TWO members of Gortin Mountain Bike Club were standing on top of the podium on Sunday at the Irish Enduro Championships in County Louth.
Omagh’s Kelan Grant, who flew to Italy the next morning to prepare for the round four of the World Enduro Series with Team Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic, claimed the overall crown, while 12-year-old Callum Morris won the under-14 title at Ravensdale.
For Grant, who won the title for the first time in 2017, his victory was the perfect fillip for the next few weeks, which will see him compete alongside Sam Hill and Elliott Heap in the World Series rounds in Italy and France before tackling Megavalanche Alpe d’Heuz.
His triumph over a host of top international level opposition including Greg Callaghan means he will once again get to wear the Irish flag on his sleeve, like he did last season, as national champion.
“It was awesome to win it, I’m real happy with that!,” he beamed.
“The race was good, it was pretty flawless. It was one of those days were things went perfectly and it actually felt easy.
“It flowed and I didn’t have any mistakes or crashes.
“I’m buzzing and hopefully the form transfers from the last couple of weeks to the next few weeks.”
Young Callum, meanwhile, appears to be following in his mentor’s tyre treads, having won every Enduro race he’s entered!
The 12-year-old from Inishowen has only been eligible to race since late last year, but he’s enjoyed a perfect start to his career.
“He’s had a clean sweep so far! It’s unreal. He got the Ulster title last month and the Irish title this month, so it’s all going to plan!,” explained his father, Jamie.
“This is really his first year because he only turned 12 at the end of last year, so he did a couple of events and some cross-country, but you have to be 12 to compete.
“He did a couple of events at the end of last year and won both, so touch wood everything is going to plan but we certainly it didn’t expect it to go quite so well.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick was also in action at Ravensdale, finishing eighth in his class.