Grant Ferguson hopes for third time lucky in Pietermaritzburg

Grant Ferguson hopes for third time lucky in Pietermaritzburg

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Great Britain Cycling Team Olympic Academy athlete Grant Ferguson hopes that it will be third time lucky when the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup begins this weekend in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

The second year under-23 looks to take advantage of his first ever front row start on a track which has not been favourable so far.

Had it not been for a puncture on Ferguson’s first visit to the Cascades mountain bike park, the Scot could have achieved the feat on his under-23 debut.

Progressing from the back of the grid to eighth position, Ferguson suffered a flat tyre on the final lap and was forced to walk to the finish, crossing the line in 27th place.

By 2013 Ferguson became the first under-23 man to win the senior British Championships and headed back to Pietermaritzburg for the World Championships in good form having already recorded fourth at the Italian world cup round.

However, a broken chain on the start line meant Ferguson had to wait eight months before a third opportunity at getting the race right - something he acknowledged speaking days before the race.

“I hope I’ll be a bit luckier this year,” Ferguson joked, before giving a breakdown of his ambitions for the race.

“I enjoy the track here, hopefully this time round I’ll nail it and end up with a good result, that’s the plan.

“I’ve been working hard, I think I’m gridded sixth now so on the front row which means we’re at the front ready to race so then we’ve just got to race, see where we’re at, see what we can do.

“Despite the lack of racing before this world cup I think it’s going well. I’m happy with how the winter went, I worked pretty hard and kept myself healthy and fit so I think that puts me in the best place to race my bike. I’ve looked after myself and trained hard.

"Obviously I don’t have any results so I don’t know where I’m at in terms of form but I feel pretty fit, which means in my mind I want to race hard and race to the best result possible, that’s the goal.

“Ideally I’ll raise my head and be able to race straight from the front group and race smart, in theory I’ll save some energy and when it starts kicking off I’ll be there ready to go. That’s the ideal situation.

“Maybe it’ll go well and we’ll be right where we want to be or maybe we’ll be a bit off and I think I’ll have to improve in a couple of areas, but that’s racing and I’ll look forward to racing the best blokes in the world. It’s the best way to challenge myself.”

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