World Cup Racing Starts in Leogang, Austria

Finish line at first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.

It’s the most exciting part of the year with World Cup racing beginning in Leogang, Austria! It would be Steven Walton & Nik Nestoroff who would be making the European trip to compete at the highest level of racing. They would be flying from Los Angeles, California all the way into Munich, Germany to race. A lot of pre-trip planning and documentation would go into this trip to make it as safe as possible and following the CDC guidelines. Nik and Steven would be showing up one week in advance before the first round. To dial in their KHS Downhill bikes and get their feet underneath them with time changes, jet lag, language adjustments and do some overall testing to adjust to the European Alps.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Nik Nestoroff getting in a race run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Nik Nestoroff getting in a race run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
They would need a place for all this testing to happen, it would be in Schladming, Austria just down the road from the actual race venue to complete some of their crucial testing and get them up to speed and rolling at top-notch levels! The KHS athletes had sunshine and a great few days of riding some of the best DH track in the world. After testing was completed and the athletes were feeling up to pace they would move onto Wednesday’s track walk which was a crucial day for nNik and Steven to get a look at the track that they were going to have to compete on Saturdays finals. The track walk weather was very good with sunshine and clear skies everyone was very excited for day one training which would be Thursday!
KHS Pro MTB RIder Nik Nestoroff getting in a practice run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Nik Nestoroff getting in a practice run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
Thursday would be a training day only to get everyone up to speed, but with Thursday’s training day came some horrific thunderstorms that would produce over two inches of rain and would completely switch from the dry conditions that track walk had to full mud tires, tear offs and rain gear just to get down the track. It was a very tactical task just to complete a total of five runs for both Nik and Steven and accomplish line selections and overall get the track down and memorized going into Friday’s qualification day.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Nik Nestoroff getting in a practice run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Nik Nestoroff getting in a practice run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
Friday’s qualification day would come with training and practice just before qualifying once again the rain came down that evening which would play a consistent part in keeping the track very tricky and slick. All the athletes would be on their toes and struggle to just keep the bike up off the ground. Qualification would get underway, it would definitely be a track that would be hard to keep consistent on. It was a tough day on the hill for many with some of the most talented riders not qualifying along with a massive bummer for Steven Walton who would crash midway on the track and would not qualify for Sunday’s finals. With that burden of the news there would come positivity with Nik Nestoroff making it into the finals and would be on the hunt for Sunday’s finals.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Steven Walton getting in a practice run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
KHS Pro MTB RIder Steven Walton getting in a practice run at the first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
Sunday’s finals came very quickly and the ever-changing track would be drying out and the weather in the Austrian Alps would be sunshine and blue sky‘s for the finals! With that said with the track conditions being so wet the track was becoming very blown out and you had to stay very focused on your lines with the track literally changing every run for each rider. Nik would be roughly starting at 2pm and would put massive pressure on himself to perform and do his best. Nik would have a blistering run with very minimal mistakes which was basically impossible for anyone to have a clean run on this type of track and its conditions that were presented. Nik would cross the line with the top 50 result with the best downhill athletes in the world. It was definitely a battle from the first day and goals were met and we were walking away with healthy riders going into next week’s race in Innsbruck Austria for the first round of the crankworx series.
Finish line at first World Cup race of 2021 in Leogang, Austria.
Both Steven and Nik learned a lot from this first World Cup race and would continue to better themselves going into next week’s race. I believe we achieved a lot of data and confidence getting the first round under the teams belt and will only progress from here. Once again we want to thank all our fans, family, friends and ever dedicated sponsors that provide us with all the immaculate tools to compete at this level of racing and make dreams come true. The team will be heading on a short trip to the other side of Austria to prepare themselves for the first Crankwox event of the year! Both Nik and Steven will be completing in Downhill only and will be once again on the hunt to better themselves and get that podium result the team has been working so hard for! See you next weekend for once again some of the most action packed and highest level of racing for 2021!

