Steven Walton has re-signed with the KHS Pro MTB Team, and we are excited for what he will bring to the team in 2023. Steven shard his thoughts and feelings with us about his excitement on his 2023 race season. “I’m stoked to continue working with the KHS Family and share with you that I’m with them for the next two years. Racing has been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years and being able to share that with a company that has such a large passion for the sport is huge.
I will continue to race DH nationally, while also putting a larger focus on our E-Bike line up, racing them at all the BME events as well as a few GNCC’s! The vibes are electric moving forward and I’m thrilled to be able to experience a different side of racing than what I’m used to. My goals going into the 2023 season are to lay down some great national results and continue to build great relationships within the industry! Stoked to have the support of these great companies and look forward to seeing everyone at the races!!”
Team Manager, Logan Binggeli said, “We are thrilled to continue throughout the 2024 season with Steven Walton, he is a key athlete in our program. Steven will be transitioning into more E-Bike racing alongside Downhill, Enduro and Slalom. Steven has many solid years ahead of him in the racing world being only 23 years young. We are excited to maintain that relationship now over 6yrs. Look forward to seeing him on the podium!”
Walton Re-Signs with KHS Pro MTB was last modified: January 27th, 2023 by Flick
Bootleg Canyon located in Boulder City Nevada, has a legacy of mountain bike racing dating back all the way to the 1990s with KHS bicycles taking the top spot podiums for over 23 years running. It was really cool to see that legacy carry-on with riders Nathan Kitchen and Steven Walton holding it down for the team. Bootleg Canyon is located about 10 miles Southwest from the Hoover dam, which is a very unique track located on very rocky terrain, which requires much physical effort, line selection, and safety precautions all the way down from point A to B. It was one of the best tracks on the mountain, Snake Back all the way down to the parking lot, which is one of my personal favorites. It also has a midsection called Poopshoe, which was very, very steep and technical. Bootleg is known for holding some of the best Winter series races, alongside Southridge racing, in Fontana, CA.
Everyone on the West Coast is itching to get out of the snow and cold to race. There were over 1500 amateurs and pros gathered together for the Southwest state championships. It brought out some great fans as well to watch some amazing racing. Some of the best all-around riders would be attending the venue and trying to claim the title. The event would kick off Friday with two days of practice. Both Steven and Nate would be holding it down in the Downhill category. “It was great to be back in the saddle racing and seeing all the great competition back between the tape. I was a little under the weather, so it was great to grab a podium position and keep the ball rolling throughout the start of the season!” Steven Walton said. They would each get many runs Friday and Saturday and hone in their skill sets, lines, and bike set up for the finals which would be held Sunday.
Both riders would have great practice days dialing all their lines for Sunday’s finals. The track was very physical all together, putting much demand and pressure on each rider it would be Nate Kitchen holding it down for the junior pro category, he would have a blistering run and come in the top spot for KHS Pro MTB among the best junior racers in America. Nate said, “Bootleg is always a one-of-a-kind track and I am super pumped to continue my success with grabbing a win today! Bootleg is always a fun time of year to be racing and preparing for the upcoming season ahead!”
Steven Walton was under some weather and had not been feeling the best. But he would push through to grab a top three podium position. Both riders would maintain great steps on the podium throughout their 2023 race campaign and keep the legacy of KHS Pro MTB on the top steps of the podium throughout the 23 years of racing in Bootleg Canyon.
We want to thank all of our friends, family and sponsors who support us and get us to the races. Without everyone we could not be on the top step of the podium. As always, we want to thank Downhill Mike and his crew for putting on a fantastic race that hosts some of the best racers in the western hemisphere. We look forward to round two of the Fontana Winter series next weekend. Which will also be Kailey Skelton’s debut race of 2023! We’ll see you between the tape soon!
-Logan Binggeli, Team Management
Western Regional State Championships was last modified: January 23rd, 2023 by Flick
“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