“Team mates, training partners and best friends” is how the newly crowned 2013 British Mountain Bike Cross-Country Champion, Grant Ferguson described his relationship with fellow Scot Kenta Gallagher. Grant, aged 19 and Kenta 21, have both burst onto the Mountain Bike scene over the past few years and their brotherly support has so far successfully pushed each other over that next obstacle.
Grant, nicknamed “The Frog” due to the size of his hands and feet, continues saying: “We have known each other for a long time now, lots of trips everywhere and lots of training, it’s a good relationship. I wouldn’t call it a rivalry, it’s more banter really. Mates training together facing everyone else.”
They have been lining up alongside each other on the start line since the under 12 national circuit and became training partners a few years ago, when both migrated south to Manchester to join the Great Britain under 23 squad.
“Kenta is one year older than me so he was already there when I arrived andit was nice to have that familiar face. Both Kenta and I signed with a Dutch team so that’s who I race for at World Cup level. I guess for now anyway we come as a pair.”
“It was always the aim to make the level required to join the under 23 Great Britain setup. The way I see it, it is kind of like an apprenticeship, I have three years to learn as much as I can and then the aim is to go full time. So that’s when I would call myself a pro, going into the big bad world by myself.”
Born and raised in Peebles in the Scottish Borders, Grant has already had a taste of the Commonwealth Games experience. “I was in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man. Mountain Biking is my main discipline and it was not in that Games, but I came sixth in the Road Race which is an awesome achievement. The whole experience was just mint really, yeah Scotland, love representing it. I love pulling on the Scotland jersey.”
Riding his bike all around the globe on a weekly basis, Grant unsurprisingly views himself as being in an extremely privileged situation, however he is most looking forward to actually riding on home soil at the Cathkin Braes course constructed specially for Glasgow 2014 and on which he enjoyed recent success.
“‘Good ole’ Scotland, the Commonwealth Games will be mint. In front of the home crowd that is going nuts for you to win, I can’t wait. It will be me and my best friend Kenta going big for the crowd!”
With selection for Team Scotland at the top of his agenda, Grant’s next challenge sees him fly out to South Africa for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships this weekend.
There is also Cycling closer to home with the SXC Round 5 of the Scottish Championships at Kirroughtree
You can follow Grant on Twitter @GrantFerguson1
Photo Credit: Scottish Cycling