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World champion Ferguson to sign with Gary Fisher

At 18 years old, Walker Ferguson is like most teenagers: not sure what he wants to do with his life and in no great hurry to decide. And for now anyway, that appears to be just fine. Ferguson, the reigning world junior cross-country champion, is days away from inking a new deal that will make him a member of the Gary Fisher mountain-biking team (he’s already been fitted for a uniform). But that won’t stop him from spending most of the spring riding a slate of under-23 road races in Europe with the U.S. national team. "Right now I think it’s good for me to do both," said the resident of

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By Jason Sumner , VeloNews Associate Editor

At 18 years old, Walker Ferguson is like most teenagers: not sure what he wants to do with his life and in no great hurry to decide. And for now anyway, that appears to be just fine. Ferguson, the reigning world junior cross-country champion, is days away from inking a new deal that will make him a member of the Gary Fisher mountain-biking team (he’s already been fitted for a uniform). But that won’t stop him from spending most of the spring riding a slate of under-23 road races in Europe with the U.S. national team.

“Right now I think it’s good for me to do both,” said the resident of Norwood, Colorado, who rode for Team Devo in 2000. “I think I’ll do that for the next couple of years and then maybe I’ll decide. Maybe I’ll keep doing both. Who knows?”

And why not? If Ferguson has shown anything, it’s his ability to do a lot of things and do them well. Besides the gold medal at the this year’s mountain-bike world’s, Ferguson picked up a silver at the 2000 world junior cyclo-cross championships, and a fourth-place finish at the national junior road championships.

So does he have a preference? “The road is where cycling started and it’s the biggest thing going right now. But mountain biking is where I started and it’s still a lot of fun for me. I mean, it’s great to do a [road] stage race but sometimes it’s fun to just do a two-hour mountain-bike race.” Translation: Nope.

And that seems to be fine with the folks at Gary Fisher, though they can’t help but get excited thinking about what may happen when Ferguson hits the dirt wearing their colors. “We had great success bringing Ryder [Hesjedal] along last year,” said Gary Fisher team manager Dean Gore of the 20-year-old Canadian who finished seventh in the Chevy Trucks NCS. “This year we decided to take a flyer on Walker. He’s certainly got the potential to do some great things.”

Ferguson should be back in the States sometime late in the spring when he’ll start preparing for the 2001 world mountain biking championships in Vail and selected NORBA and World Cup races. And riding the Gary Fisher rig will be nothing new for the former DEVO team rider. “For the most part it’s the only kind of bike I’ve ever ridden. There wasn’t any reason to change now.”

Certainly can’t argue with the results.