Skip to main content

Corbin Strong sweeps men's endurance races in UCI Track Champions League opener

Image 1 of 3

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com - 06/11/2021 - Cycling - UCI Track Champions League Round 1 - Mallorca / Velòdrom Illes Balears, Palma, Spain - New Zealand's Corbin Strong celebrates winning the men's Elimination race.

New Zealand's Corbin Strong celebrates winning the men's Elimination race. (Image credit: SWPix)
Image 2 of 3

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 06/11/2021 - Cycling - UCI Track Champions League Round 1 - Mallorca / Velòdrom Illes Balears, Palma, Spain - New Zealand's Corbin Strong wins the men's scratch race.

New Zealand's Corbin Strong wins the men's scratch race (Image credit: SWPix)
Image 3 of 3

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com - 06/11/2021 - Cycling - UCI Track Champions League Round 1 - Mallorca / Velòdrom Illes Balears, Palma, Spain - The UCI Track Champions League leaders - The Netherlands's Harrie Lavreysen, Great Britain's Katie Archibald, New Zealand's Corbin Strong & Germany's Emma Hinze.

The leaders after the first round (Image credit: SWPix)

Corbyn Strong (New Zealand) put in a commanding performance on the first night of the UCI Track Champions League in Mallorca, winning both men's endurance events to take the series lead.

Strong out-sprinted Gavin Hoover (USA) and Sebastian Mora (Spain) to win the Elimination Race and topped Rhys Britton (Great Britain) to win the Scratch Race.

"It's pretty awesome even to be here at this race. To get the wins is very special and hopefully I can carry some form for the rest of the series," Strong said.

"I like to go into even the biggest races really relaxed, so having the environment with the crowd and the lights really suits me."

Elimination Race

Claudio Imhof (Switzerland), Jules Hesters (Belgium) and Ed Clancy (Great Britain) were the first riders eliminated and were soon followed by Rhys Britton (Great Britain).

Leitao lasted until there were four riders left, leaving just Strong, Hoover and Mora.

Hoover just managed to edge out Mora to face Strong for the win but when it came to the final sprint, the Kiwi had more power and took back-to-back victories in the men's endurance category.

Scratch Race

Watch the UCI Track Champions League LIVE on Eurosport and discovery+, brought to you by Discovery Sports Events

Corbin Strong (New Zealand) came out on top in a Scratch Race contested over much a shorter than usual distance, just 20km.

Strong raced patiently, backing himself in the sprint and ensuring he was perfectly positioned to power to the line.

"It was pretty intense, with 20 laps it was full gas from the start - a bit of a shock to the system, if you weren't warmed up properly you were going to struggle in the first part of the race," Strong said.

"I think I probably don't have the form of the likes of Aaron Gate to attack and go long, so I thought I'd sit back and make sure I was in a good position from the sprint. Thankfully Iuri Leitao gave me a good lead-out - I hope he got up from second because I like his style of racing."

Claudio Imhof (Switzerland) was the first to make a probing attack before going all-in at the halfway point. 

Imhof did not have the steam to go to the line, however, and when Sebastian Mora (Spain) and Kellan O'Brien (Australia) joined then dropped him, Imhof made another scramble to get across along with Japan's Kazushige Kuboki.

The four were dangling just ahead of the peloton, led by Ed Clancy (Great Britain) and were finally caught with four laps to go.

Iuri Leitao (Portugal) led the sprint out but Corbin Strong (New Zealand) was quick to get on his wheel and, as the sprint opened up, Strong powered to victory as Rhys Britton (Great Britain) pipped Leitao to take second.

Men's Scratch Race Final
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Corbin Strong (New Zealand)
2Rhys Britton (Great Britain)
3Iuri Leitao (Portugal)
4Roy Eefting (Netherlands)
5Erik Martorell Haga (Spain)
6Gavin Hoover (United States Of America)
7Aaron Gate (New Zealand)
8Jules Hesters (Belgium)
9Kazushige Kuboki (Japan)
10Alan Banaszek (Poland)
11Kelland O'Brien (Australia)
12Sebastian Mora (Spain)
13Tuur Dens (Belgium)
14Ed Clancy (Great Britain)
15Claudio Imhof (Switzerland)
16Rotem Tene (Israel)
17Michele Scartezzini (Italy)
18Yacine Chalel (Algeria)

Men's Elimination Race Final
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Corbin Strong (New Zealand)
2Gavin Hoover (United States Of America)
3Sebastian Mora (Spain)
4Iuri Leitao (Portugal)
5Aaron Gate (New Zealand)
6Alan Banaszek (Poland)
7Roy Eefting (Netherlands)
8Kazushige Kuboki (Japan)
9Kelland O'Brien (Australia)
10Yacine Chalel (Algeria)
11Rotem Tene (Israel)
12Michele Scartezzini (Italy)
13Tuur Dens (Belgium)
14Erik Martorell Haga (Spain)
15Rhys Britton (Great Britain)
16Ed Clancy (Great Britain)
17Jules Hesters (Belgium)
18Claudio Imhof (Switzerland)

Men's Endurance Standings
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Corbin Strong (New Zealand) 40
2Iuri Leitao (Portugal) 30
2Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 27
4Aaron Gate (New Zealand) 20
5Roy Eefting (Netherlands) 20
6Sebastian Mora (Spain) 19
7Alan Banaszek (Poland) 16
8Kazushige Kuboki (Japan) 16
9Rhys Britton (Great Britain) 16
10Erik Martorell Haga (Spain) 15
11Kelland O'Brien (Australia) 12
12Michele Scartezzini (Italy) 7
13Jules Hesters (Belgium) 7
14Yacine Chalel (Algeria) 6
15Rotem Tene (Israel) 5
16Tuur Dens (Belgium) 5
17Ed Clancy (Great Britain) 1
18Claudio Imhof (Switzerland)
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.

Latest on Cyclingnews