Lisburn man Colin Ross was King of the Mountain last weekend after capturing his second win in a row at the Red Bull Fox Hunt 2015 in Rostrevor.
Superb riding conditions and a fast track made for one of the most memorable ‘mass start’ downhill races in Europe as a pack of 400 red-backed riders (‘the hounds’) tore down Slieve Martin in the Mourne Mountains in a bid to outfox two-time Downhill World Champion Gee Atherton (‘the fox’).
Colin, 32, was first past the post after a three-and-a-half-mile hair-raising sprint down windswept moorland and treacherous forest trail.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for defending champion Colin, however.
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 narrowly take the win.
Riders from Russia, Poland, France, Denmark and Spain joined a record pack of Irish and British male and female riders. Second place went to James McFerran and Dave Eagan scooped third position.
Commenting after Red Bull Foxhunt, Gee Atherton said: “Congratulations to Colin on a fantastic win. It was a really cool course and the track was amazing - much faster than last time round.
“I was really impressed by the standard of participants, with some really good riders making it one tough competition!”
Thousands of spectators cheered the hounds on after a bugle signalled a 15 second start for the fox down 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.
Participants then tore down the course encompassing moorland, forests and hair-raising sprints.
Red Bull Foxhunt started in Ireland in 2011 and this year will be held in several countries including Scotland and Denmark.