All posts by Sean Finley

Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro on track for August 13-15; Prologue Straight Rhythm event added to Saturday afternoon

Final plans are coming together for the eleventh annual Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO). The Trials Training Center, in Sequatchie, Tennessee will host the event on August 13-15, 2021. The TKO serves as the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road and the event is still planned to be part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC) despite the very challenging global travel restrictions. So, the top riders from around the world will face off against the best North American hard enduro riders for a $10,000 purse

The top riders are automatically qualified into the Sunday pro racing and 400 amateur riders have entered to race on Saturday to compete for the AMA Amateur Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road. Saturday is a two-round format with some riders qualifying directly into the amateur championship-deciding race two via nine AMA regional events. The top thirty finishers from Saturday earn the opportunity to move on to the Sunday racing to compete with the pre-qualified riders.

Saturday also includes both amateur and pro women’s classes. The amateur women will compete in Saturday race one and the pro-women will compete in Saturday race two and with the winner earning the 2021 AMA Grand Championship #1 plate.

New for 2021, Saturday afternoon will include a Prologue Straight Rhythm event for the pro men and pro-women riders. There will be an additional purse payout for both the men and women. More details to come on this event.

“We have been working hard to make the 2021 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout special,” said Eric Peronnard, co-producer of the Tennessee Knockout. “We have some completely new sections that we will be using for the main event that will challenge the riders and be more exciting for the spectators. We will also add a Prologue Straight Rhythm to the Saturday afternoon schedule for the pro men and pro-women, and that will be an exciting way to cap the Saturday racing.”

The 2021 TKO will again be featured on Red Bull TV with more details to be announced.

Trystan Hart (center) won the 2020 AMA Tennessee Knockout over Cody Webb (left) and Benjamin Herrera. Photo: Sam Carbine / Red Bull Content Pool
Trystan Hart earned his first TKO win in 2020 and has moved to the FMF KTM Factory team for 2021. Photo: Shan Moore
Cody Webb has won the TKO six times but has not won since 2018, so he is hungry for a seventh win. Photo: Sam Carbine / Red Bull Content Pool
Many of the top international riders have competed in the Tennessee Knockout in the past. Germany’s Mani Lettenbichler won the 2019 TKO over Spain’s Mario Roman and South Africa’s Wade Young. But 2021 will mark the first time that most of the top international riders will all be competing at the TKO at the same time.
2021 will include both amateur and pro-women classes for the first time. The amateur women will race in Saturday race one while the pro-women will compete in Saturday race two for the AMA Grand Championship Off-Road #1 plate. Rachel Gutish (center) topped Shelby Turner (left) and Louise Forsley in 2020. Photo: Shan Moore

2021 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro schedule confirmed; Amateur entries open on Dec 10

The 11th annual Tennessee Knockout (TKO) has been confirmed to take place on the weekend of August 13-15, 2021 at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. The event is expected to be part of the WESS Enduro World Championship as was initially planned for 2020 prior to the Coronavirus pandemic forcing the series to take a year sabbatical.

The racing format will be like past years with a Prologue on Friday to set amateur racer starting positions followed by two rounds of amateur racing on Saturday and a four-round Sunday competition. The event will also continue to serve as the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road racing.

“We have had ten great years of TKO events and look forward to starting on the next chapter with more exciting news to be shared in the coming months,” said Eric Peronnard (@ericperonnard), co-producer of the Tennessee Knockout. “We are working on a few new ideas and improvements as well as working with WESS (@iridewess)  to be a part of their 2021 series, as we originally planned for 2020.”

Red Bull will continue to be a partner with the TKO event in 2021 with plans for broadcast coverage. Tune-in information to follow.

The Tennessee Knockout is one of the premier off-road motorcycle races in the US, attracting the top American and International riders. Tennessee Native Mike Brown won the first two events with Californian, Cody Webb close behind both times. Webb then went on a six-year run of winning TKO, topping many of the best riders in the world in the process. Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Wade Young, Mario Roman, and Manuel Lettenbichler all challenged Webb but the American was unbeatable. A knee injury forced Webb to miss the 2019 TKO and Germany’s Lettenbichler became the first International rider to win the event. In 2020, Canadian Trystan Hart broke through for a win over Webb, and Chile’s Benjamin Herrera. With more international riders expected, who will stand on the top step of the podium in 2021?

