This National is no stranger to some of the most technical, demanding steep, muddy terrain in the East Coast. Also bringing the best Americans possible along with some top international racers to all compete and prime themselves for the launch of the 2023 race season. It would be Kailey Skelton who would be holding it down for the pro women division. Steven Walton would be continuing his success in the pro downhill men’s field and our junior professional. Nathan Kitchen would be representing us in the top youth of America, upcoming athletes.
Thursday would fire off with an awesome track report/track walk, which would implement steep, Technical, roots, muddy, terrain and an overall type World Cup track would be presented among all the athletes. Friday would be day one practice, which was quite muddy and fresh cut lines which would consist of playing it safe for all the riders grabbing their bike set ups, maintaining speed and getting a feel for the Tennessee win rock track.
The athletes would awaken Saturday to a massive hurricane type storm. We definitely want to say our prayers out to everyone in Georgia and Mississippi. According to the weather there was a giant tornado that basically wiped out some small towns, and the after effects affected Tennessee with over an inch and a half of rainfall on the track and premises so we’re wishing everyone the best of luck. It would be beyond super muddy for qualifications. Kailey Skelton would throw down a heater run placing 2nd 3.5 seconds back from first. It would be Nate Kitchen, who would have a slippery wet, run and qualifying fourth and junior pros. And Steven Walton would have a demanding run which qualified him top 20 among the best.
Sunday and finals came very quickly for the racers. The sun was already beaming out, drying out the track dramatically. The track conditions were ever-changing from day one practice. Sunday finals practice would start off a little muddy and then they would have over a six hour delay between the amateur races for the track to dry out and change lines. The track conditions were completely different than any kind of track conditions that athletes had experienced all weekend. Steven Walton would have some unfortunate luck with getting a flat tire midway down his race run and milking it to the finish line. Our junior Pro would have an ecstatic run with a blistering time that would set him in second position, grabbing a respectable top podium finish. Kailey skeleton would be left with all the pressure on her shoulders with a stack field of female, pro downhill racers, the track was beyond complicated to get down with many changing lines. Kailey would do her best. It was a close call throughout the timed sectors. Kailey was in second place all the way into the last sector. She would throw down the Moto sections and scrubs and end up with the first place trophy, which was beyond amazing with an international field at her heels! Kailey was beyond stoked to win her first national race for the 2023 season and slot her with the maximum points for their overall series.
“Overall, the team did an excellent job out there. Not only were they racing and showcasing what KHS Bicycles it’s all about but they were maintaining through some dramatic storms and dealing with some high-pressure situations. These athletes not only ride bikes, but are a true face to the sport on and off the track with helping the community get through tough times and having a positive attitude. As always we want to thank our sponsors, friends, family, and everyone who helps us maintain the dream of competing at the top level. W we are beyond stoked to represent in the Mountain Bike community and have gratitude towards everyone and help anyone who needs help along the way. We will see everyone between the tape at the phenomenal Sea Otter Classic!”
Logan Binggeli – Team Management
“Great weekend with the team out in Tennessee for the first round of the national series! Stoked to be able to put our new suntour suspension through its paces on a top level national track! Didn’t end the weekend how I wanted with a mechanical in finals but that’s how she goes sometimes! Up and onto the next! Huge thanks to our great supporters and bless #USDH!”
Steven Walton – Pro Athlete
“National round one is complete! Wow, it was Such an awesome weekend! I am so full of smiles knowing I am starting the season on a solid foot forward. I was able to execute a smooth run on a very challenging course and I am really proud of the riding I was able to display.
Let’s get ready for more!”
Kailey Skelton – Pro Athlete