Saturday, September 25, 2021
HomeInterviewsGrant Ferguson - British Cyclo-Cross Champion 2018

Grant Ferguson – British Cyclo-Cross Champion 2018

"I made my move on a bit of a run up with two laps to go and finished on my own."


He may be best known as a cross country MTB man but on a course at Hetton Lyons Country Park, Sunderland which included a little of everything, not so far from his Peebles home in the Scottish Borders,  24 year-old Grant Ferguson ran away with the British Elite Cyclo-Cross championships.

Beating into second place the man mostly closely associated with the title in recent years, five times champion, Ian Field.

The look on Field’s face reflected the fact that a British champion’s jersey is worth around 1,000 Euros in start money in any big continental ‘cross.

Grant Ferguson
After three u23 titles, Grant takes the Elite Championship too. Photo©British Cycling

An irrelevance to Ferguson who goes back to fat tyres now.

Albeit, Ferguson’s first got himself noticed as a ‘cross rider with a silver medal in the 2011 British Junior Cyclo Cross Championship; the following year he was third in the u23 event before taking the u23 title for three straight years 2013/14/15.

His MTB palmarès are equally as impressive: second in the 2012 u23 title race before winning it in 2014 progressing to four straight Elite titles 2014/15/16/17.

We caught up with this versatile young man the day after his fine win.

Nice job, Grant – what was the championship course like?

“Not unlike the ‘cross courses we have in Scotland, a few hills, through the trees – a bit of everything.”

Grant Ferguson
Grant enjoys a fine solo across the line. Photo©CST Sandd

What’s the change like – MTB to ‘cross bike?

“I rode the last two rounds of the national ‘cross series and a World Cup in Belgium so I’ve been back on the ‘cross bike for a while and I’m used to it again.

“The national rounds went OK but I was pulled out of the World Cup under the rule to stop lapped riders getting mixed up with the leaders.

“You have to put a wee bit of time in because it’s so different to riding a mountain bike – not just the lack of suspension but going back to tubulars after being on MTB tyres…

“I rode my tubs at 18 psi in the championship, there were few times where I felt them bottom out but you need to keep them soft to gain traction on the grass.”

Grant Ferguson
Grant concentrates as he flies to the win. Photo©CST Sandd

What was the game plan?

“I knew Liam Killeen and Ian Field were the men to watch – and in a championship there’s always a surprise.”

“I made my move on a bit of a run up with two laps to go and finished on my own.”

What was your bike spec?

“I was on SRAM 1×11 transmission, cable operated; FMB tubulars and ran 140 mil. rotor discs.

“When I ride my ‘cross bike on the road I’m not sure they’re that much better than conventional brake stirrups but it’s the way things are heading.”

Grant Ferguson
Grant leads Ian Field. Photo©CST Sandd

Will you ride the ‘cross Worlds?

“No, it’s back to fat tyres for me now, I have an MTB stage race in Spain with the first World Cup in Stellenbosch, South Africa in March.”

Here at VeloVeritas we perhaps don’t give the MTB scene as much attention as we should – is it still burgeoning?

“In the UK we have a good national series but it’s massive in Europe – the ‘Enduro’ scene is big in the UK, too.”

Grant Ferguson
Grant will be back on the fat tyres for a while. Photo©CST Sandd

Your team: CST Sandd – American Eagle MTB Racing Team?

“It’s still Bart Brentjens racing, Bart has changed sponsors but it’s still his team.

“American Eagle were the bikes Bart used back when he was racing seriously and was Olympic and World Mountain Bike Champion.”

I saw a photo of you with one of the team bikes – you’re on a ‘hard tail.’

“Yes but we hope to have full suspension for this year, if it’s a really bumpy cross country course full-sussed is a big advantage, your back wheel tracks the surface much better and you get improved grip.”

Grant Ferguson
Grant’s team ride American Eagle. Photo©CST Sandd

Does Old Bart still race?

“Yes, he never misses the Cape Epic in South Africa and still rides MTB stage races.”

And what about the Commonwealth Games?

“The team hasn’t been officially announce yet but I’ve already made the selection criteria.

“Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze of New Zealand who were first and second in Glasgow 2014 and Daniel McConnell who was third are all still very much on the scene and going well – so it’ll be competitive.”

And 2018 is about?

“Enjoying my racing!”

