All posts by Sean Finley

Schedule confirmed for 2020 TKO; event to be part of WESS Enduro World Championship; Amateur registration opens December 5, 2019

The 2020 TKO will be round six of the eight-round World Enduro Super Series (WESS) and take place on the weekend of August 14-16, 2020 at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee.

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

“We started the TKO in 2011 and it was a huge success and has grown in popularity each year along with the worldwide growth in Extreme Enduro events,” said Eric Peronnard (@ericperonnard), co-producer of the Tennessee Knockout. “We are proud to be chosen to be part of the WESS Enduro World Championship for 2020.”

Red Bull has been a partner with the TKO for several years and that will continue for 2020. The WESS Enduro World Championship (@iridewess) has a partnership with Red Bull Media House, which provides extensive coverage of all of the championship rounds via Red Bull TV and social media platforms.

Manuel Lettenbichler (center), won the 2019 Kenda Tennessee Knockout over Mario Roman (left) and Wade Young. Photo: Mary Rinell @mjsmotophotos

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 Cody Webb close behind both times. Webb then went on a six-year run of winning the TKO, topping many of the best riders in the world in the process. Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Wade Young, Mario Roman, and Manuel Lettenbichler gave Webb a good challenge 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. It will be amazing to see many of these riders joined by other top international and American riders facing off at the 2020 TKO.

The TKO will again pre-qualify the top riders to the four-round Sunday competition. This will include top riders from the major US and international off-road racing series and events. Any rider that finished in the top 26 on Sunday at the 2019 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 Extreme Enduro AMA Grand Championship for Amateur riders. 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 5, 2019. There are just 400 spots available and entries 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 in a blog post on the homepage of the TKO website.

There will also be a Women’s class with a Saturday morning qualifying session and Saturday afternoon main event. This is also an AMA Grand Championship class.

Manny Lettenbichler finished second in his first attempt a the TKO in 2018 and then came back to win in 2019, becoming the first International rider to take the top step of the podium. Photo: Mary Rinell @mjsmotophotos
Spain’s Mario Roman has competed in three TKO events and finished on the podium every time. He finished second in 2019. Photo: Mary Rinell @mjsmotophotos
Wade Young finished third at the 2019 Kenda Tennessee Knockout. The South African also had a second place finish in 2016. Photo: Mary Rinell @mjsmotophotos
Indiana’s Rachel Gutish won the 2019 Women’s class championship. For 2020, the women’s class will again compete in a Saturday morning qualification race and the final will take place on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Mary Rinell @mjsmotophotos

2019 Tennessee Knockout Video Highlights; Top riders take on the treacherous rocks at the TKO

The ninth annual Kenda Tennessee Knockout took place at the Trials Training Center, in Sequatchie, Tennessee, on the weekend of August 16-18. We have full video highlights from the grueling Sunday pro competition where Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler  (@m_letti304) earned the TKO title over Spain’s Mario Roman (@marioroman74) and South Africa’s Wade Young (@wadeyoung55). American Colton Haaker (@coltonhaaker) and Canada’s Trystan Hart (@trystanhart_84) rounded out the top five.

Watch the highlights here:

The 2019 Tennessee Knockout had nearly 400 entries and the amateur riders competed in a Friday prologue and had two races on Saturday. The top 30 amateur riders earned the opportunity to compete with the 27 pre-qualified pro riders on Sunday. Sunday uses a four-round Knockout format that starts with a Hot Lap to set starting positions. The first Knockout round, on a 19-mile course, cuts the field of riders down to 25 and an LCQ earns a final transfer spot for one additional rider. Those remaining 26 riders compete for the final 15 spots in the main event with another loop on the 19-mile course with some more difficult sections added. The main event is a 30-minute plus one lap battle on a mile-long course. In total, the fastest rider, Manual Lettenbichler, raced for nearly three hours.

2019 Kenda Tennessee, Knockout Main Event Results

  1. Manuel Lettenbichler, KTM
  2. Mario Roman, Sherco
  3. Wade Young, Sherco
  4. Colton Haaker, Husqvarna
  5. Trystan Hart, KTM
  6. Ben Kelley, KTM
  7. Ricky Russell, Yamaha
  8. Max Gerston, Beta
  9. Grant Baylor, KTM
  10. Ronnie Commo, KTM
  11. Quinn Wentzel, Husqvarna
  12. Nick Fahringer, Sherco
  13. Mitch Carvolth, Sherco
  14. Liam Draper, KTM
  15. Nate Smith, Husqvarna

Detailed results can be found here.