A very special guest arrived at the Irvine Beach CX course recently. Turned out in his British National Cyclocross Champions kit, Mr Grant Ferguson graced the sand dunes of the Beach Park for a course recce and photo shoot with ace photographer Paul Chappells and some of the race organisation team.
Words: Scott Kerr
Photos: Paul Chappels
After some introductions and a short warm up there were various "heroic" shots of the guys who bravely posed in their riding gear whilst hanging on to flapping bikes and kit... It was blowing a hoolie on top of the hill. There were reminiscences from Grant as it was explained that we were right on top of the old course "run up", we were quickly corrected as in his case it was a "ride up". After a few shots taken on the off camber, sand pit and even the waters edge, Grant prepared for some efforts on the course.
What followed was pretty much the destruction of what we and anyone who roade back in January thought was a tough parcours. His acceleration, massive top end speed and pedalling smoothness were equally matched by his technical ability. It is safe to say that even taking "short shifts" the remaining riders in the group could not keep up to show him the route. He has laid down a marker by producing a lap time that will be impossible for all but the top riders to get near. Luckily for everyone else he will be in Brazil racing a MTB Stage race rather than in sunny Irvine at the end of October ! After a quick coffee and a chat the thoroughly likeable CST Sandd, American Eagle rider left us to get some more efforts out on the infamous (in Ayrshire), Marine Drive circuit. As I drove home I happened across Grant making out of the saddle full on sprints along the empty road.
We would like to thank Grant and Paul for their generosity with their time and for the incredible images that we now have.
Entries for the upcoming race are still open on the BC website until the 16th Oct and we would encourage as many riders as possible to sign up and experience riding a National Trophy level course and event on your own backdoor.