2022 USA National Championships

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton wins the 2022 US National Downhill Championship in Winter Park Colorado.

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.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nathan Kitchen on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nathan Kitchen on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.

 

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.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.

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.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.

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.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on track at the USA National Downhill Championships.

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.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton wins the 2022 US National Downhill Championship in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton wins the 2022 US National Downhill Championship in Winter Park Colorado.

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!

 

Your New US National DH Champion

KHS Pro MT rider Kailey Skelton, the 2021 US Women's National Downhill Champion.

U.S National Championships are back in action after missing the 2020 Championships all athletes were beyond excited and very eager too claim all the titles that would be happening over the weekend. Showcasing all disciplines from Downhill, Dual Slalom, Cross-country, and all professional & amateur categories. Located in Winter Park Colorado at a elevation base of  9000 feet that would be the venue for the 2021 USA National Championships!

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.

Kailey Skelton, Nik Nestoroff and Steven Walton would be competing in the Downhill category to try their best and claim victory and hold the national title throughout the 2021 season. The national title would consist of being the best racer on the mountain against the best American athletes. It is a very pristine title and each rider only has one shot at it each year. With that title it holds a lot of pressure to be victorious at other races like world championships and other national events that require each national champion to wear an American Stars & Stripes sleeve representing their title.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.

The KHS Pro MTB team arrived Tuesday evening to prepare themselves all the way for Sunday’s finals with that said Wednesday would be a day for track walk and also a day for acclimating for the high altitude in the Rocky Mountains. Not only is the base of the team pits located at 9000 feet, but the top of the downhill start was located over 12,000 feet in the pinnacle of the Colorado, Rocky Mountains.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.

Wednesday would consist of a great track walk with all the American downhill racers both male and female collaborating together to do one track walk together. It was very cool to see every competitor on the hill from all over the country join together and help each other out on the track walk. There were great vibes happening on the mountain for their first looks and glances at the track they would be competing on for the national title.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.

After the team’s successful track walk it would go into their first day of practice on Thursday afternoon. It consisted of a three hour practice with many riders and a long gondola lift ride to the top of the Rocky Mountain track. Practice went very well for all athletes. They were all acclimating to the high altitude and dry terrain. Steven Walton and Nik Nestoroff were coming off of the World Cup in Europe which was very muddy and quite different terrain compared to this national championship race. Also Friday consisted of another great day of practice with only a three hour session which would allow each team to focus on their athletes and adjust what needed to be adjusted to the harsh demanding terrain on their bikes and equipment.

KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton race run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Steven Walton race run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.

All three athletes would be making drastic changes with their suspension tire and overall bike set up to accommodate their needs and make them feel as comfortable as possible for Saturday’s qualifying and seeding event that consists of a full-timed run from USA cycling‘s official timekeepers. Once Saturday rolled around the pressure was on for qualification and seeding. The athletes all went to work after countless days of practicing tuning, learning and focusing on their final goals of winning. It would be Kailey Skelton in the professional Downhill Women’s category who would qualify first! Nik Nestoroff would qualify 7th and Steven Walton would qualify 12th.

KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.
KHS Pro MTB rider Nik Nestoroff practice run at the 2021 US Nationals in Winter Park Colorado.

After qualifications all athletes would be reviewing their setups and discussing team tactics to get them on top of the podium for Sunday’s finals. Also they would be reviewing video footage and trying their best to get prepared for the final race run coming Sunday. Final adjustments would be done after qualification from the team mechanics and the riders input. Sunday morning would come quickly with high pressure on each athlete which obviously they had great expectations to do their best in their final race run. Each athlete would only get one or two practice runs to warm themselves up and make sure they were flowing for their final run.

KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on the podium as the new 2021 US Women's National Downhill Champion in Winter Park Colorado
KHS Pro MTB rider Kailey Skelton on the podium as the new 2021 US Women’s National Downhill Champion in Winter Park Colorado

First to drop would be Steven Walton who was struggling from a little bit of altitude sickness and some arm pump, but would ultimately be able to push through the finish line with a top 15 result. Next to drop in would be Nik Nestoroff who would have a blistering run and only be a few seconds off podium position with a six place finish, an overall great run and very respected among the best.

The highlight of the weekend would be Kailey Skelton who would drop into a race run focused, determined and eager to cross the line with limited mistakes. Kailey had an amazing run from top to bottom. She did her best and would really exert herself physically and mentally to push as hard as she could. When she crossed the finish line it was huge cheers from the fans family and the announcer. Once she gained her bearings and could focus on herself from her tunnel vision race run she would hear over the announcement that she had just won her first title by 12 seconds over second place claiming the 2021 U.S national championship title.

KHS Pro MT rider Kailey Skelton, the 2021 US Women's National Downhill Champion.
KHS Pro MT rider Kailey Skelton, the 2021 US Women’s National Downhill Champion.

Kailey and all the athletes, team members and team managers were beyond stoked. The entire team put effortless amounts of time and dedication into getting this title. Everyone was beyond stoked that KHS Bicycles had claimed their 2021 title with over a decade of their last title being claimed in 2011 by Logan Binggeli. After the victorious race run and podium the team would be celebrating Sunday night’s dinner and congratulating Kailey and her first national title.

