Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Southland's Strong brothers Hayden and Corbin produced a second and third finish at the Ascot Park cycle Criterium A grade race on Sunday.

The pair finished behind Otago's Patrick Jones in the race which featured some of Southland's best young riders.

For Hayden, it was the second year in a row he finished runner up to Jones.

"Hopefully I can go one more next year," he said.

But he enjoyed the positive nature of the race.

"It was good, interesting, pretty fast pace most of the time," he said.

The 18-year-old rode rode a strong race on the bright yellow bicycle his Dad used to ride on.

"Thunderbird went well, she hasn't been ridden in 20 years and I blew off a few cobwebs," he said.

The race will help him prepare for the upcoming nationals in Cambridge next month.

"Building some speed, so criterium is good for this," he said.

"It is all good training in the bank."

Younger brother Corbin aged 15 enjoyed the challenge of riding against senior riders.

"It was pretty different, hard and fast," he said.

"For some club races they let us race in the A Grade with the seniors to give us some tough competition with experienced riders to race with."

The Boys' High student was heavily involved in the early attacks, gaining a substantial break on the field at one stage, before eventually being reeled in by the main bunch.

"I just thought the pace slowed up a bit and I saw some of the boys' faces looked tired, so I thought I would give it a crack early," he said.

The criterium concluded an eventful weekend for Corbin Strong after some impressive rides on the track which included winning the Corbin Strong, centre, winning the U17 O.J Henderson Memorial wheel race at the ILT New Year Track Cycling Carnival.

"The track went pretty well it was a good weekend," he said.

He was still nursing some wounds at the criterium after coming off the track on Saturday.

"I was told to attack the field with three laps to go," he said.

"I had a look to see who was on my wheel and as I turned back round the rider in front of me, I clipped the wheel of the rider in front of me and fell down."

He is looking forward to the New Zealand age group nationals at the SIT Velodrome.

"We have got age group nationals in March so it will be good," he said.

He used the criterium race to build leg speed heading towards the event where he has lofty goals in the under-17 individual pursuit.

"My goal is to break the New Zealand record," he said.

 Photo and article courtesy Stuff


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