On the last day of the year before 2023 officially gets underway, Travis Rice provided some insight on what to expect for the upcoming NST Duels via his Instagram story. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all been pretty excited to hear about how the Duels will go down, especially now that the full rider roster has been released, and it’s heavy, per usual (NST fantasy league, anyone?). Here’s what Travis explained about the first event of this year’s Tour, Duels:

The Defenders are:

Torstein Horgmo
Blake Paul
Dustin Craven
Marion Hearty
Travis Rice
Jared Elston
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott
Ben Ferguson
Elena Hight
Mikkel Bang
Kimmy Fasani
Mark McMorris

Of the above riders, Kimmy Fasani is the only new addition to the Tour, but was granted Defender position due to seniority. Hana Beaman, who would have been a Defender, is on injury leave getting her knee strong for next season, but she did post that she’d be joining NST to provide commentary, which is really exciting as we all know that she’s great on the mic!

The biggest advantage that the Defenders have, of course, is that they select the terrain where their Duel will go down. Home court advantage can be huge, but if there’s anything we have learned from the Tour the past two years is to always be prepared for anything, so it’s still anyone’s game.

The Attackers are:

Nils Mindnich
Hailey Langland
Gigi Rüf
Red Gerard

Darrah Reid-McLean
John Jackson
Mikey Ciccarelli
Marissa Krawczak
Ulrik Badertscher
Werni Stock
Enni Rukajarvi
Brock Crouch

As Travis mentioned in his story, in the process of dialing in the invited riders each fall, the NST Selection Committee dives deep for three months, considering a myriad of factors and dissecting all considerations deeply before making the selection. Travis put it perfectly, explaining that the decisions are based on lifetime achievements, current projects, competition results, style-power-flow, peer recommendations, popular demand, and gut instincts.

The next few days will be big on the @naturalsection ‘gram because January 1st marks the start of the Duels competition window and so the match-ups are likely to released pretty quick. Anticipation of the head-to-heads and locations is high. So what’s next? Stay tuned to the NST account (we’ll do our best to keep updating here, as well) and get ready for twelve edits in early February that will decide the final two stops of this year’s Tour. This is going to be good.