As a traditionally quiet month for enduro, we beat the August blues and headed Stateside for back to back weekends of Hard Enduro and EnduroCross action. We also learned from the best - Graham Jarvis - at one of his infamous riding schools. Here’s the best of August…
From start to finish, Cody Webb owned the TKO. Every time he put a wheel on the track he was fastest. Fluid, flawless, first - Webb was fantastic to watch as he put his wealth of trails experience and insane throttle control to work over some g-narly rocks and boulders. Adding a fourth TKO win to his 2016 Erzberg runner-up result shows Webb is one of the main players in Hard Enduro right now and for that alone he deserves our August Rider of the Month.
The Tennessee weather was a wild one and certainly spiced things up for the TKO. With nearly four seasons in one day, together with some serious humidity, by our measly European standards, it definitely jacked the extreme element up a notch or three.
Sherco put a serious effort into Wade Young at the TKO, which was cool to see. They shipped over a brand spanky new 2017 bike and flew over his mechanic Bo-Bo, to smooth things along for Young’s first ever visit to the States. Unfortunately a smashed clutch perch in the main prevented the battle with Webb many hoped to see. But Young dug deep from a number of laps down to salvage second, of which he can be proper proud.
It was strange to see Graham Jarvis at the TKO but not actually there racing - just spectating. We’re not really sure what the deal was but we hope the powers that be sort it out ASAP because regardless of what side of the Atlantic Ocean you live on, the public just want to see the world’s best enduro riders battle it out, head to head. And we're pretty sure they want to race each other too.
The Tennessee Knock Out ain’t no walk in the park. It’s hardcore. And would easily sit among some of the premier Red Bull Hard Enduro events on the calendar. The private trials facility, where the race is based, is home to some gigantic rocks, nasty climbs, unpredictible weather and a big bunch of die hard fans who braved the elements to watch the action.
Wheelie like Jarvis is watching! While at the TKO we asked Jason Hooper, of the Full Gas Sprint Enduro series, to try his hand at a Graham Jarvis Training Experience. And what a day it was. Maximising bike and body control was the order of the day and of course an obligatory wheelie drill was thrown in for good measure too. Keep an eye on a future issue of Enduro illustrated for the full experience.
The penultimate round of the British Enduro Championship was a belter - even with the mixed weather. The organisers put on a race worthy of any EnduroGP round. Some crackin’ tests, great hospitality and even a SuperTest ensured the whole weekend was one to savour.
August finally marked the arrival of the AMA EnduroCross Championship. It seems like we’ve been waiting ages for it but thankfully it’s finally here. And with eight rounds in under three months, it’s wide open too.
We’re not quite sure how Colton Haaker managed to ride this one out, and neither was he. Thankfully this near miss came in his Heat Race before he kept things pretty much squeaky clean to win the opening main event of the Endurocross 2016 season.
Sure what could possibly go wrong when about 20 guys run a lap of an endurocross track holding a pair of Pro Tapers!
Taddy’s back in the USofA. It’s cool to see the five-time champ back in the USA giving it beans. Committed to the series he’s also based himself there for the duration of the championship to give it his full focus. Third at round one set him on the right track.
With Gas Gas back in action and their 2017 models getting rolled out, we got a chance to swing a leg over one and give it our appraisal. You can read those thoughts in the next issue of Enduro illustrated. Stay tuned for that…