had a big slam stage 3 and due to the mud, I couldn’t get back up to my bike, costing me over 45 sec of time. My goal for day 2 was to stay smooth and finish strong.
Day 2 went so well! Smooth and ended up having some great stage finishing of second and thirds. I’m happy to finish strong and I am looking forward to improving my enduro races! Wish I didn’t crash, after analyzing times I would have been on the 2nd or third podium step! Thank you KHS for the support.”
Final Big Mountain Enduro, Big Sky, Montana was last modified: August 9th, 2023 by khsadmin
Round four of the Big Mountain Enduro series was hosted this past weekend over the Utah holiday of Pioneer Day.
The BME was hosted at the famous Brian Head, Utah ski resort located 50 miles North of Zions national park, this event would be hosting the best North American Enduro riders to compete on the 2023 Enduro circuit. It would be our one and only pro male Shane Leslie that would be holding it down for the team this coming weekend.
Brian head is known for its long aggressive stages. It is approximately 9000 feet in elevation which is equivalent to 15% more oxygen than your normal 21%. They would be competing in a total of eight stages over gnarly, rough loose terrain. There would be four stages hosted on Saturday and the other final four hosted on Sunday. Shane will arrive Thursday afternoon to complete his practice along with Friday was also a training day to navigate all the lines and figure out the best choices for all eight stages.
Saturday would come quickly with some stages, being backcountry and others being in the bike park, Shane would power through the day with a couple of minor mechanicals, which would include a flat tire on stage two but luckily at the bottom of the stage, so not much time is lost.
Shane would finish up day one in the 11th spot. Shane was excited to reel some time back and try to get in that top-five podium position for Sunday’s finals. Shane would give it his all but the competition would be very tough among the top 10 and times are very tight. Shane would have four good stages Sunday with keeping the rubber side down he would finish the overall weekend in 11th Place.
Shane and the team definitely want more and will be back training and figuring out some more details on getting Shane up to speed among those top five racers. We have a two-week break before the finals that will be hosted in Big Sky, Montana. We look forward to seeing everyone at the races, and as always want to thank our sponsors, friends, family, and everyone who supports the program! See you in two weeks.
BME Rd. 4 Brian Head, UT was last modified: July 28th, 2023 by khsadmin
Mountain Creek bike park has been hosting the best DH events since DH history began. All three athletes Kailey Skelton, Steven Walton and Nate Kitchen would all be gunning for the top steps of the podium! After flying across the country the team would gather their bearings and build their team bikes Tuesday. Wednesday would be the official track walk for all athletes, the track was short with sections of steep rock gardens, fast ski slopes and all around a very explosive high demanding track! In most years past the track would see rain and make for slippery conditions but this year it was set to be bone dry. Day 1 practice would fire off early Friday morning with the track ever changing and the athletes finding their fastest line and running their race machines into the East Coast track. All athletes were taking well to the track and feeling confident for Saturday’s qualifying! The team couldn’t voice enough how much this overall bike park was put together and always a pleasure to ride! Saturday evening would intel of Nate Kitchen going P1 and feeling very confident for finals! Unfortunately both Kailey and Steven would suffer mechanicals and finish in the back of the pack for qualifying, but safe going into finals. Sunday finals would kickoff with Nate Kitchen dropping first for the junior Pro category with massive high hopes all maintaining his top qualifying and carrying that into finals, but unfortunately would suffer a mechanical towards the top of the track and finish 25th. It would be up to Kailey Skelton and Steven Walton to grab a podium finish against the best American racers. Steven Walton would give his all and push himself into 16th and it would be Kailey Skelton who would throw down a solid run to grab 4th place and get the team on top the podium. Along with Kailey grabbing a podium it was a great successful event with many public people and fans stopping by our vendor race booth! The team will have a few weeks off before heading out to Arizona to compete at round 2 of the Big Mountain Series. Huge thanks to all sponsors, fans, friends and family who support us!
Logan Binggeli | Team Management
Wow it was a pretty tough week with a track that was changing every run, consistently!The track was dusty, blown out and tedious as many loose rocks were appearing each lap. I am a bit bummed knowing I could have ridden better than I did. I ended race day with a 4th place after blowing off the track in my race run. I believe this stemmed from not having race speed confidence due to me getting a flat tire in my seeding run. Due to the flat tire in seeding I wasn’t able to feel this track at speed until it was time to race. This gave me less confidence as I was in the unknown of what it was going to feel like. I rode slower and stiffer than I normally do and sometimes that’s just how it goes. Overall we are safe and that is what counts. Onto the next with big goals in mind!
Kailey Skelton | Pro Athlete
USDH Rd. 2 Mountain Creek was last modified: June 7th, 2023 by khsadmin