I’m Angus Claxton and part of the Scottish cycling performance development programme. I have been cycling competitively for just under 3 years and currently in my first season as a 1st year U23 rider.
Recently, I was offered the opportunity by Scottish cycling to race over in the Basque country for a local U23 team (Eiser Inforlurs Duranguesa) for around 9 weeks and have been out here for around 6 weeks as I write.
I’m staying in a small town called Durango which is roughly 20mins from the city of Bilbao and I’m sharing a flat with an old eastern European couple so communication can sometimes be a slight issue!
So far it’s been a great experience and the racing has been nothing short of amazing. For every road race it’s a rolling road closure and 9/10 times there will be several serious mountain climbs which we have to navigate over which thankfully always blows the race to pieces before the finish! The bunch is usually around 150-200 riders and racing is usually around 120-140km.
My main goals going out here were really just to get stuck into the racing and really try and be consistent with my results. I’m now finishing in the top 25 every race and against some real quality riders so I’m happy with where I’m at the moment. Each race I’m growing in confidence and really starting to find my legs so hopefully try and bag a decent result or two before I head back home in a few weeks.
So far it’s just been a great experience and I’ve learnt a lot about myself both on and off the bike.
I’ll be sad to leave the Basque country but the skills I’ve learnt from this trip will be invaluable in my progression as a cyclist.
Overall I would highly encourage and recommend anyone wanting to race and live abroad as its great fun, the racing is amazing, you will learn a lot about yourself and be surprised at what your capable of achieving.
Thanks for taking the time to read!
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