Report & photos by: Quinton Spaulding
The US Open has become one of the most prestigious Mountain Bike Race events across the world, drawing a list of names you would only see on a World Cup qualifying sheet! This was an awesome event , the KHS team were out there representing to their fullest… just doing what we love to do!
The Diablo Freeride Park in Vernon, New Jersey has hosted the US Open since its inception. It is also known for its volatile thunderstorms (that can change conditions within just a few minutes) however, the weather on Friday was unbelievably nice.
It was quite apparent, with all their signage and tents that were placed on the mountain, that Redbull is the “Big Sponsor” at the US Open,
Binggeli was back to do his first race since he broke his wrist earlier this year at the St Pattys day race in Bootleg Canyon, NV. As always, he had full blown A.D.D. the entire weekend!
Thanks to our friends over at O’NEAL, especially to Daniel Burt who went out of his way to send us a couple helmets and few additional items…just making sure the KHS Team was taken care of!
I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Jim Wannamaker and KENDA TIRES, for letting us pit out of their expo area throughout the entire weekend, and for helping us with everything we needed… YOU ARE THE MAN JIM!
This track boasts a rock garden second to none. The “JBL Rock Garden” as it is known, had rocks as big as cars… which put the riders skills to test for sure! The track conditions all the way up to our qualifying run were superb.
It was just before qualifying that the heavens opened up and dumped rain, enough to change the track conditions tremendously. Up until then we had only ridden the course dry, so qualifying was going to be a blind run as far as conditions went.
I went down in the rock garden during my qualifier Saturday, which immediately eliminated me from the “big show” on Sunday. This was a really tough pill to swallow, and a sharp reminder of just how “on your game” one has to be at all times when racing downhill.
Bingelli makes a few important cuts to his tires to maximize traction in the wet condtioins.
It also rained before the finals on Sunday, so the only time the track was wet was for the qualifying and race runs… the mountain biking Gods!!
Buhl had a solid final run Sunday and took a 4th place podium finish as well as a check for her efforts!
Top 5 women in Sundays Final.
Logan road really well throughout the event. He did exactly what he needed to do to get back on track after his injury, rode consistantly, with lots of focus and snatched a 25th place amongst the very best in the world.
Naish Ulmer had a tougher time during his final run Sunday. He was riding on the edge to go fast but went down twice during his run, which left him in 45th place overall. Ulmer is still working hard on improving, and continues to show more focus… he just needs that “breakthrough run” we all seek, to take him to the next level.
PRO MEN DH RESULTS
Everybody at the finish line waited in anticipation to see the Big Winner and race favorite, Sam Hill (Specialized / Monster). Hill did not dissapoint, capturing the top spot on the podium with a convincing win.
There were many riders in the line up that could have taken the win, but with the rain just before the finals it made it that much harder to go wide open.
KHS was well represented at the US Open. We practiced as a team throughout the weekend, and we continue to gain more and more momentum as the season builds.
The Diablo Freeride Park is an amazing place, and anyone who gets to ride there for the entire summer (like some of those locals) should consider themselves extremely blessed.
Buhl took 2nd in the Giant Slalom, which is a new event at the Open.
Buhl taking 4th in the Downhill.
Buhl leaves for Europe next week for the next round on the World Cup circuit at Fort William, in Scotland… we wish her all the best!
Back home again! Vegas for most is a tourist destination, yet for me it is home and a place for a little recovery… just enough before I head out to the next race event on our busy schedule.
The KHS Team would like to thank Rich over at Pro Cyclery in Las Vegas who has gone out of his way on a few different occasions to rebuild some Sun Ringle wheel-sets for the team. Also on very short notice, yet building them with excellence I might add!
KHS FACTORY TEAM SPONSORS
We will be at WOODWARD WEST this coming weekend for round number 2 of the California State Championships. Stop by and say hi if you are there, we would love to see you.
Please stay tuned for more updates and photos as they become available.
All the best!