Chattanooga Now Extreme Enduro off-road race challenges riders in Tennessee's outback

Chattanooga Now Extreme Enduro off-road race challenges riders in Tennessee's outback

August 10th, 2017 by Staff Report in Chattnow Outabout

The course challenges riders with boulders, rock-littered paths, fallen logs and other natural obstacles.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Directions

The Trials Training Center is located just outside the small town of Sequatchie, Tenn., about an hour from Chattanooga and six miles north of Jasper, Tenn.

Organizers advise that following GPS directions can be misleading. They suggest putting in coordinates: N 35.08.357 and W 085.36.564.

To get there from Chattanooga: Take I-24 west for about 30 miles to Exit 155 (Jasper/Highway 28). Turn right and head north on Highway 28.

After 2 miles, the four-lane road becomes two lanes. At 2.6 miles, you’ll see a Trials Training Center sign on the right.

Turn left onto Mel Dixon Road, go 1.2 miles to stop sign at a T-shaped intersection, with another TTC sign by the fence and a cemetery on the right.

Turn right on Betsy Pack Drive/Valley View Highway. After 1.3 miles, you’ll arrive in the town of Sequatchie. From the center of Sequatchie, keep going one mile to another TTC sign on the right as you approach the intersection.

Turn left onto Coppinger Cove Road, go another 1.2 miles. You’ll see another TTC sign as you pass the Baptist church. Turn left on the winding, narrow gravel road (called Woodland Road, but there’s no sign) and follow that for a half mile (staying left the entire way until through the woods) to the TTC camping area. Look for a green shop on the right.

This weekend, some of the world's top off-road motorcycle riders are converging on a tiny town in Marion County for a brutal race in Tennessee's outback.

The seventh annual Kenda Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro, more commonly known as the TKO, is being held in Sequatchie, Tenn., on Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 12-13.

The event features a "Knockout" format. Riders race for the fastest time on a course that is challenging not only for its natural obstacles but also its August heat and humidity. It's a test of man and machine.

In the first race at 9 a.m., 280 riders will compete. Half of them will be eliminated, or knocked out, according to fastest race times. The remaining 140 race again at 1 p.m. The 15 fastest will advance to Sunday's finals.

The 23-mile course is outlined in yellow tape across wooded hills around Sequatchie. Riders wind their way between trees, up earthen hills sharp with rock outcroppings, following dirt paths littered with rocks, roots, boulders and fallen logs.

Cody Webb of California has won the TKO the last four years. He will return this weekend to defend his title.

Cody Webb of California has won the TKO...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

"Our course is very spectator-friendly," says Charles Roberts at the Trials Training Center. "At a lot of races through the woods, spectators see the riders going out and coming back in and that's all. With this race, you can see riders four, five or six places on the track."

DirtBikes.com recently polled some of the top off-road racers to determine the Top 10 Extreme Enduros in the World.

The only American race to make that cut was the Kenda Tennessee Knockout, which came in fourth.

Sunday's Pro class is drawing riders from eight or nine countries, including Graham Jarvis from England and Wade Young from South Africa.

Young rode his Sherco to an impressive second-place finish in the 2016 Kenda Tennessee Knockout despite having to stop to replace a broken clutch lever during the main event.

Quinn Wentzel, 23, a Pro Mototrials rider, Pro Extreme Enduro rider and Pro EnduroCross rider from Canfield, Ohio, has confirmed he's riding this weekend.

Cody Webb of California, four-time TKO champion, will be back to defend his title.

Roberts says Sunday's winner of the finals receives $3,000. In all, $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.

Roberts expects as many as 3,000 spectators if the weather is good, "and even if it rains we'll still have about 1,500," he says.

"This is a family-friendly event. People can bring their coolers, and we'll have concessions for sale on-site," he says.

If you go

› What: Kenda Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro Race

› Where: Trials Training Center, 300 Woodland Road, Sequatchie, Tenn.

› When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT, Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 12-13

› Admission: $10 per day for spectators

› For more information: 423-942-8688

Schedule

› Saturday
9-11:30 a.m. TKO Race No. 1

9:31-11:32 a.m. Women’s qualifying race

11:33 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Scoring first race

1-2:30 p.m. TKO Race No. 2

2:31-3 p.m. Scoring second race

3-3:30 p.m. Women’s final race

5 p.m. Awards ceremony

6 p.m. Barbecue sponsored by Moose Racing/Parts Unlimited

› Sunday
9 a.m. Rider meeting at podium

9:30-10:30 a.m. Hot lap on short course

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Knockout Race No. 1

1-2:30 p.m. Knockout Race No. 2

3-3:45 p.m. Final Knockout

4:30 p.m. Awards ceremony

Directions
Following GPS directions can be misleading. Use coordinates: N 35.08.357 and W 085.36.564.