Kelan is King of the Mountain as he outruns the Red Bull foxes
Kelan Grant from Omagh was King of the Mountain at the weekend after capturing his first win at the Red Bull Foxhunt 2017 in Rostrevor, Co Down.
Tricky riding conditions and a greasy track made for one of the most memorable ‘mass start’ downhill races in Europe as a pack of 450 red-backed riders (‘the hounds’) tore down Slieve Martin in the Mourne Mountains in a bid to outrun three foxes - two-time Downhill World Champion Gee Atherton, current World Champion Loic Bruni and last year’s winner, Colin Ross.
Keelan, aged 24 from Omagh, Co Tyrone, was first past the post after a three-and-a-half-mile hair-raising sprint down windswept moorland and treacherous forest trail. Riders from Australia, Poland, France, Denmark and Spain joined a record pack of Irish and British male and female riders. Second place this year went once again to James MacFerran from Newcastle and Conor Bate from Maghera scooped third position.
“Everyone wants to get off the line first, I picked my lines carefully and made it through the carnage in one piece. I stayed focused, ripping down the mountain and cruised on from there. It was insane," said the Red Bull Foxhunt, Enduro rider and Current Irish Champion.
A bugle signalled an 8 second start for the three foxes to descend down after the pack on an adrenaline-powered course combining sections of existing track with additional mountain and multi terrain sections culminating in a sprint to the finishing line in Kilbroney Park. Hundreds of spectators cheered the hounds on as they crossed over the finish line.
Red Bull Foxhunt started in Ireland in 2011 and this year will be held in several countries throughout the world including Wales and Denmark. Last held in Rostrevor in 2016, first place went to Colin Ross.
Belfast Telegraph Digital