Gate and Roberts claim UCI Oceania titles in 11-medal kiwi haul

Road, Track & Cyclocross
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National road race champion Aaron Gate made a lightening raid from his European base for double success at the UCI Oceania Road Championships in Queensland.

After a third placing in the road race on Friday, Gate, who rides for Burgos-BH professional team based in Spain, took out the individual time trial staged at Mount Crosby.

New Zealand riders finished the weekend with 11 medals including Oceania titles to Gate and to South Canterbury’s national champion, Reef Roberts in the junior men’s time trial.

Gate finished third overall in the combined elite and under-23 Oceania road race in Queensland, after a four-way sprint finish to the 140km race at Mount Crosby. The New Zealander finished behind Australians Ryan Cavanagh and Matthew Greenwood, who was the under-23 winner, with Gate earning the silver medal in the elite category of the combined race.

Gate was joined by fellow Burgos BH teammate George Jackson, who finished in the peloton, with Pista Corsa Development rider Cameron Beaumont 15th overall but fourth in the under-23 class, one spot ahead of Whanganui’s Finnegan Murphy (Southern Cross Racing Academy).

Former Oceania champion Sharlotte Lucas from Hokitika was the leading New Zealand rider in the elite women’s road race in fifth overall, nine minutes behind solo winner Katelyn Nicholson from Australia. Lucas claimed the silver medal as the runner-up in the elite category with under- 23 riders from Australia finishing second, third and fourth overall.

Torelli women’s team rider Bronwyn MacGregor was 14th and Maia Barclay (Black Magic) 18th overall and eighth in the under-23 class of the other New Zealand finishers.

Josh Cavanagh from Te Awamutu Sports was third in the junior men’s race, sprinting strongly in the out of the bunch behind winner Max Goold from Australia.

Jonathan Baclay from Counties Manukau was the other kiwi in the top-10, with Timaru’s Noah Hollamby (Oxford Edge), Oliver Scott (Counties Manukau), Reef Roberts (South Canterbury) and Liam O’Rourke (Southand) all in the top-20 in the peloton.

Canterbury’s Kirsty Watts and Tauranga’s Alex Rawlinson finished on the podium in second and third respectively in the junior women’s race, one minute behind winner Lauren Bates (Canberra). Wellington’s Millie Donald (Port Nicholson Poneke) finished seventh.

The kiwi riders shone in the early morning start to the time trial, over a shorter 20.2km distance with a gradual rise over the second half of the test.

Gate showed his class to storm home to win the elite time trial in 24:22, finishing a massive 41.48s ahead of his nearest competitor, road race winner Cavanagh, with an average speed of 49.3kph.

Hamilton’s Lucas Murphy (Quality Foods Southland) was runner-up in the under-23 men’s time trial in 25:03.92 for the 20.3km test, 25s down on the winner, with New Zealand champion Guy Yarrell (Canterbury) who rides for Oxford Blue pro team, taking out the bronze medal in 25:27. Canterbury’s Nate Pringle (Oxford Blue) was sixth.

Roberts, the national junior time trial champion, dominated the Oceania junior contest, claiming the title in an impressive 25:42 to win by 37.37s with fellow kiwi Scott taking out the bronze medal in

24:24. Canterbury Track club rider Finlay McRobbie was fifth and Joshua Cavanagh from Te Awamutu Sports in the top-20, one spot ahead of Noah Hollamby.

In the women’s elite time trial, Lucas and MacGregor were fourth and fifth respectively in the elite women, while Barclay finished sixth in the under-23.

Watts gained her second medal with a silver in the time trial, clocking 30m04s for the 20.2km course, 0.28s down on winner Lilyth Jones from Australia, who impressed at the Oceania track championships in Cambridge recently. Rawlinson was fourth in 31:10 and Donald 11th in 34:11.

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