Southland cyclist Corbin Strong can take plenty of confidence heading towards October's Oceania track cycling championships.
The 16-year-old finished third in the under-17 boys' category at the Canberra junior tour over the weekend and also claimed the King of the Mountains jersey.
The Southland Boys' High student found the racing challenging.
"I really enjoyed it, it was a lot different to the New Zealand racing, it was a lot harder," he said.
He entered the race as an individual, not knowing much about the other competitors, but the mainly Australian field quickly found out about Strong after winning the first stage after the time trial.
"Before the race started I was a lot more nervous than I was before other races, probably not knowing my competition and what to expect," he said.
"The first stage I wasn't too happy with it, but it was alright, the first road stage which was the first on the tour was a really hard day a bunch of six of us got away up a hill we finished in a breakaway at the end of the stage and I won that stage."
"After that stage, everyone in the race knew who I was I had a few eyes on me and I was battling it out."
The 140km four stage course held over two days was shorter than other events Strong has participated in, but it was the most difficult.
"It was a bit shorter than other tours, but the course was a lot harder than other races I have done," he said.
"The standard of riders and the way that everyone raced, aggressive racing."
Hamish Keast also competed in the same event riding for the Cycling New Zealand U17 road team, finishing 32nd.
Article courtesy Stuff