Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Rising New Zealand cycling star Corbin Strong has had a full-on week heading into the Southland Track Cycling Championships starting in Invercargill on Friday.

The 17-year-old made the most of a hectic schedule, winning three titles at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Cambridge, and juggling four school exams and racing for six-days.

He secured the men's under-19 omnium, individual pursuit and 20km madison in combination with George Jackson from Waikato at the Oceania champs.

Corbin Strong of Southland competing in the U19 sprint section during the NZ Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill

The highlight for Strong was taking out the four-discipline omnium event with 137 points, which made him the World No.1 ranked under-19 omnium rider in the UCI rankings.

"Last year I won the omnium, but then got relegated in the last sprint, which pushed me down to second so that's why I was pretty keen to come back and win it this year after being relegated last year, so I was pretty happy to get that win," he said.

Corbin Strong had a busy week including three Oceania titles, school exams and six days of racing.

He also finished fourth in the 1km time trial and points race, while he unfortunately crashed out of the scratch race.

It wasn't just the Oceanias, which occupied Strong's time, he was scheduled to sit four school exams during the week, while he also travelled to Taupo to compete in two-one-day races including the 160km Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge on Saturday, where he finished in the peloton.

"On Friday morning I travelled down to Taupo and did a criterium, which is a good race down in Taupo, there is big competition, the Lake Taupo Challenge had riders who had ridden the Tour de France this year,so it was a pretty tough field after a big week of racing," he said.

"I was pretty cooked by the time it got to that so I finished 33rd, I think, in that race."

"That was my racing for the week, six days-in-a-row of different racing."

Strong had been preparing to sit English, biology, statistics and economics exams, but unfortunately things didn't pan out as expected.

"The racing got a bit in the way, I got to a couple, but on Wednesday my exam collided with the final of the individual pursuit, so I couldn't make that one," Strong said.

"Then on Friday I was supposed to have one in Taupo, on the way down to Taupo a truck went on fire and so the highway was closed so we had to take a detour, which means I missed the one in Taupo as well, which is annoying."

"I did lots of my study before I went away, so I was pretty confident for most of my exams, so that was the gutting thing to miss exams that you had studied for, but hopefully I can get my derived grades, which would be all good."

After a few days off, Strong will be back in the saddle for the upcoming Southland Track Cycling Championships, which run from Friday till Sunday.

Strong will be competing in six different disciplines to provide him with ideal training and racing. 

The Southland champs are at the SIT Velodrome and feature some of Southland's top talent including Strong, Sam Miller and Josh Haggerty, including elite, junior, masters and para-cycling categories.

There will be an evening session on Friday night and day sessions starting on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

At a glance

What: Southland Track Cycling Championships

Where: SIT Velodrome, Invercargill

When: Friday to Sunday

Photo and article courtesy Stuff

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