Young Archie is king of the hill at Glencoe

Archie Ferguson took the top spot in the Juvenile section of the SDA event at Glencoe. Photograph: Mikie Palmer.

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Inverlochy mountain biker Archie Ferguson has topped the podium at a Scottish Downhill Association (SDA) race at the first time of asking.

Archie in action at Glencoe. Photograph: Mikie Palmer.

Competing at his home track at Glencoe, on the weekend of June 26 and 27, the 14-year-old West Highland Wheelers (WHW) member saw off 31 other competitors from across the UK to take first place in the juvenile section.

Standards were incredibly high at the first of four SDA events taking place this year with Archie battling against some of his close biking friends over the 2km track which dropped more than 366 metres from top to bottom.

Tension was high as the riders took their turn, but it was the Inverlochy lad who won in three minutes 18.476 seconds. Stan Nisbet, Tweed Valley, was second in 3:19.976 with Creag Muir, Black Isle, third in 3:22.033.

A keen snowboarder, Archie took up mountain biking aged just five and developed a passion for it after joining the Fort William-based WHW.

Dad Jack said: ‘I can’t thank enough the amazing team at West Highland Wheelers for all their great training and dedication to all the youngsters.’

‘I remember leaving him for his first training lesson and he wasn’t so sure but when I picked him up he was so excited and wanted to know when he could go back, which he has done every week since then.

‘When Archie was seven, he also started motor bike trials and did very well coming second in the Scottish Championship in 2015 and second again in 2016, but it was clear his main passion was in downhill mountain biking so this is what we have concentrated on more.

‘We are all very proud of Archie’s dedication and skills shown to date and will continue to support him the very best we can.’

Competing all over Scotland in various competitions, Archie progressed to achieve many podium places and in 2018 won the 12 years and under section of the Highland Hardline Series. His achievement gained him entry into the World Mini Down Hill at Nevis Range where he came second.

In 2019 he won the Highland Hardline Series again and came third in the World Minis. Archie also entered one of the Borders MTB Racing series at Dunkeld and took a second then notched a third at Glencoe in the National Downhill races.

Archie turned 13 in 2020 which allowed him to compete in the SDA Championship. His hard training came to nothing, however, when the world shut down due to the Covid pandemic.

‘He continued to train on his own and is looking forward to building on his success at Glencoe in the remaining SDA races.’

Fellow WHW rider Daniel Parfitt, from Fort William, was also in great form at the recent SDA event, taking second on the podium in the youth category.