2014 KENDA Tennessee Knockout News

Taylor Robert and Grant Baylor round out the Podium

Beta USA’s Cody Webb was unstoppable at the fourth annual KENDA Tennessee Knockout. Photo: Shan Moore

Sequatchie, TN (August 17, 2014) – Beta USA’s Cody Webb took the win at the 2014 KENDA Tennessee Knockout, Fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Moose Racing and SRT. It was his second consecutive win at the event after finishing second to Mike Brown the first two years of the TKO. FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert and Grant Baylor finished second and third respectively.

For the second year in a row, the extremely tough course was made more difficult by an afternoon thunder shower. But Webb excelled in the challenging conditions and won all four segments, setting the fastest time in the Hot Lap, first knockout round, second knockout head to head qualifier and the fifteen rider main event. “The day went really well, it couldn’t have gone any better” Webb said. “The rain almost made the course more fun for me. It was really tough and it got really dark under the canopy in the trees and I started making a lot of mistakes so I just slowed down and found good lines and really enjoyed the challenge.”

FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert finished second for the second consecutive year at the TKO. Photo: Shan Moore

Robert was clearly second best on the day, setting the second fastest times in the Hot Lap and knockout one before winning his group in knockout two. “I got second all day to Cody so I guess I need to work on my Trials skills. But I had a good time and the second race was really fun, it stared down pouring in the middle of the race and kind of slowed it down and made it way more technical” Robert said. “The final was just nasty, five laps on some of the slipperiest stuff you can imagine.”

Grant Baylor finished tenth in his first attempt at the TKO in 2013 and improved dramatically to take third. “It was a lot better than last year because I knew what to expect coming into it” Baylor said. “I was second at the start in the main and let Taylor pass me and tried to tag along with him and Max Gerston was close the hole time so it was challenging”.

Grant Baylor rode his KTM to a solid podium finish. Photo: Shan Moore

The KENDA Tennessee Knockout starts on Saturday with nearly 150 amateur riders completing three laps on a fairly technical 14 mile loop. The top 40 riders were invited to join 26 of the top expert riders in the four round Knockout format on Sunday. So a total of 66 riders started the morning Hot Laps.

Webb set a blistering Hot Lap of 2 minutes and 46 seconds followed by Robert with a time of 3 minutes and 3 seconds, Kyle Redmond at 3 minutes and 5 seconds, Bobby Prochnau at 3 minutes and 13 seconds and fellow Canadian Cory Graffunder at 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

The Hot Lap times determined the starting order for the first knockout round on a 14 mile loop that would narrow the field down with only the fastest twenty five riders moving on. Webb was again fastest with a time of 50 minutes flat. Robert came in at 51 minutes and 50 seconds to keep it interesting. Kailub Russell, the current GNCC champion was next with a time of 53 minutes and 30 seconds. Grant Baylor was next with a time of 53 minutes and 44 seconds and Prochnau was again strong with the fifth fastest time at 54 minutes and 20 seconds. FMF KTM’s Grant Baylor injured his hand or wrist and did not finish the rest of the day.

The twenty five remaining riders earned spots in five groups and only the top three finishers would move on to make a fifteen rider main event. It would use much of the same “long loop” but with some additional technical sections added, including an uphill run up a rock water fall. The sky’s opened up with a thunder shower just after the riders started this third round and it would take most of the riders nearly two hours to
complete and only 17 of the 25 riders ever made it to the finish line. Webb, Robert, Beta’s Max Gerston, KR4’s Nick Davis and Grant Baylor were the winners in each of their groups.

Cory Graffunder, who finished seventh at this year’s Erzberg Enduro and AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn were among the riders that were surprisingly eliminated in the second Knockout. The rules dictate no outside assistance but riders are allowed to help each other and this became a common sight on the treacherous hills, even among riders on opposing teams.

The fifteen riders that qualified for the main would race for five laps and the final lap required another pass up the infamous waterfall section. Webb led from the start with Grant Baylor in second on lap one before Robert passed him. Webb slowly pulled away and Robert held a relatively safe second while Baylor kept Gerston in check for most of the race and took third.

Prochnau, a top Canadian off-road rider and regular EnduroCross competitor was able to pass Gerston on the final lap in the waterfall section. They were the last two riders to remain on the lead lap. Wally Palmer passed several riders on the last lap with a clean run up the waterfall on his Christini two-wheel drive to take sixth. AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley finished seventh, Ricky Russell finished eighth on his Yamaha. Zach Love, a TKO main event regular finished an impressive ninth followed by fellow KTM rider Kyle Redmond.

Ty Tremaine, a teenager from Tahoe, was the biggest loser on the last lap after he got stuck in the waterfall and fell from sixth to eleventh. Mark Fortner, one of the riders that qualified through from Saturday took twelfth. Davis finished thirteenth ahead of Russell and Troy DeSimone, another rider that qualified on Saturday rounded out the top fifteen for the day.

Rachel Gutish and Chantelle Bykerk were among the rides that qualified for the Sunday event and the two top female racers worked together to make it through the first Knockout but did not make the top twenty five. The RPM KTM backed riders had the crowd cheering for them throughout the challenging course.

2014 KENDA Tennessee Knockout Results
1.    Cody Webb          Beta
2.    Taylor Robert        KTM
3.    Grant Baylor         KTM
4.    Bobby Prochnau    KTM
5.    Max Gerston         Beta
6.    Wally Palmer        Christini
7.    Paul Whibley         Yamaha
8.    Ricky Russell        Yamaha
9.    Zach Love              KTM
10.    Kyle Redmond     KTM
11.    Ty Tremaine        KTM
12.    Mark Fortner        Beta
13.    Nick Davis           KTM
14.    Kailub Russell      KTM
15.    Troy DeSimone    KTM

Grant Baylor, Cody Webb and Taylor Robert (Left to Right). Photo: Shan Moore

For more information about the 2014 Kenda Tennessee Knockout, fueled by Monster Energy, please visit: https://tennesseeknockoutenduro.com/

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