Belfast Telegraph

Watch: More than 400 riders try to out fox Gee Atherton at Red Bull Foxhunt

By Claire Williamson

They had one goal - beat the fox.

On Saturday morning the picturesque surroundings of the Mourne Mountains became a race track as more than 400 hounds (riders) were pursued by the fox (Gee Atherton) in a helter skelter race to the bottom of Slieve Martin.

They had one common aim - to try and outfox the two-time Downhill World Champion (2010 and 2014).

From decorated pros to weekend warriors from around Ireland they tore down the three and a half miles of unforgiving downhill course encompassing wind bleached moorland, mud-spattered forests and hair-raising sprints as they undertook one of the biggest 'mass start' downhill events in Europe.

First place went to defending champ Colin Ross but it wasn’t all plain sailing for him. In 2013 he got the hole shot and was in the lead off the line.

This time around a bad start saw him stuck outside the top 10 with a serious glut of talented riders in front of him including James McFadden who pushed him all the way.

On the finish straight, Ross slipped by him with a burst of power to take the win narrowly.

Third place went to Dave Egan proving that age is no barrier to speed as the older riders eclipsed the young guns who had dominated in timed training.

Red Bull Foxhunt started in Ireland in 2011 and this year will be held in several countries throughout the world including Scotland and Denmark.

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