Nicholas Narraway takes step closer to fulfilling pro dream
Nicholas Narraway has taken a huge step towards realising his dream of joining the professional cycling ranks after being signed to a Spanish team.
After an encouraging year racing domestically for the CS Vélo team in the United States as well as representing Bermuda on the world stage at the Caribbean Games and Commonwealth Games, the 20-year-old has now been handed the chance to take his first steps into full-time racing on a one-year deal with the Telco, m On Clima Osés team, which is based in the northern Spanish region of Navarra.
The move finally offers Narraway the chance to fully commit to the sport and he remains determined to seize the chance to enhance his burgeoning career.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity and definitely a step up for me in terms of my development,” said Narraway, who finished fourth in under-23 general classification of Vuelta Independencia Nacional in the Dominican Republic in addition to winning the under-23 category in the Knokke Heist Kermis series in Belgium this year.
“Last year I was riding for CS Vélo but also having to concentrate on school as well as racing at collegiate level. This offers me the chance to focus 100 per cent on the sport and give it my full commitment.
“It’s exciting to have the chance to race all over Spain and especially in the Spanish Cup races. Hopefully this is the first step in terms of my progression on to big things. I’ve always thought to be able to progress you need to be riding in Europe because it gives people the chance to recognise what you’re doing. If you want to make it in professional cycling you have to be competing in the right sort of races.
“It’s almost necessary to be out here and I’m really excited to be part of a team with a good reputation. It’s definitely a step up for me but I feel like I’m ready for the challenge. My form over the last year has been good and so I want to now keep moving forward and take this chance.”
Harbouring aspirations of a professional career, Narraway revealed a conversation with compatriot Kaden Hopkins, who himself rode in Spain with Equipo Essax before moving to Vendee U this year, helped put the wheels in motion.
“In the middle of last year the discussion of trying to move to Europe became something I really wanted to do,” added Narraway, who has also picked Hopkins’ brain about living and riding in Spain.
“I spoke with Kaden and he put me in touch with his former manager Diego Milan [former professional Spanish rider]. We met at the Caribbean Championships and had a discussion about my ambitions and he told me about teams that could be looking for a rider.
“The discussions went from there and thankfully everything worked out really well. Myself and Kaden are good friends and we’ve had chats about being out there. He has talked a lot about it and given me a few tips so I’m really excited about it all.”
Ahead of relocating to Spain in February, Narraway has not set any real expectations for the season but he is determined to try and make a lasting impression.
“My goal this season is to adapt together with the team to the competition of European races,” he said. “I think it’s always a case of having to settle in first to the country, the team and also racing.
“Obviously I’m new to the team and so I think they will want to assess my skills, see what kind of rider I am and have me in a bit of a working role for the team.
“However, there is always a part of me that wants to succeed and so that is always in my mind. I’m motivated to do as well as I can as an individual.”
As one of a growing number of Bermudian riders to have competed overseas alongside the likes of Hopkins, Dominique Mayho, Conor White and Caitlitn Conyers, Narraway is relishing the opportunity to further showcase the talent being produced on island.
“I feel like as Bermudians we are always underrated and so I’m really excited to be able to race in some big races in the Spanish Cup and show we can stand our ground,” he said. “There is a lot of talent in Bermuda and a lot more coming through.”