Photos by: Monique Spaulding
Report by: Quinton Spaulding
In Brian Head, the elevation at the top of the chairlift is 11,000 feet, enough altitude to make you breathe real hard just taking a walk to the bathroom. They get plenty of snow there in the winter months but still have a couple of these ponds to store water for their snow making equipment…man-made or not, they still paint a pretty picture!
There are some “High Dollar” condos nestled in these mountains. I believe that Brian Head Resort has a great future in store for them, as there is construction taking place on all sides of the Ski Slopes. Hopefully this will lead to an increase in the amount of dollars pumped into the Mountain Bike Park, as the Mountain Bike Park is growing steadily with new features added each time I pay a visit.
The KHS “Pit Area” is always a comfortable place for our riders. It is an important piece of the race puzzle, somewhere for the riders to store their gear, discuss their riding, get assistance with parts, and to simply feel at home. We are proud to be able to provide them with a professional pit area.
Maintenance is KEY! We always make sure that ALL our race bikes are perfectly maintained and ready to take care of business. This has been the best DH set-up we have ever had, and it is because of all our prestige’s sponsors and endless testing that has brought our equipment to this level. So much of what we do on the race track translates directly into our production bikes, and this makes our production KHS-DH200 a World Cup competition level race rig…ready to go right out of the box!
Keith Mott and myself discuss practice on our way over to get some pizza for lunch. Mott walks just like he rides – always way back in the saddle and WIDE OPEN!
During Fridays practice Matt Johnston had to do an emergency “get off” from his bike, landing directly in a knarly rock garden section, consequently rolling his ankle. This took Johnston out for the weekend but I think he will be back and good-to-go for the “NORBA Finals” two weeks from now.
It’s “go time” and it’s at this stage of the game that you hope you have done all your homework and are ready for the big test. Sunday mornings…or race days always bring an ominous quiet at the condo and in the pit area, everybody tries to get their game face on and keep their nerves in check.
Starting a DH race really heightens all your senses, it makes me feel somewhat supernatural in a way, and you have to believe you can conquer what you are about to undertake. If you cannot acquire that mindset whilst racing DH then racing can be somewhat scary and the course much harder to attack. The start at Brian Head has a wicked pedal section through some huge chunks of shale rock!
Once I leave the gate my mind goes to a different place. I am sure we all experience a similar state of mind under these conditions. It’s a “ZONE” where everything turns into slow motion, all you can hear are your tires eating the dirt, you try to focus your attention as far down the trail as possible and at the same time do your very best to convince your brain it is OK not to touch the brakes…
…then holding it together “Full Throttle” to the finish line is all that matters!!
Keith Mott exits the last woods section on fire, only a couple hundred yards to the finish line and a podium finish.
The KHS team always tries to practice together. This helps us gauge where we need to go faster or be a little more conservative. It also helps us establish good race lines. Our team knew that we would all be close at the end if we had clean runs…fortunately that is how it turned out!
Logan Binggeli ran the fastest time of the day for KHS, and this was with a crash. He is poised for a great finish at the Finals.
DH – PRO Men Top 15
1. 09 – OIEN, Brad ODI Southridge Fountian Valley, CA 03:27.8
2. 10 – BINGGELI, Logan KHS BICYCLES St. George, UT 03:33.8
3. 13 – MOTT, Keith KHS BICYCLES Flagstaff, AZ 03:34.9
4. 16 – CRANER, Ben CafÃ© Rio/Canfield Bros Kaysville, UT 03:35.1
5. 14 – SPAULDING, Quinton KHS BICYCLES Henderson, NV 03:35.2
6. 01 – BUTLER, Aaron Parks Sportsman Payson, UT 03:36.9
7. 08 – CADLE, Hank AMP’D Racing Lake Forest, CA 03:38.5
8. 17 – BEESON, David Fezzari.com Plain City, UT 03:39.4
9. 12 – ODOM, Ian Big Bear City, CA 03:40.4
10. 03 – RICHINS, Sean Bountiful Bicycle Center Centerville, UT 03:41.4
11. 11 – WRIGHT, Chance Rockville, UT 03:50.1
12. 06 – TWITCHELL, Bryce Shuntavi Bikes Cedar City, UT 03:53.4
13. 02 – WILLIAMS, Von Go-Ride.com West Valley, UT 03:53.5
14. 04 – WILLSON, Tyler Murrieta, CA 03:53.7
15. 07 – MCGUFFEY, Lee SLC, UT 03:56.8
Most times the sights we see upon arrival at a race are the same ones we see on our departure. I hate having to leave so much beauty but feel somewhat blessed to know that I will be returning in a couple of weeks for the NORBA Finals at Brian Head Resort.
The KHS team is primed and ready to go for the Finals and plan to come back with “top shelf” results!
“KHS FACTORY TEAM SPONSORS”
Please stay tuned for more updates and photos as they become available.
All the best,