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Strong became the first New Zealander to win an elite points race title at the world track championships in Berlin in March, following on from a silver medal with the men’s pursuit team at the same event.
It was an extraordinary accomplishment for a 19-year-old still making his way as a professional rider.
"It’s something I’d dreamed of since I fell in love with the sport," Strong said.
"For it to happen when I was 19 was very special. I originally thought I’d be able to do it as a junior and I went to junior worlds twice and finished fourth in my individual races, so to do it in my first year as an elite was really special."
The former Southland Boys’ High School pupil also won a stack of medals at world cup level.
"I’m super humbled to grow up in a place like Southland and such a supportive community. So many people have helped me to get to where I am now."
"It really makes you believe, coming from a small place like Southland, or a small country like New Zealand, that we can get to the top of these big sports over in Europe. Watching Regan Gough win the junior points race when I was 14 really inspired me and watching Tom Scully get second in the elite points race was another inspiring moment that really made me believe."
He is training in Cambridge and hopes to join his Dutch-based SEG Racing Academy team-mates in Europe later this month, before a possible start to the racing season next month, depending how the pandemic situation unfolds.