When you think about extreme enduros and nasty off-road racing, Europe usually comes to mind. Here in the United States we’ve seen events like Last Man Standing and some National Enduros get pretty brutal, but for years the U.S. extreme off-road race scene has been dead. The inaugural Kenda Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro (TKO) in Sequatchie, Tennessee, brought extreme off-road racing right here to the States. It was rocky, it was brutal and we hope it is here to stay.
Last week’s Cycle News (Sept. 7 issue) featured the Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro (TKO) in a 6-page feature titled TKO for Brown (pages 102-107) with many photos. An excerpt:
Brown led every lap of the final. He blasted to the front right off the start and opened up a small lead. Knowing any small mistake could mean disaster Brown rode conservatively and chose his lines carefully every lap.
Webb, however, had nothing to lose and went after Brown. The Beta rider had fallen in the first turn and was hammering it around the course. His aggressive riding style carried him right up to Brown late in the race. But when he was within striking distance on the last lap, Webb tipped over, which was just enough to give Brown some breathing room and eventual win.
After nearly 40 minutes of racing, Brown was happy to see the checkered flag. “Was tougher than anything I have ever done,” Brown said. “At the halfway mark, I thought I would not be able to finish, but I was leading so I kept pushing.”
The weather was expectedly hot and sticky, and the brutally rocky terrain and dust made for a tricky course in and around the surrounding canyons and hills of the TTC. The format for the race was creative, with both a long loop and a shorter course being utilized to pre-select a field of amateur racers and narrow down the stacked field to 25, and then finally ten, top racers. Prizes were also awesome like best cycling shoes and watches.
After multiple rounds of qualifiers, the TKO main event took place on the unbelievably difficult short course, which was approximately five minutes in length.
With ten laps of racing for the victory, the final was extremely hot, brutal and according to Brown “way tougher than an outdoor motocross national.”
Overall, the first-ever TKO was a huge success, and the buzz has already started about next year’s event