Grant Ferguson
Grant’s support team of family and friends. Photo©Grant Ferguson

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Joe Nally – Signed with Vitus Pro Cycling for 2020

Scottish professional bike riders are a bit thin on the ground so when we heard that 20 year-old Fifer, Joe Nally - who’s the youngest man ever to win the British Elite Points Race Championship - had signed with Vitus Pro Cycling for 2020 we thought we best ‘have a word.’ We caught up with Joe recently at his training base in Tenerife where he was on a two week block of base rides.

Mark Stewart – “I think I have a lot more to come.”

He’s been a busy boy, that Mark Stewart, since last we spoke with him back in June - first there was success in the Euro U23 track champs in the scratch and team pursuit. Both events where he’s building a solid reputation; as well as in the points race – another of the Dundee man’s strengths.

Matt Green – From England to the USA, via Belgium

Matt Green’s is a typical story, a young Englishman who gets into cycling, trudges the well trodden path to the Flatlands of Flanders, gets a contract on low budget teams – Cyclingnews, Cinelli, Marco Polo – and then... The progression stalls; but rather than bang his head against the combines in Flanders for another year, he’s decided that there’s a New World of cycling for him – across the pond in the USA. He’s secured a private sponsor to pay his wages and all he needs now is a team – here’s his tale:

Sandy Gordon – Part One: a fixture on the West of Scotland cycling scene in the 60’s and 70’s

Late June 1972, Loch Lomond and history is made as Sandy’s Gilchrist and Gordon tie for the Scottish ‘50’ mile time trial title with 2:01:46 whilst Ron Gardner is third with 2:05:15. My part in this historic day on the old road which tracked every curve and bump of those bonnie, bonnie but tough banks? I was caught by both winners on my way to some ignominious time which I now no longer remember but which would have been closer to 20 mph than 25 mph...

Katie Archibald – “You’ve got to learn to be a leader”

This 23 year-old is a force of nature and has to be one of our best medal hopes at the Commonwealth Games; she’s been rampant recently in the European Championships and World Cups; Ms. Katie Archibald recently kindly took time to speak to VeloVeritas about her autumn adventures and her future ambitions:

Chris Hoy – Super Champion

Concluding our series of interviews with Scottish medalists at the British Track Championships we have pleasure in bringing you the words of World Kilometre Champion, Chris Hoy.

At Random

Paolo Bettini – World Road Champion

Some times it's difficult to get an interview, especially if your target is World Road Race Champion, Paolo Bettini. He has a Quick Step entourage with him and he's testing his new Specialized road bike for 2007. But us VeloVeritas guys are persistent, and after stalking him all afternoon I was granted just five minutes of his precious time.

Iain Grant & Silas Goldsworthy – Top Two in the Scottish ’50’ TT Championship 2013

Last Sunday’s Scottish 50 mile time trial championship at Irvine saw Dooley’s Iain Grant make it the ‘double’ – adding a second gold to his 25 mile title won earlier in June at Stonehaven, with Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) taking the silver-medal spot.

Introducing Our New Blogger – Omega-Pharma Lotto’s Adam Hansen

T-Mobile, Slipstream and HTC stalwart Adam Hansen; a key cog in the 'Cavendish sprint machine,' surprised many when he decided to leave the US team and follow HTC's 'other sprinter,' Andre Greipel to Lotto. But that's not all!

Are we ready yet? Are we ready yet? Can we start yet?

Are we ready yet. Two days out from the start of the Tour. The whole team has arrived at the hotel, and the Show is about to begin! It's very exciting, but not much is really going on.

Jordan Kerby – “NZ are getting faster at each meet we do”

You’ve been World Pursuit Champion and a regular on the Australian national squad. But then the federation tells you that they think you’ve, ‘gone as far as you can go,’ and you’re out. That’s the end of your international track cycling career in that case? Not if your name is Jordan Kerby whose mother happens to be a New Zealander by birth.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 20; Maniago – Monte Zoncolan, 167 km. Michael Rogers Rides Clear

That final horrible grind up the mountain didn’t affect the GC much at all but Michael Rogers’ (Tinkoff & Australia) ride was wonderful to watch. It looked very much like he had the better of fellow breakaway survivor Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani & Italy) anyway, but we were denied their duel going any further by the moron who gave the man in green a push.