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