Callaghan secures Under 21 Enduro World Series title

KILLIAN Callaghan has secured the Under 21 Enduro World Series title following a second place finish in the penultimate round in Whistler, Canada last weekend.

The 20-year-old Walkinstown man was among the leading finishers in all five stages of what is known to be the toughest one-day mountain bike enduro in the world.

Killian Callaghan Whistler EWS

Bolstered by his victory in Aspen in the United States two weeks earlier, Callaghan posted second, fifth, third and first place finishes in the opening four stages.

The Dubliner rode a steady final stage to post the fourth fastest time, knowing this would be enough to place himself second overall behind local favourite Max Leyen.

Callaghan’s closest championship rival Vojtech Blaha endured some problems in the opening stages and the Czech rider never materialised as a threat to him over the tough Whistler mountainous stages.

His runner-up finish on Sunday subsequently propell-ed him out of reach in the race for the title with just one round remaining in Italy next month.

“It’s unbelievable. I’ve dreamed for so long to be a World Champion and now I’ve done it. To win the title here in Whistler is unreal” Callaghan told The Echo.

His achievement has been made all the more remarkable given the fact that he has not had the benefit of factory support that his champ-ionship rivals have enjoyed.

“I’d to build my own team up at the start of the season and at that stage I didn’t even have enough money to get to all the races” explained Callaghan.

“When I broke a part on my bike during practice in Aspen I had to buy a second-hand part and then I won the race.

“It’s mad. After a race I’ve to fly home because I’ve got to go back to work, whereas the other riders travel on to practice and train, but I’ve been very lucky having such a good bike and equipment.

“There’s so many people who have helped me get this far, so thanks very much to everyone for all the support,” he added.

Looking ahead to next season, Callaghan added “Next year I’ll be moving up to Pro Men, but all these riders are full time pros, so I’d really need to get onto a full factory team so I can compete with them.”

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