TKO will again pre-qualify the top riders to the four-round Sunday competition. This will include top riders from major US and International off-road racing series and events. Any rider that finished in the top 26 on Sunday at the 2020 TKO, as well as riders that have qualified for a previous TKO Sunday main event, will be qualified directly into the 2020 TKO Sunday program. The expert riders will be competing for a $10,000 purse.

The Saturday program will include two rounds of racing and will serve as the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship for Amateur riders. The overall Amateur winner will be awarded the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship number one plate (Additional non-championship classes will be available for A, B, C, and 45+). Amateur riders can earn spots directly into round two via several AMA regional championship events. Riders that do not qualify via one of the AMA regional events can sign up for one of 400 open spots that will compete in a morning qualifying race that can earn a spot in the championship final on Saturday. The top 30 finishers from Saturday will earn a spot in Sunday’s expert program.

Amateur registration opens at 6:00 pm CST on Thursday, December 10, 2020. There are just 400 spots available and entries have sold out in just a couple of hours in the past so please plan to get your entry in as soon as it opens. The registration link will be available here on the TKO website.

There will also be a pro Women’s class with a Saturday morning qualifying session and Saturday afternoon main event. This is also an AMA Grand Championship class. A separate Women’s amateur class will be available as well but will not be an AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship class.

Trystan Hart (center) won the 2020 AMA Tennessee Knockout over Cody Webb (left) and Benjamin Herrera. Photo: Sam Carbine / Red Bull Content Pool
The Trials Training Center provides challenging and scenic terrain for the riders and fans. Photo: Sam Carbine / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Gerston and Benjamin Herrera await the start of the 2020 TKO. Photo: Sam Carbine / Red Bull Content Pool

Check out the videos in the right sidebar of the TKO website for highlights of some of the previous Tennessee Knockout events.

Red Bull Signature Series to feature the 2020 TKO on Fox, Sunday, Oct 4

The Tenth Annual Kenda Tennessee Knockout (TKO) will be featured on the Red Bull Signature Series this Sunday, October 4th on the Fox network. The TKO has become the premier Extreme Enduro event in the United States and the tenth annual event took place on the weekend of August 14-16.

The ninety-minute show will dig deep into the four rounds of racing on the slick and challenging terrain at the Trials Training Center. The show will air at either 2:30 EST or 4:30 EST depending on your local network and the planned NFL football game in your region. Check your local listings to verify the time.

Here is a short teaser for the event from Red Bull TV:

2020 Tennessee Knockout video highlights; top riders tackle the challenging TKO terrain

The tenth annual Kenda Tennessee Knockout took place at the Trials Training Center (@trialstrainingcenter) in Sequatchie, Tennessee on the weekend of August 14-16. We have video highlights from the grueling four rounds of Sunday pro-competition where Canada’s Trystan Hart took his first TKO win over six-time winner Cody Webb. Chile’s Benjamin Herrera finished third ahead of Noah Kepple and Keith Curtis, who rounded out the top five.

Watch the highlights here:

Thank you to Blake Terry from American Hard Enduro  (@americanhardenduro) for creating the video.

Nearly 300 amateur riders competed on Friday and Saturday gunning for the AMA Amateur Extreme Enduro Grand National Championship. Danny Lewis took the win in the championship-deciding second round on Saturday. Will Riordan finished second and Tyler Kincaid rounded out the podium. Those three along with the other top 30 finishers got the opportunity to compete in the Sunday competition against the twenty-six pre-qualified pro riders.

Hart dominated the Sunday competition, winning all four rounds of racing, including the main event, which included just the top fifteen riders. The Sunday course included some brutal new sections including the Four Logs, Walk in the Park and a new hill climb that Hart was the first to ever climb in TKO competition.

2020 Kenda Tennessee Knockout Main Event Results:

  1. Trystan Hart, KTM
  2. Cody Webb, Sherco
  3. Benjamin Herrera Ried, Beta
  4. Noah Kepple, Husqvarna
  5. Keith Curtis, Husqvarna
  6. Max Gerston, Beta
  7. Ryder LeBlond, KTM
  8. Will Riordan, KTM
  9. Cory Graffunder, Husqvarna
  10. Nick Fahringer, Sherco
  11. Jordan Ashburn, Kawasaki
  12. Quinn Wentzel, Sherco
  13. Ronnie Commo, Beta
  14. Cooper Abbott, KTM
  15. Danny Lewis, Husqvarna

Detailed results can be found here: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1792759

The 2020 Kenda Tennessee Knockout will also be featured on the Red Bull Signature Series on Fox.