KHS Pro MTB riders Luke Whitlock and Dylan Cobem headed out to Prineville, Oregon to compete at the Natural Selection Proving Grounds presented by Pacifico freestyle contest.
“Practice went great all week and was feeling great on my line choice and tricks.” Luke Whitlock said. He continues, “Come Friday morning, in qualifying, I was able to put down a solid safety run which had me sitting in 4th place after my first run. Come the end of run 2 I was bumped out of the qualifying bubble into 6th and was forced to do a second run as the last rider to drop. My run was going great until the second to last jump, where I then overshot a flip nac to flat resulting in a hard crash over the bars. I had to take my first run score which was only good enough for 6th place, 1.5 points off the 5th place rider, and just one spot shy of qualifying for finals the next day. Super bummed to have crashed out but grateful to be competing with the top 28 free riders in the world.”
Natural Selection Proving Grounds was last modified: September 14th, 2022 by Flick
What a mega weekend of racing for the team this past weekend. We had all factory riders and most of our grassroots athletes all competing in different regions all on the same weekend.
Starting off with factory rider Luke Whitlock and newest member to the grassroots program Dylan Cobern were both in Cedar City, UT at a mountain bike festival throwing down some big tricks and representing our freeride side of things at the highest level. Here’s what Luke Whitlock had to say “A music festival would be the last place you’d expect a mountain bike jam to come about, but that was not the case in Cedar City, UT at the Landslide Music Fest this past weekend.
With expected crowds of upwards of 5000 people Dylan Cobern and I headed up north to Cedar City to put on a show for the people attending the event. While dealing with the crazy weather that Southern Utah has to offer this time of year, we were still able to throw down some solid tricks and whips for the crowd in between rainstorms. This event was unique and special to us because we were able to reach a completely different industry and group of people and introduce them to freeride mountain biking, which is really awesome and rewarding to see, especially since the spectators were very engaged!”
Also, our other grassroots athlete Naish Ulmer was representing the team in the Utah/Idaho regional event coming away with double wins. Here’s what Naish had to say: “I raced the 2nd & 3rd stop of the Utah Gravity series in Pomerelle, ID. There was a double header race happening over the weekend and I was able to take both wins. I was super pumped to stay consistent and get the win for the team!”
While the freeride lads were holding in down for the team it was Steven Walton who was representing the team at the Strait Acres Dual slalom event happening in Big Bear California. This event had some of the best American athletes competing for one of the best Spector races of the year! Qualifying was on Friday evening with Saturday evening being set for the finals. Steven would be going head-to-head to make it to the top spot. At the end of the evening, he would place a respectable top 20th finish.
Sunday would be hosting the Pro men’s downhill race with some tough competition, basically all the top athletes competing in the Slalom race would be switching over to DH for Sunday. Steven would be racing the notorious famous DH track of Miracle Mile. This track has had some of the best DH riders from all the way back from the 80’s. Steven would give it 100% and cross the line in 2nd place!
All the way up in the Montana mountains you would find Nik Nestoroff and Kailey Skelton holding it down at the 3rd round of the Northwest Cup series! Nik and Kailey would be on the 4th consecutive race in a row keeping the focus sharp and race craft even sharper. This event brings some of the fastest racers from all around the West and Central areas. The athletes were really impressed with the track lay out and conditions they would be dealing with over the 3-day event. They would both be qualifying Saturday and racing finals Sunday. Qualifying would bring only the best results with both athletes taking the top spots. It would increase their pressure to lay it back down on Sunday’s finals and maintain the lead. Nik & Kailey would do just that and not let anything stray them from the wins! They would both have dominating race runs with 7-9 seconds leads on the completion.
The team did very well overall this past weekend with getting 3 podium positions and setting themselves up to continue their success on the National round 2 in Vernon, NJ at the famous Mountain Creek bike park. All the racers will be flying out Tuesday and preparing for Sunday’s finals. Kailey is currently sitting in 2nd place overall in the women’s Downhill National series. Steven in 4th and Nik in 5th for the men’s Nationals overall. The team will be reporting soon from New Jersey woods!
Podium packed Weekend was last modified: August 3rd, 2021 by Flick
What was originally going to be a weekend getaway visiting my good friend (and absolute shredder), Dylan, turned into a few weeks’ stay, heavy sessions, and overall good vibes. Dylan and I had one vision when we decided to put some content out for the public to see. That vision was to capture the raw Utah sessions that go down out in the desert using only my “Dad Cam” and not to make this video a “project” but only to capture what happens when two buddies feed off each other’s riding and progression, head to the zones, and throw down whatever comes to mind that day. Although this time of year is not ideal for filming, digging, and riding here in Virgin, we were able to make the most of the 4:30am wake ups to beat the 110+ degree heat and film some solid lines we were stoked on.
Virgin has a special energy that cannot be described, but only to be experienced, and that’s exactly what we wanted to capture. We wanted to take freeriding back to its roots and create a more raw, big mountain, Utah feel, and that fueled the motivation to hit some of our favorite legendary zones that we had always dreamed of riding. Zones we’ve seen our idols ride in movies and videos.
Dylan and I love riding the big mountain lines that Southern Utah provides, but wanted to incorporate everything that Virgin has to offer, which included some of the legendary jumps that we’ve all seen the top dudes in the sport ride in previous videos and Rampage events.
Riding Southern Utah with Friends was last modified: July 8th, 2021 by Flick
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.
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.
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.
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!
Royal Ranch, WV. with Luke Whitlock was last modified: May 17th, 2021 by Flick