Corbin Strong (New Zealand National Team) shone in the New Zealand Cycle Classic that concluded this weekend.
Strong took out the best young rider classification, and also took third overall in a very strong field that included defending champion Aaron Gate (Black Spoke Pro Cycling).
The overall podium finish was a well-deserved reward for the amazing consistency the young Southlander showed across the five stages of the race, showing his versatility by achieving excellent results in uphill finishes and bunch sprints alike.
The first stage featured an uphill sprint, and was won by defending champion Gate, with Strong taking an excellent fourth place and setting himself up as one to watch for the rest of the tour.
The second stage featured a more traditional bunch sprint, with Strong’s team mate Campbell Stewart taking the win in a photo finish over another Southlander, Nick Kergozou (Couplands Bakeries).
The third stage ended with another bunch sprint, and Strong was fourth across the line yet again as Jensen Plowright (Team BridgeLane) took the win.
The fourth stage was the queen stage of the race, featuring a significant amount of climbing before the finish at the top of Admiral Hill. Rylee Field (Team BridgeLane) slipped clear of the field and took a solo win, with Strong crossing the line in fifth place in a small group 53 second back on the stage winner.
The fifth and final stage would again feature a bunch sprint, and Strong took third in the bunch gallop behind stage winner Dylan Kennett (St George Continental Team), with Kergozou also making an appearance in the top ten on the stage with an 8th place finish.
Strong’s consistency throughout the tour was rewarded with the win in the best young rider classification, along with third place overall, behind 2020 champion Field and Gate, who fell just shy of defending his title. Kergozou finished in 50th place overall, with Matt Zenovich (St George Continental Cycling) in 56th overall.
From here, Strong and Kergozou will set their sights on the National Track Championships which kick off in Cambridge on Thursday, where they will join 27 other Cycling Southland riders.
From there, the two will head to the UCI Track World Championships along with fellow Cycling Southland riders Eddie Dawkins, Natasha Hansen and Kirstie James.