British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme athlete Grant Ferguson wants to return to the podium when the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup resumes this weekend.
The series reaches its third round in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic, where Ferguson competes in the under-23 category.
After a career-best third position at the opening round in South Africa, Ferguson elected not to travel to round two in Australia, instead training and racing at home in preparation for back-to-back world cup competitions.
The British champion outlined his preparations for the opening round, before going on to state his ambitions for the coming races.
“We did a proper specific buildup to the race to try and get the best performance possible” Ferguson said.
“I started well and managed to improve through the race and hold my position where I was at and finish third so I was really pleased.
“Looking to the up and coming world cups, I just want to try and build from that. Obviously I’ve been on the podium, I’d like to go there again. That will be the target, but maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t, but we’ll just keep working.”
Ferguson resumed training immediately after South Africa, with appearances at two domestic road races and the British Cycling MTB Cross-country Series, complemented by a training camp in Glasgow on the Commonwealth Games track, work which the young Scotsman hopes will pay off.
“I think I’ve built on what I did at the start of the year and I’m looking forward to these races now and seeing how I go. We did quite specific work recently, looking at start work, explosive stuff, so I can be where I want to be off the line and in the race.”
However, Ferguson remains reserved as a return to Europe will attract a field with more strength in depth, at a level of competition where he still does not feel completely at ease.
“With it being a European round there’s a lot of extra people that could be there and just someone that maybe specifically built toward these races will be going really well.
“(With world cups) it’s still getting used to it, it’s so much bigger, there’s the whole pits, the crew, the people, it’s just massive. Counting down ten seconds to go and you’re quite nervous on the line because there’s a lot of people watching you and there’s 100 boys behind you that want to come past you so it’s a pretty different experience.“