All posts by Sean Finley

Straight Rhythm Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) added to 2018 TKO for more qualification opportunities and racing action

The Kenda Tennessee Knockout is already packed with action and multiple rounds of racing. But to add a little more excitement, there will be two Straight Rhythm Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ) included in the 2018 TKO this coming weekend, August 18-19, in Sequatchie, Tennessee.

The Straight Rhythm LCQ was a thrilling crowd favorite at the 2017 TKO so a second LCQ has been added to wrap up the Saturday racing. One last rider will earn the opportunity to race on Sunday. Photo: Adam Booth

A Straight Rhythm LCQ was introduced at the 2017 event and provided a thrilling showdown, allowing one last rider to stay alive. For 2018, a similar LCQ will be added to the Saturday competition.

Thirty top riders from around the world are already qualified directly into the Sunday race action and up to 30 additional riders will qualify on Saturday. At the end of those Saturday qualifiers, four of the riders that just missed the cut will get the opportunity to face off in pairs on a special Straight Rhythm course. The winner will earn the final spot to move on to the Sunday racing. The Kenda Straight Rhythm LCQ will take place just after the Women’s main event on Saturday, around 4:30 PM Central Time.

During the Sunday Knockout rounds, only the top 25 riders continue to round three but again, up to four riders that just missed the cut will get to face off on the Straight Rhythm course and the winner will move on.

Webb, Toth, Kelley and Lettenbichler confirmed for 2018 TKO; KTM sending powerhouse team to defend title

KTM will have a strong team of riders aiming to take the 2018 Kenda Tennessee Knockout title. Cody Webb (@codywebb2) and Josh Toth (@joshtoth_) from the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team (@ktmfactoryracing) will be joined under the KTM tent by Ben Kelley (@benkelley530) on the Trail Jesters KTM Racing Team (@trailjesters) mount. And the team will also host Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler (@m_letti304). All four riders will be racing the KTM 300 XC-W TPI two-stroke. The TKO will take place on the weekend of August 18-19 at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee.

Cody Webb will be aiming for a sixth straight Kenda Tennessee Knockout title in 2018. Photo by Adam Booth

Webb, the five-time TKO winner and defending champion is also the current AMA EnduroCross and FIM Super Enduro World Champion. He grew up competing in Trials events on the TTC property and has used that local knowledge of the terrain to fend off world-class talent that has included Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker, Wade Young, Mario Roman, Kyle Redmond, and Max Gerston to win five straight Tennessee Knockout titles. A broken foot at the Erzberg Rodeo in June has kept him off the bike until this week so this may prove to be his most challenging TKO yet.

Josh Toth will be competing in his first TKO in 2018 but the GNCC XC-2 champion should be a contender for a top spot

Toth is the defending GNCC XC-2 champion and he is currently tied for the lead in the 2018 AMA National Enduro championship. He has had a strong 2018 season with five GNCC XC-2 wins and his first National Enduro win at the most recent event. Toth has won extreme events including the 2017 Tough Like RORR so he will be an exciting rider to watch at his first ever TKO.

Ben Kelly won the 2018 Tough Like RORR to go along with four GNCC XC-2 wins this season so far

Kelley burst onto the TKO scene in 2016 with a fourth-place finish after qualifying through the Saturday amateur program. That combined with other strong results helped earn him the Trail Jesters KTM ride for 2017 and 2018. Kelly has four 2018 GNCC XC-2 wins and currently leads the points. He also backed that up with a win at the 2018 Tough Like RORR. Kelley is certainly capable of a podium finish.

Manni Lettenbichler has had an amazing 2018 season that has included podium finishes at both Erzberg and Red Bull Romaniacs. This will be his first TKO. Photo – Future7Media

Manuel Lettenbichler is a second generation Extreme Enduro racer. His father, Andreas, was one of the pioneers of Extreme Enduro competition and was a co-winner of the 2015 Erzberg Rodeo. Twenty-year-old “Manni” has had an amazing 2018 season that includes podium finishes at both Erzberg and Romaniacs. He also won the Red Bull Rocks and Logs event in Canada. It will be great to see the German competing at his first TKO.

Look for more top riders to be confirmed in the coming days as we close in on the event.

Colton Haaker confirmed; former EnduroCross champion looking for success at 2018 TKO

Colton Haaker (@coltonhaaker), the 2016 AMA EnduroCross and 2017 FIM Super Enduro champion has confirmed that he will be back for the 2018 Kenda Tennessee Knockout. The Rockstar Husqvarna Factory Racing Team (@rockstarhusky) rider had to miss the 2017 event due to injury. The eighth annual TKO will take place at the Trials Training Center, in Sequatchie, Tennessee on the weekend of August 18-19.

Colton Haaker has proven to be one of the best EnduroCross and Super Enduro racers in the world. He will be aiming to prove that he can translate that talent to a top finish at the 2018 TKO. Photo: Future7Media

Haaker grew up competing in Trials events and spent a lot of time at the Trials Training Center (@trialstrainingcenter) honing his skills as a teenager. He transitioned to EnduroCross and has been one of the top riders in that series for the past ten years and had his best year in 2016, winning five of the eight events and the championship. The Northern California native has competed at the TKO several times but has so far been unable to make it to the podium. He certainly has the skills necessary to change that in 2018.

Look for more top riders to be confirmed in the coming days as we close in on the event.

Gerston, Ashburn & Teasdale confirmed; Beta bringing two Americans and a South African to take on 2018 TKO

Beta USA (@betausa) will have two of their American factory riders, Max Gerston (@maxgerston) and Jordan Ashburn (@jashburn7) on hand for the 2018 Kenda Tennessee Knockout and will also host South African, Travis Teasdale (@travisteasdale69). The eighth annual TKO will take place at the Trials Training Center, in Sequatchie, Tennessee on the weekend of August 18-19.

Max Gerston had a solid fourth-place finish at the 2017 TKO and wants to make the podium bad in 2018

Gerston is the defending AMA West Hare Scramble Champion and veteran top EnduroCross racer that won the Junior championship as he came up through the ranks. The Arizona native has the skills to compete at the front of the pack in just about any type of off-road motorcycle competition and will be a threat for a podium at the TKO. He just missed the podium with a fourth-place finish in 2017.

Jordan Ashburn will give the Tennessee fans someone to cheer for as he tries to put his Beta on the podium

Ashburn is a Tennessee native that is very familiar with the local terrain found at the Trials Training Center and was very impressive at the 2017 TKO, his first on the factory Beta. He overcame some challenges at the end of the race to finish a strong fifth. Ashburn’s primary focus is the GNCC and Full Gas Sprint Enduro series but as he proved last year, he can do well at Extreme Enduro events as well.

South Africa’s Travis Teasdale will be competing in his first TKO but has years of experience competing around the world at the toughest events to apply to the TTC terrain. Photo: Future7Media

Teasdale, who is just twenty-one years old, is a regular on the World Extreme Enduro scene with several top finishes in many of the major events including a sixth-place finish at the 2018 Erzberg Rodeo. This will be his first time racing the TKO and he can be expected to be among the elite group challenging for the podium.

Look for more top riders to be confirmed in the coming weeks.