David Knight made a winning return to International Extreme Enduro and the Wirral Off Road organised 'Tough One'. Although he's won both British Extreme races held in 2014, David has missed the Tough One event for the past 3 years due to other commitments.
Knighter returned to a new look Tough one, held at the famous Hawkstone Park for the first time in the events ten year history. With all the worlds top Extreme Enduro riders competing, it was a chance for David to show that he's back and ready to fight at the worlds big extreme races!
Racing the Sherco 300 two-stroke for the first time, David got off to a decent start, rounding turn one in about 6th and quickly getting to 2nd after a few corners behind early leader Jonny Walker. Knighter followed Walker until lap 3, where he passed and found an opportunity to pull away. After creating a lead of about 30 seconds, it all went wrong for David as rope wrapped around his rear wheel and foot, somehow tying his foot to the foot peg and ripping his rear mudguard off.
After managing to get his foot untied and free, a marshal arrived with a knife and set about cutting the rope from the bike. After more than 5 minutes David got his helmet back on and set off in about 6th position, quickly passing the guys in front he was soon second but still 4 minutes behind Walker. David was on a mission, closing up to a minute per lap. With an hour to go, David was right behind Walker and soon passed him for the lead. Both riders entered the pits together for their 2nd and final pit stop. David put the hammer down again during the next 2 laps letting him cruise the final lap and take a very popular and deserving win by over 2 minutes from his nearest rival.
"I'm so happy with the way I dug deep today more than anything! I wasn't too confident before the start as I haven't ridden much since having surgery two weeks ago and it took longer to heal than I thought it would. To take the win after losing over 5 minutes is better than a start to finish win. I started ok and soon got behind Jonny and was happy to follow. I could see I was much faster in places so decided to go and try to build a gap. It worked, and I could see I was pulling away until suddenly the bike stopped, my ankle got bent backwards and my rear mudguard got ripped off. Rope had got tangled in the rear wheel and although I DIDN'T crash, I honestly thought my race was over as the rear wheel was jammed solid and my ankle was hurting like mad. Luckily for me, a couple of marshals were there and thanks to them, they got me back in the race. I then just rode around not doing anything special and just enjoyed it. Riding each lap as my own, trying to improve with each circuit and not make mistakes and I eventually caught the 5 minutes back and then pulled away to win by over 2 minutes. It was a surprise if I'm honest as it's a huge amount of time. To win is great and I know I can improve myself and the bike a lot more so hopefully I can be somewhere near the front all season at the races I've not done before. A big shout out to WOR Events for a very well organised event, the marshals and all my sponsors and especially MRS for the help and support at the race".
Photo: Garry Barnes