Q&A: Grant Ferguson, GB Mountain Biker

  • Grant racing in GB colours
  • Grant in race mode
  • Grant Ferguson
  • On the trail ... going fast

We were delighted to catch up with young Tweed Valley cycling star Grant Ferguson at the recent International Mountain Biking Conference at Peebles Hydro. He was kind enough to answer some questions about life on two wheels …

 

Why cycling – when did you realise it was what you wanted to do for a living?

I enjoyed riding the local trails and a lot of my friends would ride bikes. And then there were the weekend trips to ride races, plus the different trail centres really got me into the sport.

Where did you tend to do most of your riding when growing up?

I did most of my riding up at Glentress then, as I got older, I spent more time riding the trails at Innerleithen. 

Do you have a favourite Tweed Valley trail?

I have two: Spooky Wood at Glentress, because I grew up riding that trail, and Caddon Bank (Innerleithen) because I have always found it very enjoyable.

Do you remember your first race?

Not particularly, but I remember starting out racing in the sprogs category at the Scottish Cross Country series, plus at local races – all of which were good fun.

You compete in several cycling disciplines. What do you enjoy most ... and what are you best at?

I compete mainly in three disciplines now: MTB, Road and Cyclocross. I enjoy MTB the most and it is what I am best at, but I also enjoy the challenge of different types of bike races.

What has been your toughest race so far?

It was probably an eight-day stage race I did on the road in 2012. I remember blowing on the final day and losing 20 minutes in the final climb. It was a long eight days!

And the most enjoyable?

I've enjoyed so many races that it would be hard to choose, but it’s nice that I can now race my bike for a living and that brings a smile to my face.

What was it like competing for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games?

It was a great experience. To have so many people come out to watch a MTB race and for me to be competing in a Scotland jersey in front of a home crowd was a special moment.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

I am proud that I have had the opportunity to race in a GB and Scotland jersey throughout the world in a variety of big bike races.

Any tips for aspiring young riders wanting to follow in your footsteps?

I think the main tip would be that it is important to enjoy riding your bike and to keep challenging yourself. It’s needed because mountain bike racing is a pretty challenging environment!

What’s next for you? 

Next for me is to get back into some specific training with a couple of training camps coming up this winter. I will then target a good ride at this year’s Cyclocross nationals in January before preparing for the opening races of next season in March.

 

Further info

Originally from Peebles but now based in Manchester, Grant Ferguson was accepted onto the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme in 2008 and went on to join the Academy Programme at the age of 18. Following a string of promising results, Grant had his first World Cup podium result in April 2014 when he won bronze at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg in the under-23 men’s category cross-country event. In June, Grant competed for Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he finished fifth in the men’s cross-country race at Cathkin Braes Country Park. Follow Grant’s progress at http://grant-ferguson.blogspot.co.uk

Photography: Richard Rowe; Morven Brown; Irmo Keizer

 

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