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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.