Date: Tuesday, 05 December 2017

Rising track cycling star Corbin Strong again reinforced his strength and explosive power at the Southland Track Cycling Championships at the weekend, with a comprehensive display of riding.

More than 100 riders from around the South Island took part in the 2018 championships, held in 2017 to allow coaches to prepare riders and teams for the 2018 national champs.

Fresh from his successes at the Oceania Track Cycling Championship in Cambridge last month, Strong won five of the six titles available for U19 riders, and also teamed up with Ben Hogan (Otago) for victory in the madison.

Along with winning the MacLean Cup for the kilometre time trial for the second year in-a-row, Strong also won the points, scratch, individual pursuit and sprint titles.

Conor Shearing won the U19 keirin final.

Strong will look to take that form into the Christmas break and build towards the Elite and U19 Track National Championships in Invercargill on February 21-25.

Another young rider showing solid form was Rhylee Akeroyd, competing in the U17 division for the first time.

She won four titles - 500m time trial, sprint, scratch and points race titles - and was second behind Natalie Green in the individual pursuit.

Before the event she also set a national U15 record in the 500m time trial of 38.527 seconds to beat

Steph McKenzie's long-standing 38.545, set in 2007.

Earlier, Mitchel Fitzsimons also set a record in the U15 500m time trial, producing a 35.091 to beat Kaio Lart's record of 35.534, set earlier this year.

Strong competition in the U19 girls division meant the spoils were shared among Sophie Bloxham (500m time trial), Tayla Lumsden (scratch and points races), Nicole Marshall (sprint), and Emily Paterson (individual pursuit and keirin).

Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton said he was delighted with the successful event.

"We've got a great team of volunteers who put up their hands to assist and help the riders achieve personal bests. The number of young – and older - riders who came off the track having ridden personal bests was really impressive," he said.

"The temperature reached 31 degrees inside the SIT Velodrome but everyone competed at such a high level. It's impressive to see how the riders are developing and seeing the times they're beating."

Meanwhile, Southland cyclists Nick Kergozou and Tom Sexton helped New Zealand's men's pursuit team to claim the gold medal at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Canada on Monday NZT.

The men's team pursuit, with an average age of less than 20 years, took out the gold medal in the final over hosts Canada, with their winning time of 3:59.00 the fastest in competition for this young combination.

It proved a strong World Cup performance for the Kiwi team, with six podium performances including two gold medals to the men's team sprint and the team pursuit.

The quartet of Kergozou, Jared Gray, Sexton and Campbell Stewart, who came in to the final for debutant Harry Waine, found themselves one second down at the 2000m mark before the Canadians lost a rider who fell.

The Kiwis came home in 1:55 for the final 2000m to win by a second.

Photo and article courtesy Stuff

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