The third annual KENDA Tennessee Knockout took place this past weekend at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee and Beta’s Cody Webb dominated the event. Instead of the heat and humidity that is typical for the region at this time of year, the riders faced cooler weather and rain leading up to the event, which made the challenging terrain more difficult. Check out all of the 2013 Kenda Tennessee Knockout highlights and feedback from the riders in this video:
The third time was the charm for Cody Webb to conquer the KENDA Tennessee Knockout. After finishing second to Mike Brown the previous two years, Webb dominated the multi round event to take the largest portion of the $10,000 purse. Monster Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert won a multi rider battle for second during his first visit to the TKO while Husqvarna’s Cory Graffunder finished a close third.
Mother Nature combined with the tough trails at the Trials Training Center helped the event live up to its billing as an American Extreme Enduro. Heavy rain the night before forced a few course changes but there were still several hill climbs and creek sections that proved to be challenging for even the most talented riders.
The day started with a hot lap around a mile long “short course”. Cody Webb set the standard with a time of 2:57 and was followed by Brown (3:12), Kyle Redmond (3:13), Graffunder (3:14) and Nick Fahringer (3:21).
Next up was the first Knock Out round on the 13 mile “long course”. The 39 riders were sent out in 30 second intervals and the top 25 times would earn a spot in the next round. Webb again set the pace with a time of 54:02 followed by Fahringer (58:40), Brown (58:58), Redmond (1:00:41) and Graffunder (1:03:22). The extremely technical loop proved to be difficult and only and only 22 riders finished in time to start the next Knockout round.
TKO round two placed the riders into five groups of 4-5 riders and only the top three in each group would earn a spot in the 15 rider main event. Webb won group one over Fabien Planet, the multi-time French Enduro Champion and Enduro World Championship competitor. Max Gerston, the young Arizona rider won an intense battle with Russell Bobbitt to take the final spot from group one. Fahringer won group two over Jordan Ashburn and Grant Baylor. In group three, Wally Palmer used his two-wheel drive Christini to beat Brown and Quinn Wentzel, a top Trials rider. Robert won group four over Redmond and Loic Leonard, the French Canadian that had earned a spot from the Saturday qualifiers. Graffunder won group five over Zach Love and Bryan Roper.
Fahringer took the lead on the start of the 8 lap main event and looked determined as he attacked the slippery rock sections. But the aggression proved a little too much as he lost control and hit a tree, which allowed Webb to take the lead. Once in the lead, Webb slowly pulled away from a multi rider battle for second. The lead was a minute and 25 seconds at the halfway point and grew to nearly three minutes at the finish. “I guess I like this Extreme stuff, even though you wonder why when you are out there struggling.” Webb said. “I learned a lot from getting second the past two years so it was great to get the win”.
Fahringer held second at the end of the first lap but further problems would eventually take him out of contention and he finished two laps down in eighth. Brown took over second but had Redmond on his tail and would take over the spot just before the halfway point but then broke his clutch lever with a tip over and allowed Brown back by. But then Robert, the current WORCS champion and Graffunder were in close formation and both pushed past. On lap seven of eight, Brown pulled out of the event after losing another position to Gerston. “I was just too tired and struggling all day” Brown said. “I have been in Mexico doing Baja testing and it took a lot out of me.”
Robert and Graffunder continued to battle for second all the way to the finish and would be the only two riders to remain on the lead lap with Webb. “I got better and gained confidence as the day went on” Robert said”. We have a lot of rocks in Arizona but they are like sand paper and these rocks have slime on them so I am happy I was able to do well”. Gerston was an impressive fourth place ahead of Planet who said “This was one of the toughest races I have ever done, especially the first long test”.
Redmond, Brown, Fahringer, Ashburn and Baylor rounded out the top ten.
Brown, Webb, Bobbitt, Fahringer, Robert, Graffunder, Ashburn, Redmond and More Set To Face Off At KENDA Tennessee Knockout
Champions from multiple disciplines will battle in Tennessee
Sequatchie, TN (August 13, 2013) – The third annual KENDA Tennessee Knockout is scheduled to take place this weekend at the world famous Trials Training Center and Mike Brown, the two time Champion will have his hands full trying to defend his title. He will face off against Champions from several disciplines including the current WORCS Champion, a four time National Enduro Champion, a former National Trials Champion and the current GNCC XC-2 point’s leader. The challenging event is a rare opportunity to see how the top riders from different parts of the country and different off-road series match up. If you live within driving range of Chattanooga Tennessee, plan for an entertaining day in the woods.
Below are some of the top riders confirmed for the 2013 KENDA Tennessee Knockout:
Mike Brown, KTM: 2013 Barcelona X Games Enduro X winner, 2012 X Games Enduro X winner, 2011 and 2012 KENDA Tennessee Knockout Champion, 2009 WORCS Champion, 2000 AMA Motocross Champion.
Russell Bobbitt, Husaberg: Four time AMA National Enduro Champion. Third place at 2012 KENDA Tennessee Knockout.
Cody Webb, Beta: 2013 King of the Motos Champion, 2010 AMA National Trials Champion, 3rd at 2013 Hell’s Gate Extreme Enduro, 2012 EnduroCross Championship runner up.
Taylor Robert, Kawasaki: 2012 WORCS Champion, 2013 Munich X Games Enduro X winner, 2012 and 2013 Last Dog Standing winner.
Jordan Ashburn, Yamaha: Two time GNCC XC-2 Champion.
Cory Graffunder, Husqvarna: Multi Time Canadian Off-Road Champion, Multi Time EnduroCross podium finisher.
Grant Baylor, KTM: Current GNCC XC-2 Championship points leader.
Kyle Redmond, KTM: Multi time top American finisher at Erzberg Extreme Enduro, second at 2012 King of the Motos Extreme Enduro.
Nick Fahringer, Husaberg: Multi time National Enduro race winner.
Max Gerston, Beta: 2012 EnduroCross Junior Champion.
Unqualified Expert/Pro and amateur riders can race on Saturday with the top finishers earning the opportunity to move on to the Sunday Expert Knockout rounds. On Sunday, the riders will compete in a very tough and spectator friendly four round Knockout format. Here is a peak at some of the action from the 2012 event:
For more information about the 2013 Kenda Tennessee Knockout, fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Moose Racing and SRT, please visit: http://tennesseeknockoutenduro.com/