Kailey Skelton Calms her Nerves to the Podium

KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

The Pacific Northwest always has provided some of the best tracks in the Nation particularly the one on Dry Hill in Port Angeles, Washington where the notorious under world cup race event happens every year. This Northwest cup race will bring the best racers from East and West coast areas also including some of the best downhill racers from the borders of Canada to all come together and compete against each other for the top spot.

With Steven Walton staying back home to finish up some suspension testing it was up to Kailey Skelton and Nik Nestoroff to hold it down for the team in the PNW. The team would arrive Wednesday in Seattle to make their four hour journey North to Port Angeles. The official first day was Thursday with only track walk and sightseeing of the course.

KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.
KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

After track walk both athletes were very excited to gear up for Friday’s practice session. After seeing the awesome well maintained track with tricky sections, lots of cornering, steep sections and roots to deal with, they were up for the challenging conditions.

Friday’s practice went very well for both Nik and Kailey; they adapted to the track very well and to their benefit they have raced this track for many years at past events. With that said they were getting up to speed very quickly and making very little changes to the bikes and they’re set ups.

KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in POrt Angeles.
KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

Qualifying day came very quick and they were excited to throw down a hot lap to see where they would stand up against the competition. First they had a great three runs of practice before a late evening 5 PM qualifying session which would seat Kailey in 2nd and Nik in 6th.

KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.
KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track during a practice run at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.

With Sunday came the Downhill final event for the team they were gunning for top spots and podium positions both in the professional men and women’s Downhill category. Kailey Skelton would come across the line in an overall position of second place with a very solid run! Kailey stated “I struggled with confidence on this track all weekend and I was super grateful to walk away in second place” Kailey has put in the hard work and her consistent podiums have definitely been shining throughout the 2021 season. In the men’s category it was Nik Nestoroff who would stick in a consistent six place overall just one position off the podium. For the pro men’s category times were very tight with Nik only being five seconds off the winner of Charlie Harrison.

KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.
KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish at the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, WA.KHS pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton works through her nerves to pull out a second place finish.

The team’s overall performance was awesome throughout the weekend and showed that we can compete with the best no matter what track destinations we end up at. The team is always striving for the top spot and will continuously be our goal throughout the season!

KHS pro MTB Kailey Skelton on track in Port Angeles, WA. at the Northwest Cup.
KHS pro MTB Kailey Skelton on track in Port Angeles, WA. at the Northwest Cup.

Now with a three week break the team will refocus and get some good training and testing in before the first Downhill UCI World Cup event happening in Leogang, Austria quickly followed up with next week’s crankworx, Innsbruck event also happening in Austria!

Podiums out in Fontana for the KHS Pro MTB team

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking the first place in the Pro Men's DH race out in Fontana at the final round of the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB riders Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton going 1 and 2 in Fontana at the final round of Enduro at the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB riders Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton going 1 and 2 in Fontana at the final round of Enduro at the Southridge Winter Series.

It would be Steven Walton Kailey Skelton and Nik Nestoroff competing in Saturday’s Enduro and also Sunday’s final downhill race. Fontana has produced some of the best Enduro and Downhill racers in America and continues to do so. Saturday would fire off with Enduro racing with three complete stages the team would have to really focus in and stay consistent throughout each stage.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

Kailey Skelton would have some tough competition. She was leading stage one and two but with some minimal mistakes on stage III she would end up second place overall in Saturday’s final pro Women’s and Enduro category.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

As far as the pro men’s Enduro category goes it would be a battle between teammates Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton would be battling each other throughout all three stages to see who would come out on top. After stage one it was Nik Nestoroff leading the pro men’s category with a super blazing time. They would have to transfer over the Southern California mountains to stage two which Steven Walton would throw down a blistering time to win stage 2.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the Enduro track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

It was very intense coming into the final stage with time so close and basically whoever won stage III would win the overall Enduro Pro men’s  category for the day. After it was all said and done Nik Nestoroff would take the win in the pro men’s Enduro category. After combining all three stage times it would only be a three second difference between Nick in first place and Steven in second place.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the DH track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton racing on the DH track out Fontana at the Finals of the Southridge WInter Series.

