With the 2020 MTB season on the horizon, reigning Irish Enduro Champion and Team CRC Mavic’s Kelan Grant is eager to build on what was a career-best year in 2019.
In only his second year with Team CRC Mavic – alongside Sam Hill and Elliott Heap – Kelan stepped forward to establish himself as a rider of note in the Enduro World Series and will be one to watch for when round one begins in March.
From a 2018 injury-hit year of 55th, he climbed the overall leaderboard to a very impressive 36th, while securing a season’s best of 27th in Tasmania.
“The past season has easily been the best for me,” says Kelan. “Staying healthy and injury-free for the whole of the season was a massive goal.
“I didn’t quite get to the high end of the results I was planning, but plenty of times I showed I was capable – just lacking some experience and consistency.”
Home Soil Hero
Arguably his best ride of 2019 came on the biggest day of them all on home soil.
With the Irish Enduro Championships held at Ravensdale, Grant delivered against a quality line up.
Going head-to-head with defending champ Greg Callaghan, Kelan proved untouchable on the technically demanding rooty stages.
Sweeping all five stages to comfortably win by 23 seconds, claiming the national title was a pretty big statement to make.
From there it was eyes down and back into EWS mode, finishing out the season strongly.
Highlighted with a solid 32nd place finish at Whistler, the result also put to bed his shoulder injury sustained there in 2018.
“Whistler was the standout stage this season,” he recalls. “It’s always a highlight being in the Mecca of mountain biking and it just delivers every year.
“It’s unbeatable as a riding location to spend some time with friends racing and riding.”
Trophy of Nations
Signing off 2019, Kelan raced the inaugural Trophy of Nations at Finale Ligure alongside Greg and Killian Callaghan.
Targeting a top-10 team result, a few hitches along the way held them back to 16th.
Now with his winter training in full swing, he’s determined to step things up for the coming season.
“Right now it’s full gas with riding and training,” he says. “I had a long break after the Trophy of Nations and now I’m back training – hungrier than ever. I’ve got a good feeling for 2020.”
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Trying to get down the Hill before the storm kicked in. Got at least one dryish run in this morning. Monday’s Rock! @nukeproofbikes @chainreactioncycles @teamchainreactioncycles @michelinbicycle @mavic_mtb @rockshox @srammtb @clifbar @7protection @mucoff @themudhugger @ride100percent @mrpbike @avsracing @goprouk
With the 2020 EWS kicking off in Manizales, Colombia on March 28/29, he’s feeling up for it.
In 2018 he carded a top-10 time on the event’s prologue and feels there’s more to give.
“I’m looking forward to another shot at the Colombia EWS. That place just didn’t show it’s true potential after the rain in 2018.
“If the weather plays ball I think it could be an unbeatable venue with trails to match.
“I’ve got a good feeling for 2020 for Sam, Elliott and myself. If it’s anything like the fun and good times we had in 2019 I’m super stoked.”
The opening round of the 2020 Enduro World Series begins on March 28/29 in Colombia.