Red Bull Knock Out Race - Dirt Rider Magazine

Two weeks before the Red Bull Knock-Out... "Hey Chris, do you want to fly to the Netherlands to do a story on a beach race?" Without any questions, I gave just a simple "Hell yeah!" I then found myself scrambling to replace my lost/stolen unused passport. Did you know that you could get a passport in two days? Yeah, you can. In a blur of a week, I was aboard a plane to the Netherlands to compete in the most grueling beach race in the world. To break it down: 650 riders (amateur to pro, 14 to 56 years old, including 10 women) voluntarily lined up on the beach of Scheveningen to test their physical, mental and sand riding strengths. In doing so, they subjected themselves to three hours of two-wheel hell the promoters "kindly" broke down into two 90-minute motos. After the first hour and a half moto, only the top 50 percent of the racers were allowed to compete in the second and final moto in hopes of being crowned King of the Sand. The course consisted of one mile of huge sand rollers, 1.5 miles of tide-threatened beachfront and several man-made obstacles all laid out on about a three-mile loop. Have you ever seen 650 riders on a three-mile track all at one time? That's what I thought. But with these pictures, now you can view the grueling race firsthand. Want to sign up with me next year?When the press release said, "The toughest sand race in the world," it wasn't just juggling its own cookies. This race was not only tough for the riders, but also for everyone involved with making it run. From the track workers who constantly adjusted the course to the promoters who pumped up the event to the city that allowed this race-my hat is off to you guys. The overall experience was once again a Red Bull One-of-a-Kind. Thank you Red Bull, KTM and Dirt Rider for giving me the opportunity to come out and test my sand legs. And remember, life's a beach!

We arrived in the Netherlands from competing magazines, but quickly banded together as Team USA. John "Z German" Minert (MXA) #106, Ryan Dudek (Cycle World) #104 and me #105 lined up on the start; the calm before the storm.
Here we are sandblasted, burned, battered and bruised as we try to recover for the final 90-minute moto. Ryan Dudek qualified with ease, I qualified with what would be considered as the exact opposite and "Z German" didn't make it due to a fourth-gear swap that left him lounging in the sand and being used as the only source of traction by the rest of the pack.
Red Bull team rider Tarah Geiger was ready to take on the beach of Scheveningen.
The start of this race was like no other. With 650 riders charging into the first turn at once, I am still amazed that no one got buried alive. Think about it; the amount of riders on this single start is equivalent to about two seasons of supercross main events all rolled into one.
With over 150,000 spectators attending this free Red Bull event, sometimes the best view was from the top of the press truck... or from the pier... or by standing next to one of the several portable Jumbotrons they had lining the strand. Actually, now that I think of it, you got a taste of the action wherever you stood.
Aaah, The Lion and the Mouse. This reminds me of the time 650 riders laughed at that lion of a sand track and then the track broke loose and tore the heehoos out of every single one of them. Good times, good times.
I was quick to make friends with the locals. Here one of my colleagues gives me some advice on block passing. As usual I'm not listening and it definitely showed in the race. Then again...maybe we weren't talking about the same thing.
Apple bottom jeans and the boots with the...buckles? Over 800 riders registered for the Knock-Out, 650 were chosen to race and of those 650 riders, only one rode his bicycle to the track with his boots strapped to the back.
We were shocked to be carded as we entered the supermarket. However, being 45 minutes from the main Heineken hub, we really shouldn't have been. Nothing like a warm grab-'n'-go Heineken.
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. I only have one thing to say about that...evil. There it is, I said it.
At 49 meters above sea level, this cast-iron beauty can be seen from 29 nautical miles away; unfortunately, she couldn't light the way to our pits two miles down the beach.
Our Red Bull tour guide, Jordan Miller, is seen here giving my KTM 400 EXC the once-over. With professional advice and a slight knack for the native tongue, Jordan was the glue that held our team together.