What an amazing season to look back on with the KHS Pro MTB race team!
What an amazing season to look back on with the KHS Pro MTB race team!
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!
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.
EWS round five fired off in Burke Vermont on US soil. All the international World Enduro athletes gathered around to showcase their talent on American soil. It would be our one and only athlete Nik Nestoroff holding it down for the pro men’s field coming into round five in the World Enduro series.
Nik would have six grueling stages to deal with weather conditions wet, grimy, slick, steep, physical with all the above technical terrain backed throughout every stage. Nik would dive into day one with pro stage results placing him in 30th position. This was excellent news for Nik sense day one was much longer stages. The first day was more of the physical long grueling tracks which was more of an Enduro style, not any of the short and snappy stages which would be held for day 2. Nik would be competing against the best racers in the world names like Sam Hill, Richie Rude and Jack Moore along with the above athletes that have been dominating the Enduro field for years. This was only Nik’s second EWS race and he was already thriving to break into the top 25 and continued success from Whistler BC EWS round four.
Come day two Nik would have five grueling stages being shorter and more trended towards downhill like stages, he would fight his way through the pack in continuous success throughout the day. The name of the game in Enduro is definitely keeping the rubber side down and having consistency throughout the day. That is exactly what Nik would do: he would accomplish his goal and land himself in 23rd position after a grueling six stages overall. It was roughly 35 minutes of grueling racing and Nik would make his top 25 goal. This was excellent news for the team. He would be building confidence going into round six for the Sugarloaf Maine EWS round. Nik will have roughly 4 days off to recoup and recover for his next world Enduro race he is very excited for the next round which is definitely not as physical with more grueling tactical tracks that he will be facing.
We are very excited that Nik is showcasing his skills, bringing our team to the top of the world enduro series and representing us at the highest level of international racing. Again, we want to thank our sponsors, friends, family and everyone who supports us throughout our season of racing. It’s always a pleasure to be between the tape and we are all grateful to be happy and healthy going into our next rounds of racing. Also, next week Steven Walton and Kailey Skelton will be holding it down in Big Bear, California for the Kyle Strait invitational Dual Slalom race, they’ll be facing the best Dual Slalom racers throughout America, and we wish them the best and look forward to seeing them on the track with head-to-head racing!
What an amazing race. The 2022 US national championship was definitely one for the books from start to finish. Held in the high-altitude mountains of Winter Park Colorado this was one to Remember. Team KHS Pro MTB would be racing events such as Dual Slalom, Enduro and Downhill.
Practice for Downhill and Enduro would fire off early in the week starting Tuesday. Everyone on the team will be competing in Downhill. It would be Nik Nestoroff holding it down for the Enduro category. Wednesday and Thursday would consist of two-hour sessions on the downhill track. The team would be dialing in the lines and making their best efforts to have the track completely in tune for Saturday’s seeding.
Friday would consist priorly of Dual Slalom. Steven Walton and Nate kitchen would be practicing, qualifying and racing finals all within six hours on Friday. Both athletes would qualify within the top 10 to seed them perfectly in the round of 32. The track was short, snappy and very physical. Steven Walton would make it through his first round and go onto the round of 16, from there would have some tough competition and be eliminated in the second round with good efforts and showing high amounts of speed against the best build in America. Nate Kitchen would be holding it down in the junior pro category and would make it all the way to the second to find round battling for third and fourth position on his final run when he would unfortunately have a massive crash due to his bicycle crank arm coming in contact with a flag and taking him down hard. His crash would result in a broken collarbone and be taking him out of Sunday’s final downhill race. Nate was definitely one tough cookie and even with his costly crash he would be holding down a national podium for junior pro and would be fourth overall for the day.
Saturday would entail all the best American Enduro riders all fighting for a title there were four grueling stages all very physical and high demanding. Winter Park has always been known to be more on the physical side instead of the talent side. Nik Nestoroff would complete all three stages and head into the final stage in the top three positions. 30 seconds before the final stage he would have a big mechanical that was completely out of his control with losing his chain derailleur and unfortunately finish eighth overall in the pro men’s Enduro category. On top of the Enduro final going on Downhill seeding was late that afternoon; it would be the first top to bottom timed run to see where all the athletes would be sitting. With a solid run for Kailey, she would seed first and gain great confidence going into Sunday’s final. Both Nik and Steven would seed in the top 20 positions and have a lot more in the bank to give in the finals come Sunday.
Sunday would start off with bright blue sunny sky with an awesome practice session from all the athletes. As the amateur ranks made it down the mountain for their final runs the athletes were waiting their turn to head up the gondola for their final race run, literally lightning struck and the US national championship downhill race was on hold due to severe rainfall and lightning. Within 30 minutes there was approximately 3 to 4 inches of rain dumped down on the track changing conditions dramatically and making for an unknown run for all the riders with wet slippery conditions. Steven Walton would try his best to acclimate to the ever-changing conditions and with a clean solid run he would finish 32nd out of the field of 150 pro downhill racers. Nik Nestoroff would have a blazing run and hold down the hot seat for a good portion of the race until overall he would finish ninth place. It would all be up to Kailey Skelton to back her 2021 national championship title up. She would be the last woman down the racetrack with tremendous pressure on her shoulders not only to back up her first place seeding run but to back up her 2021 national championship title. Kailey would have a massive bobble at the top, nearly almost crashing but keeping the rubber side down and putting the bottom half of the course to her advantage. Kailey crossed the line and would win her second national title ever in her career. The emotions would fly high for the entire team with Kailey claiming her second title and becoming the 2022 US national Pro women’s downhill champion.
The team will definitely be celebrating all of their achievements and hard work over the weekends, but not for too long most of the team will be heading off to West Virginia for the UCI World Cup Downhill being held next weekend. Once again, we’d always like to thank all of our sponsors, friends, family and fans for all the tremendous support. It was another amazing national championship event with KHS Bicycles claiming another title!