Sundays Downhill finals started off with great practice for Steven Walton and Kailey Skelton. Nik Nestoroff would be on the sidelines due to Mother’s Day and his big win and the enduro category. The track was very technical and fast and the two KHS athletes were really enjoying the final Fontana course. In fashion it would be Kailey Skelton who takes the big win in the professional women’s Downhill category and to top the day off it would be Steven Walton who would come down with a blistering time to beat some of the top factory athletes to take the win!

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking the first place in the Pro Men's DH race out in Fontana at the final round of the Southridge Winter Series.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking the first place in the Pro Men’s DH race out in Fontana at the final round of the Southridge Winter Series.

It was awesome to see a KHS Bicycles take both wins in the Downhill category on the same day. History was made with both professional men and women taking top spots and continuing the teams domination of the Fontana Winter series.

Winning is Costa Rica

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a breath after a practice run in the Costa Rican mudd.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton standing in first place at the Costa Rica World Cup race.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton standing in first place at the Costa Rica World Cup race.

The team has made it down South to Costa Rica for their first international race of the 2021 season! They would be competing against the highest level of South American athletes as well as contenders like Charlie Harrison Neko Mullally and Dakota Norton.

It was a big international flight all the way from LAX down to Costa Rica and then another three hours to the venue. The team arrive Tuesday to acclimate themselves and prep their bikes gear for the future weekend.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton getting to ride in Costa Rica.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton getting to ride in Costa Rica.

Wednesday was the official UCI downhill track walk and the course had a lot of great obstacles, jumps, high speed sections and overall an exciting track to be racing on Sundays finals. The team really enjoyed the track walk and was excited for Thursdays training session.

Thursday was an excellent day of training and practice for the team conditions could not have been better and they were really enjoying the track and the atmosphere down South. Conditions presented as dry loamy dirt that the team was very used to riding back home with similar conditions.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a practice run in the Costa Rica mudd.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a practice run in the Costa Rica mudd.

Friday came quick with another day of training and practice the team was really getting up to speed on the track, but as soon as they woke up Friday morning it had rained over 3 inches and it was going to be a whole new ball game with the wet and slippery conditions. All three team members were prepped and ready to get muddy on the slip wet jungle track. With such wet conditions they were only able to get three runs per rider which really wasn’t enough time on the changing track conditions. The athlete stated it was very slippery and it was almost impossible to stay up on their bikes.

Saturday was qualifying day for the team and the track was still getting pounded down by 3 to 4 inches of rain per evening. It was difficult for the local shuttle system to get all the racers and riders up to the top. After qualifying was wrapped up it was Kailey Skelton who qualified with the top three and Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton would qualify in the top 13 with both of them sliding out in their qualifying race run.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a practice run in the thick Costa Rica mudd.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a practice run in the thick Costa Rica mudd.

They were very excited for Sunday’s finals also they where more excited about the weather because it was supposed to rain a lot less and they would have a better chance at staying on their bikes. All three athletes knew that they could do much better in the final race run if they could just keep their bikes upright and not slip out in the wet conditions for their final race run.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a practice run in Costa Rica
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking a practice run in Costa Rica

It was time for their final race run and they are very excited to lay one down to try and win the race. It was Nik Nestoroff who came across the line in 6th place for the pro men’s category. Steven Walton would have a great run putting him in 4th place overall. And it would be Kailey Skelton who would claim the victory and when the overall Costa Rican open downhill race for the 2021 season in the female pro category. All the athletes were very pleased with the results since the track was still very slippery and wet conditions that made it very difficult to ride.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton fourth place in Costa Rica
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton fourth place at the Costa Rica World Cup race.

The team and athletes always want to thank all their fans, family and sponsors for all the continuous help and support throughout the season they are very grateful to be traveling around the world and racing bikes with some of the best athletes in the world till next time we’ll see you at the races soon!

 

KHS Pro MTB Podiums at Windrock Tennessee

Kailey Skelton on track

The first race of the year was held in Oak Ridge Tennessee at the Windrock bike park. The fastest racers in America were all there to compete for the number one spot. Our team definitely had our work cut out for them also along with some continuous changing track conditions.

