A young cyclist from Lochalsh is making a name for himself in elite national competition.
Last weekend 17-year-old Angus Claxton won gold at his first national championships and became the Scottish Junior Time Trial champion.
This time trial event (for 17-18 year olds) took place on a 10 mile road course in Ayrshire, with Angus setting a winning time of 22 minutes and six seconds.
Angus, who is from Drumbuie and is nearing the end of his fifth year at Plockton High School, first climbed on a racing bike just three years ago. But since entering his first race last year — the Bealach Beag Sportive which crosses the Bealach na Ba to Applecross — he has never looked back.
In the Bealach race he finished fifth overall as the youngest rider in a field of 320. After this he got the bug for racing and joined a club in Inverness, going on to compete in events all over Scotland.
Angus’s performances caught the attention of a cycling coach, who suggested he try competing at the International Youth Tour in Ireland in 2013. This youth tour attracts the very best young cyclists from all over the UK, Ireland and as far away as South Africa and Angus was the only Scottish rider to gain a podium position in any of the races.
He now has a cycling coach and races for the Moray Firth Cycling Club, has gained sponsorship from the National Trust for Scotland and trains up to 12 hours a week on the roads of the Balmacara Estate in Lochalsh.
Angus now spends most weekends travelling with his dad to compete in races. Over the summer, he will be travelling to the south of England to compete and his ambition is to join a racing team next year, although he does also intend to stay on and do a sixth year at Plockton.
Asked who his cycling hero is, Angus opted for Olympic champion and Britain’s first Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins.
He said: “I think it would have to be Bradley Wiggins — just because of his background. He came from a council estate, and he worked his way up to make it to the very top.”