Biathlon king Carter proves Red Bull really does give you wings

Oli Carter crosses the finishing line in style in the Cairngorms
Oli Carter crosses the finishing line in style in the Cairngorms

OLI CARTER came out on top among 100 competitors from across the UK on the Cairngorms mountain range in the first-ever extreme biathlon.

With melting snow giving way to dirt and rocks, participants raced through two seasons in one day, with the fastest demonstrating amazing skills on skis or snowboard and then mountain bike.

Carter, 24, from Milland, was crowned overall champion of Red Bull 50/50 and king of the mountain.

Competitors travelled from far and wide hoping to win the dynamic downhill challenge.

As the sun rose and the mountain mist rolled in over the Highlands, competitors arrived from 7am. After a briefing, qualifying kicked off at 10am. Competitors set two timed runs on the snow and dirt sections of the course, which were combined, giving an overall time by which they were seeded. The main event began at 4pm as the first of 15 five-man heats took to the top of the Cairngorms, with 5km of mixed terrain between them and the finish line.

Moguls, berms and kickers were among the obstacles, but the most complex element was the transition from skis or snowboard to mountain bike.

Carter posted an impressive time of 12min 9sec to become the first winner of the event. Second place was snapped up by local lad Liam Moynihan with 12.41, closely followed by Frazer McNeil in 12.52.

A delighted Carter said: “Red Bull 50/50 has been wicked. It’s been awesome to mountain bike at the Cairngorms. It was pretty tight racing in our heat, so fast down the border-cross track – speed tucking and running out of gears, it was amazing. I hope to be back next year to retain the title!”