Since breaking onto the GB Elite team, mountain biker Grant Ferguson is fast becoming a household name. The Scottish rider already has string of medals to his name, including gold at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike XC World Cup, and is set for more great things this summer. We spoke to Ferguson about life on the Elite squad, upcoming competitions and his advice for keen mountain bikers.
How did you first get into Mountain Biking?
I lived in Edinburgh when I first started to ride a bike but when we moved down to the Borders I started to do Mountain Biking at a kids club and over the years trail centers developed around me and it was great fun.
What is the best / most memorable place your sport has taken you?
To travel to Australia to race my bike was a big adventure and the furthest I could get from home so that makes it exciting and memorable.
You started very young and rose quickly, how hard was it balancing your commitments to cycling and your personal life?
I didn’t feel it was a problem as I was doing something I enjoyed. I think that it is something that is trickier when you get older but you just have to try and be as organised as possible and have it well planned.
You grew up in Scotland, what are some of your favourite places to cycle there?
The 7 Stanes in Scotland is the area I have grown up riding so that makes it my favourite place to ride. Obviously living in the tweed valley near to Glentress and Innerleithen make these some of my first choice as well.
What was it like moving up from the Development Team to the GB Elites? Is there a lot more pressure?
By being part of the Development Programme it was a natural progression to move up a category to Elite and I found the transition tricky at times but so far it is going well and definitely an experience. Yes, there is more pressure but I think that is part of Elite sport and has been something I’ve learned to manage over the years.
Tell us a bit about your training regime?
My training is continuous and is defined by the upcoming races. Training involves all areas of riding my bike from skills to fitness and then off the bike things such as nutrition and sleep. Mountain bike has lots of different aspects so you have to prepare all of these so you are ready to race.
Mountain biking can be a dangerous sport- have you had any scares?
I have hurt myself quite a few times over the years but mainly when I was growing up learning how to ride a bike, there were quite a few broken bones around that time.
This summer is going to be a busy one for you, what is coming up?
I have The World Championships coming up in a couple of weeks followed by the British Championships and then three World Cups to finish of the season, so yeah its going to be busy!
Any plans for relaxing after the busy summer season?
I will have a break after the season and hopefully go on holiday somewhere sunny, I haven’t made any plans yet but I’ll do something relaxing.
Many of our readers are keen bikers, any advice for them on improving their own cycling?
Ride the trails, relax and enjoy your bike. I think there’s a lot of different skills and areas to improve throughout mountain biking which makes it exciting and interesting.
To follow Grant’s summer of racing visit grant-ferguson.blogspot.co.uk