Kailey Skelton on track
KHS Pro MTB rider KAiley Skelton wrapping up practice at the 2021 Windrock nationals.

The team started off Wednesday with pit set up, bike set up and the official track walk. All the athletes were very excited after track walk to get going with practice Thursday they all stated that the track was very high speed and had a lot of great obstacles that would favor them in the finals.

Nik Nestoroff practice run
KHS Pro MTb rider Nik Nestoroff practice run at the 2021 Windrock nationals downhill race.

The first day of practice was Thursday and the track was beyond its normal dry conditions. Being in Tennessee it is usually known for its wet muddy conditions but Thursday’s practice was dust ball city and very unfamiliar for some of the locals and the true nature of the normal track conditions. The team members each put in about seven laps each to get their bike set up and tire choice. They were all feeling very good and excited for qualifying Friday morning.

Steven Walton practice run Windrock 2021
KHS Pro MTb rider Steven Walton practice run at the 2021 Windrock nationals downhill race.

Qualifying day was upon us and also was the weather it had in store some rain for the afternoon which was right when pro men’s qualifying would be going off. First qualify on the day was Kailey Skelton and she had a great unchanged track with the same dry conditions she rode on Thursday’s practice. Kaylie managed to qualify in the top spot and she was feeling very good on her bike going into the finals Saturday. For the elite men’s qualifying Steven Walton would be dropping almost 30 minutes before Nik Nestoroff due to Windrocks format. Steven was able to come down the race track with a very fast run to qualify him fifth place. Unfortunately for Nik he came down much later and the rain had started to come down which made for a slippery track he did his best and would qualify 12th. All the team members were very excited for the finals Saturday!

Nik Nestoroff final race run
KHS pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff taking his final race run at the 2021 Windrock national race.

Finals day came very quickly for the team they had an excellent practice session in the early morning and then had to wait around for almost 6 hours for their final runs while the other competitors were doing their race runs. Finally it was about 3PM when Kailey dropped into a race run and was on her way for the win. Some of her nerves got to her mid race run and she fell off course to make a pretty big mistake, but was able to finish strong and come in second place with only 1.5 seconds off of first. She was very happy to be on the podium. And healthy going into the 2021 season.

Steven Walton final run WIndrock
KHS pro MTB rider Steven Walton taking his final race run at the 2021 Windrock national race.

Around 4PM Nik would be dropping into his final race run with great weather and track conditions for all the elite men. Nik stated he had a very average run and wanted to push harder after it was all said and done but was still very happy to come in fifth place and on the podium with only 3.8 seconds off the win! 4:30PM Steven would drop into his final race run and have a blistering amazing run to put him third place in front of riders like Aaron Gwin and only 1.5 seconds off the win!

Kailey Skelton winrock practice run
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton out on the track for her first practice run of the 2021 Windrock nationals.

After a great day of racing the team was ecstatic and very happy to be able to get up on the podium with the fastest Americans present. History was also made by the team at Windrock bike park with two elite men pros getting up on the podium along with Kailey getting second in the Pro women’s category with a total of 3 KHS athletes on the podium.

Kailey Skelton second place podium
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton takes second place at the 2021 Windrock nationals.

With all that great success the team still had racing to do for the pro elite men’s category in Enduro. Nik Nestoroff would be holding it down for Sunday’s Enduro finals. Nik had absolutely zero practice on these courses and would be going into a three stage format completely blind. His goal was to accumulate EWS points! After three grueling stages Nick was able to grab a top 10 with some of the best Enduro riders in America and also capitalize on getting EWS points.

2021 Windrock Downhill Podium
KHS Pro MTB riders Steven Walton and Nik Nestoroff on the podium in 3rd and five place at the 2021 Windrock downhill nationals race.

The team will be heading back out West to compete in the Fontana Winter series and continue their testing and training for the next big national round. Also the team wants to thank all their fans and sponsors for the continuous support. We all greatly appreciate your time and energy that gets us to the top of the podium.