Road, Track & Cyclocross
Aaron Gate 2020 by Dave Lintott Lintott Photograpahy v2

Multiple Commonwealth Games gold medallist and current World Track Champion Aaron Gate will lead the New Zealand National team at next month’s UCI 2.2 Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton New Zealand Cycle Classic,being staged in Wairarapa and Wellington.

Gate, who secured the Tour’s yellow jersey in the 2019, recently parted ways with the Bolton Equities Black Spoke team after the withdrawal of their major sponsor. Despite this setback, Gate will arrive at next month’s event, being staged from January 10th 15th, following a successful 2023 season.

New Zealand Cycle Classic Race Director Jorge Sandoval says Gate has showcased his prowess alongside his Black Spoke teammates, engaging in intense competitions across the globe against some of the world's top riders.

“Aaron Gate boasts an impressive track record, having clinched four gold medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, four golds at the Oceania track championships, and a gold medal at this year's World track championships as well as performing consistently at my event. He has always showed tremendous sportsman ship to everyone and is a great ambassador for cycling. His numerous triumphs over the past few years underscore his standing as a formidable force in the sport … so Im very exciting to welcome him back to Wairarapa next month,” says Sandoval.

Following the disbandment of Black Spoke, Gate was quickly approached by the prestigious Burgos BH team, one of the top Spanish professional teams on the Pro Tour, who secured his services for the upcoming 2024 season. This is expected to provide Gate with a valuable opportunity to continue his cycling career in Europeand allow him to participate in some of the most significant and renowned cycle races on this circuit.

Gate is not navigating the challenges of the Spanish Burgos BH team alone. He will be supported by Wellington’s George Jackson, a fellow former Black Spoke team member and a former stage winner of the New Zealand Cycle Classic.

“Anyone who saw George win the final stage of the Tour in Wellington city a few years ago will understandwhat an incredible sprinter and strategic rider he is,” says Sandoval. Both George and Aaron will play integral parts for the Burgos BH team in 2024 and I’ve no doubt, be formidable leaders in the New Zealand National team.

Jackson's recent triumph includes securing the Tour of Taihu Lake in China this year.

The pair will be supported by Ryan Christensen, whose extensive racing calendar featured participation in 29 one-day UCI races in Europe, as well as seven international tours, including the prestigious Tour of Britain. Christensen's notable achievements also include a second-place finish in this year's New Zealand national road championships.

Kiaan Watts, currently a member of the British pro AT85 Pro Cycling Team, is also part of the NZ National team. He has spent the last three years racing in Europe, is a seasoned sprinter and claimed victory in stage two of this year's New Zealand Cycle Classic in the wine village of Martinborough.

Logan Currie and Lewis Bower will complete the line up.

Cycling New Zealand’s Graeme Hunn says it is not always easy to get a competitive team available in January,but Cycling New Zealand was fully supportive of this important road cycling event.

We are delighted with the group who will represent Cycling New Zealand for this event, especially with the Commonwealth Games road race gold medallist Aaron Gate and some excellent riders led by George Jackson, off the back of a breakout road season and a member of the high-performance track programme with Aaron,” says Hunn.

Logan Currie is building to ride the national championships before he heads to Europe for a big season in UCI Pro as is Lewis Bower who also has a pro contract in Europe in 2024. Kiaan Watts and Ryan Christensen round out what we believe is a team capable of winning the event.

Currie is one of New Zealand's most promising young riders and recently secured a coveted spot with the prestigious Lotto–Dstny, a Belgian professional cycling team at the UCI ProTeam level. He is set to compete in major tours such as the Tours de France, Italy, and Spain, along with other prominent Pro team races worldwide.

Bower, who boasts four years of racing experience in Europe, is currently aligned with the development Groupama-FDJ team in France and will add depth and talent to the New Zealand national team.

Sandoval says together, this diverse and skilled group of cyclists is poised to make a significant impact in the competitive cycling scene and encourages spectators to come and watch the team in action.

The 2024 Mitre 10 Mega Masterton NZ Cycle Classic owes its realization to the generous support from sponsors including Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton, Mobile Communications Service, Wizwireless, Fagan Motors, Gollins Commercial, FMG, The Sign Factory, Tailwind, Cross Country Rentals, and Wellington City Council.

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