Wet, slippery and as tough as the now discontinued Gilles Lalay Classic Knight completed the 40-mile day loop in a time of just over two-and-a-half hours, having been told that it would probably take him four hours. With riders required to finish no more than one-hour behind the race winner in order to pass through to the night race, Knight’s blistering pace resulted in just 11 riders reaching the finish within the allotted time. Again getting a good start in the night race Knight quickly pulled away from his rivals despite making a wrong turn shortly after the start.
Just 15 minutes into the night race Knight was faced with one of the event’s biggest and hardest challenges – a seriously steep climb with a vertical step at the top. With no outside assistance permitted Knight needed 15 minutes to manhandle his bike up and over the climb during which time none of his rivals arrived at the base of the steep hill. Battling alone during the night after two hours of riding David was forced to stop and fix what he thought was a broken headlight. On closer inspection David realised that he’s spent the first 120 minutes riding with his main light switched off. Switching it back on David arrived at the finish one-hour later having completed what he described as ‘the hardest race’ of his life. In an unofficial time of just under three hours David won the second running of the Red Bull Last Man Standing with just one other competitor reaching the finish.
After an incredible season in which David has won the Enduro 3 World Enduro Championship, the Overall British Enduro Championship, the Barcelona and Genoa indoor enduros, Hell’s Gate, The Tough One, Erzberg Rodeo and now Red Bull Last Man Standing Knighter heads to his Isle of Man home for a well deserved winter break before starting preparations for ‘07.
David Knight: “Last year the race was challenging but not too difficult but this year it was a hard as the Gilles Lalay Classic. It was amazing how the weather changed – it was really nice when I stepped off the plane but then it turned really bad. It was obvious during practice on Friday that the race was going to be difficult – the ground was really wet, which made everything so slippery. Winning is great and the event was amazing, probably the hardest race I’ve done. “The morning race went well, but it was tough. I got a good start but got stopped by one of the first climbs. We had to help each other get our bikes to the top of one of a steep climb. There were lots of other hard sections but when I got to the first route check I was told that I was 20 minutes ahead. After that I just tried not to get stuck or make any mistakes. “The night race was really hard. It didn’t help riding with my main light turned off for the first two hours but apart from that it went well. There were some sections harder than in the morning but I just kept pushing and didn’t have too many problems. I knew that if I was finding it hard then the other riders would be struggling.”
Red Bull Last Man Standing Results
1. David Knight (Isle of Man)
2. Wayne Braybrook (UK)
3. Guy Cooper (USA)
4. Cory Graffunder (USA)
5. Russell Bobbitt (USA)
6. Kyle Redmond (USA)
7. Marty Halmazna (CAN)