Once again KHS pro MTB wants to thank all their fans, family and sponsors for countless dedication and help throughout the season. All the athletes will have a one week break until heading up to Big Sky, Montana for the big mountain Enduro series. Everyone is very excited to get up in the Montana mountains and test their skills back into stage racing with one of the biggest Enduro races of the year. We’ll see you next time between the tape!

Triple Podium and a New U.S. DH Champion

KHS Pro MTB team rider Steven Walton riding at Snowshoe W.V.
The KHS pro MTB team does excellent work at the final Downhill national this year coming out on top with triple podiums the overall Pro men’s Downhill winner, Nik Nestoroff, Kailey Skelton taking 2nd place in the Pro Female Downhill, and the headline news of the season with Steven Walton taking the overall 2020 Downhill U.S. National title to make for his first major title in his career.
KHS Pro MTB team, Men's podium at the Snowshoe DH National finals with Nik Nestoroff in first place and Steven Walton in forth place.
KHS Pro MTB team, Men’s podium at the Snowshoe DH National finals with Nik Nestoroff in first place and Steven Walton in forth place.
It was a grueling season. A season that will never be forgotten with over Coming and adapting with all the current global crisis. This series went all across the United States from east to west and the final race with all the points on the line ended up in Snowshoe West Virginia known to be very slippery wet grueling track.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Kailey Skelton riding around a big rock at the DH finals in Snowshoe W.V.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Kailey Skelton riding around a big rock at the DH finals in Snowshoe W.V.
Friday started off with pro training followed by Saturday’s qualification with the team having a top five qualification spots. They were exactly 6.5 seconds down on the 2019 U.S. National Champion, Neko Mullally, so they definitely have their work cut out for them.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Nik Nestoroff about to head off a jump at Snowshoe for DH national finals.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Nik Nestoroff about to head off a jump at Snowshoe for DH national finals.
Sunday ended up to be a beautiful morning with no rain and track conditions were turning out to be perfect. It was roughly 4 PM when finals went off and Nik Nestoroff was able to lay down the fastest pro male time of the day beating out all the top competition!
KHS Pro MTB team rider Steven Walton set in the starting gate for his final run at the DH national finals at Snowshoe W.V.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Steven Walton set in the starting gate for his final run at the DH national finals at Snowshoe W.V.
Steven Walton had tremendous pressure on his shoulders and was running a fine line of keeping the rubber side down, he executed his race run coming 4th on the day and taking the overall U.S. National Downhill Championship title.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Steven Walton with his puppy.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Steven Walton with his puppy.
The team wants to thank all our great sponsors for continuously supporting us throughout these tough times and we are very excited to have a great fall season of training and riding in preparation for 2021.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Kailey Skelton riding around having fun and popping a Wheelie in the parking lot at the DH finals in Snowshoe W.V.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Kailey Skelton riding around having fun and popping a Wheelie in the parking lot at the DH finals in Snowshoe W.V.
Stay tuned for our SnowShoe West Virginia final Downhill video coming out soon!
KHS Pro MTB team rider Nik Nestoroff cleaning his race bike after a day of practice.
KHS Pro MTB team rider Nik Nestoroff cleaning his race bike after a day of practice.

Welcome Back Seamus Powell

KHS pro mtb team rider Seamus Powell showing his new KHS 7500 bike.

We are excited to announce the return of 2x U.S. National Enduro Champion Seamus Powell! Seamus is returning the KHS Pro Mountain Bike Team for the 2020 race season. His focus will be racing Enduro event around the country and to get back his National Title. He won that title in 2017 and 2018 when he was with KHS. Welcome back Seamus, we look forward to a great year of racing from you!

Road National Championship Round Up

In one weekend, six Elevate KHS riders earned a total of six podiums in National Championships in the US, Canada and Mexico, including 1 Gold Medal, 3 Silver Medals, and 2 Bronze medals!

Adam Roberge won the U23 Canadian National Time Trial Championship for the 3rd year in a row. He also received the bronze medal in the Pro Time Trail.

Friday, one of the most hotly contested criteriums of the year took place as the sun was setting. The US Pro Criterium came down to the wire, where Eric Young finished 2nd and teammate Sam Bassetti right behind in 4th. With a bike throw to the line, Eric took the silver for the teams 4th medal of the weekend.

 

Sunday brought the biggest day of racing, with National Championship Road Races in each country. Ulises Castillo rounded out the podium count with a 2nd place finish in Mexico in an exciting two-up sprint after a challenging and hot race at altitude.

George Simpson took home the bronze medal in the US National Pro Time Trail.

In Canada, Jordan Cheyen, Adam Roberge and James Piccoli were motivated to put everything on the line in the hopes of winning the coveted Maple Leaf Championship Jersey. Racing in Beauce, the team was aggressive from the gun and James ultimately rode solo for 100K, only to be caught with 5K to go after being chased for several hours by a dwindled field and chase group. He was able to finish strong in 5th place, just out of medal contention, knowing he had put everything into the chance to win the race.

When the weekend was complete, the team had tallied 6 podiums and medals, making this the most successful National Championships to date.

The 6th podium came from Kyle Swanson the week before where he placed 2nd in the U23 USA Elite Criterium Championship race in Maryland.

Congratulation to the all of you, and the whole team for there great efforts this past weekend!