The fifth stop of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship was electric! Eagerly awaited, Red Bull TKO in the USA certainly didn’t disappoint. Across the board, racing was hugely exciting as the best Hard Enduro riders in the world went head-to-head. With an energetic crowd of spectators creating an amazing atmosphere at the Trials Training Centre venue in Sequatchie, Tennessee, Red Bull TKO 2021 was truly a memorable event.
With so much happening in such a relatively short space of time, here is a quick look back at some of the bits you may have missed…
Straight Rhythm Rocks!
Saturday’s Endurocross-style Straight Rhythm was awesome. The carefully curated stretch of Endurocross obstacles, where competitors raced head-to-head in a series of heat races, produced some incredibly exciting racing. As riders battled for the win, Billy Bolt pulled out all the stops by pre-jumping the final log pile to snatch victory from Taddy Blazusiak. Watch the footage, it’s one of the wildest things we’ve seen in a long time!
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Pro Women Battles
The Pro Women were out in force at Red Bull TKO. Racing with the amateurs on Saturday’s TKO Race 2, it was Shelby Turner (KTM) who took the win over Sherco-mounted Louise Forsley and Georgia Eversol (KTM). A great ride from Turner also saw her take the AMA Grand Championship #1 plate.
Nothing Left In The Tank
The Trials Training Centre venue used for Red Bull TKO had everything we love about a Hard Enduro course. Incredibly tough rocky terrain mixed with steep technical climbs. But one thing we hadn’t factored in was the intensity of the races and the power-sapping humidity in Tennessee. On paper the total race time of three hours looks low in comparison to some other races in the series, but in reality, it was brutal. After the opening Knockout race, Bolt was quick to realise that a long tough day was in store for all. For each and every rider that crossed the finish line, their tanks were empty!
Got To Nail Those Climbs
While the rock gardens were tough to master, it was the forestry climbs that were critical to get right during the Final Knockout. The race was nearly lost for Bolt when he failed to make it up clean, while Trystan Hart (KTM) had a Sherco-sized Wade Young for company on the final lap when he bobbled on the waterfall climb. Jonny Walker (Beta) was another rider to capitalise on those climbs, overtaking Cody Webb (Sherco) for seventh.
Full Attack But Total Respect
A big talking point of the weekend was the speed at which both Billy Bolt and Manuel Lettenbichler attacked the Final Knockout race. Catching 2020 Red Bull TKO winner Trystan Hart by surprise, the duo went at it full guns blazing and left nothing on the table. These two have really raised the bar when it comes to shorter style Hard Enduro races. But while the rivalry on track is fierce, the respect off it is humbling. We loved seeing both embrace each other at the finish line as they celebrated their achievements. We can’t wait to see what goes down at round six, Poland’s Hero Challenge on September 11/12.
Don’t forget, the 26-minute Recap of Red Bull TKO will air on Red Bull TV from Saturday, August 21.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round six at Poland’s Hero Challenge on September 11/12.
Provisional standings – FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (after 5 of 8 rounds)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 54pts
2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 53pts
3. Wade Young (Sherco) 40pts
4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 37pts
5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 34pts
6. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 26pts
7. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 24pts
8. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 21pts
9. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 19pts
10. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 15pts
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship calendar
Round 1: Extreme XL Lagares – Portugal, May 7/8/9
Round 2: Red Bull Erzbergrodeo – Austria, June 3/4/5/6
Round 3: Abestone Hard Enduro – Italy, July 10/11
Round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs – Romania, July 27/28/29/30/31
Round 5: Red Bull TKO – USA, August 13/14/15
Round 6: HERO Challenge – Poland, September 11/12
Round 7: Hixpania Hard Enduro – Spain, October 1/2/3
Round 8: GetzenRodeo – Germany, October 29/30