OMAGH’S Kelan Grant got his second season for Chain Reaction Cycles Team Mavic in the World Enduro Series off to a bright start at the first two rounds in New Zealand and Australia late last month.
The 25-year-old, like his team-mates, reigning overall world champion, Sam Hill, and under-21 title-holder, Elliott Heap, struggled in the tricky conditions of Rotorua in New Zealand, but the Tyrone man excelled in the contrasting terrain in Tasmania where he achieved a career-best finish of 28th overall, much to his delight.
“I’m pretty happy with the result in Australia. I’m aiming for top 20s but I’m definitely happy with falling into the top 30,” he acknowledged.
“There was a wee bit of rain in Rotorua, which is just littered with mud and dark roots so that made it even more difficult.
“They were tricky rides! I made a couple of mistakes, but we all did. We were all a wee bit off the pace, but we were all saying that times are that tight, there are so many good people now that if you make any mistake at all it shows in your result.
“Tasmania was a different ball game, but I was really happy with how that went.
“Between me and 25th was two hundreths of a second and 10 or 20 seconds would probably have got me into the top 20.
“The goal is to get into the top 20 in Madeira next month, which I’d like to do a few times this season and I’m feeling good after Australia where I had a couple of stages in the top 20 and I’m happy with how I’m riding.”
At the season opener in Rotorua, all three team members endured crashes to dent their hopes of finishing high up in the standings, but Grant still managed three three great stage results inside and around the top 30.
Round two saw them travel to the former tin-mining town of Derby in Tasmania where Grant immediately seemed to take a liking to the rocky terrain, placing 41st, 19th, 41st, 28th and 16th for a career-best Enduro World Series result of 28th overall for the race.
Round three of the Series takes place in Madeira, Portugal, on May 11.
Meanwhile, last weekend, Kelan proved his class with overall victory at round one of the Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup at Ravensdale.