Herlings wins Red Bull Knock Out

Dutchman triumphs at home in the world’s toughest motorbike beach race.

Jeffrey Herlings got the better of 1000 riders to secure Red Bull Knock Out victory on Saturday.

The three-time MX2 world champion brought a brilliant end to his championship year with a masterful ride in the dunes of The Hague to win the prestigious race.

The riders included big names from different disciplines such as motocross riders Glenn Coldenhoff and Steve Ramon, enduro racing star Nathan Watson together with a selection of specialist beach racers such as Axel van de Sande and Camille Chapelière.

However Herlings was unstoppable, winning both the qualifying race and then blasting through the field to victory on a testing 5km moto track laid out on the beach.

It was a popular home victory for the fans as Herlings became the first Dutchman to win the Knock Out since Marc de Reuver in 2006.

British enduro rider Watson finished second at the event for the second year in a row, after a dramatic battle with Coldenhoff that saw the two KTM riders trade the lead lap after lap.

In the end, Watson’s strategy of making one stop for fuel saw him edge the Dutch rider into third place on the podium.

Herlings said, ”The track was pretty flat first, which made it easier for everyone. When it got rougher, it became more like an MXGP track. I felt more at home and could overtake.

“There are a lot of specialist sand racers here. I showed them I can do this as well. It was a great race and I had a great lead. It went really well and that is just amazing.

“I think this is the hardest beach race in the world. I know when I see my bed tonight, I’ll fall asleep immediately.”