Hard work pays off for Southland cyclists at Southland Mid-Winter Track Carnival
The benefits of an intensive week of training and development were visible at the Cycling Southland Mid-Winter Track Carnival held in Invercargill last week.
More than 30 track cyclists from around the South Island took part in a development camp, run by Cycling New Zealand regional performance hub coach Sid Cumming and hosted at the SIT Velodrome.
Cumming said it was the first time South Island riders had the opportunity to take part in a school holiday development camp with the aim to identify skills and techniques that could be improved.
Sessions focused on track craft and racing techniques, as well as seminars on nutrition, strength and conditioning, first aid and team building.
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The goal was to bring talented young cyclists together and challenge them in a new environment to help prepare them for upcoming campaigns.
"It was a great camp with some excellent input from other coaches from Marlborough and Canterbury, which helps everybody's development from both a coaching and riding perspective," he said.
Cycling Southland took advantage of the riders being in Invercargill and hosted a successful two-day mid-winter carnival, with more than 80 riders taking part.
General manager Mark Hotton said it was the first mid-winter race event the organisation had hosted for about five years and although being out of season, there was growing demand for racing from younger riders and it made sense to host a carnival while the development riders were in town.
"In Southland, there's a strong bunch of young riders coming through so it's great to be able to provide some solid racing for them," he said.
Cumming was pleased to see the riders putting in to practice the things they had been taught, with quality racing on display, despite the vigorous sessions they'd been put through.
Despite suffering from illness in the previous week, rising star Corbin Strong showed he's peaking well towards the Junior World Track Champs in Italy in August.
He won several events including the 1500m wheel race and elite elimination final and teamed up with promising U15 rider Morgan Borrie in the Madison to also take that title.
Southland rider Nicole Shields, who will also ride for New Zealand in Italy, showed her strength by competing well in the elite men's division.
Other strong performances were turned in by U13 rider Marshall Erwood, while Rhylee Akeroyd restated her claim as one of the best U15 riders in the country with some strong rides throughout the two-day event.
Conor Shearing showed the benefit of attending the development camp by dominating the U17 division.