David Knight got himself back on top in the world of extreme enduro by taking a win at his first race of the year in The Tough One, which took place in the Natmawr Quarry in Shropshire, England on February 21. Now back on a KTM, the Isle of Man resident not only won the international race, but lapped everyone but the second place rider.David Knight
Second in The Tough One went to Suzuki-mounted Tom Sagar while Beta rider and World Trials legend Dougie Lampkin – who was fresh off a win at the treacherous Hell’s Gate extreme enduro – filled out the podium in third.
“Winning The Tough One is a great way to start the year,” Knight said. “Every time I’ve won the event I’ve gone on to win either a World Enduro Championship or a US GNCC title, so let’s hope the same happens this year.”
Defending champion of The Tough One, Taddy Blazusiak, was unable to compete after coming down with flu during the week prior. The demanding race takes place in near freezing conditions on an ultra-technical course, so Blazusiak and the factory KTM Racing team knew it wouldn’t be smart to come into it at any less than 100 percent.
But even without KTM’s star player in the mix, Knight still had to work for his win.
“I banged my clutch lever up as I went off the start and managed to break my handguard pushing it back down, so I had that flapping around for a while,” Knight said. “But once I got going, things went well.”
Knight got hung up a bit in traffic since the Pro line started behind the Experts, and he spent much of the first lap working his way into the lead. But once he was in control of the race, he opened up a gap and had a two-minute lead by the time he made his gas stop.
“Every time I pulled away a bit I’d get stuck in amongst a load of riders, so I decided not to push too hard during the first few laps,” Knighter explained. “Once I was past all the Expert riders, I pushed hard. The second hour went really well. I extended my lead and didn’t have any problems from there to the finish. The track was frozen in a few places, but it rode well. All in all, it was a good race for me.”