BALBRIGGAN Moto X sensation Shane Mulligan is regarded as one of the top riders in his field, and the hard-riding teenager is preparing for the 2013 season with the vigour and dedication that has made him one of the best off-road competitors in Ireland.
Shane has won numerous Irish and Southern Centre championships in his short career, and this year he aims to be selected for the Coupe de l'Avenir, which is the World Team Cup for under 21 motocross riders, and normally takes place in Belgium.
Shane has some of the best bikes in the country, including a 250 Yamaha and a 450 Kawasaki for the coming season, and the 19-year-old - who is employed as an apprentice electrician with DNP Electrical in Balbriggan - is really looking forward to the challenge ahead.
The year 2012 was a tough season for Shane, but despite some mechanical problems early in the year, he still managed six adult wins and also finished runner-up in the Under-21 Championship, third in the Southern Centre Adult Championship, and eighth in the Irish Adult Championship.
Shane also competed in the prestigious Red Bull Two Stroke Championship in Hawkstone Park over in the UK, where he finished in an excellent fourth place out of 40 riders. That achievement was all the more impressive because he had the handicap of riding a lower-powered 125 Yamaha, when all the opposition were riding 250 machines.
This was also the first time that he had ridden this bike, and he was delighted with the result. 'The Coupe de l'Avenir is my main aim,' said Shane, 'and to be selected for this will mean a lot of physical training and a good start to the season, as you have to be in the top three in the country to be on the Irish team. 'I was just outside the selection last year, and I am well prepared for the start of the season. 'I have been taking part in open practice days since Christmas, and this will help me prepare well for the season.'