Bolton Equities Black Spoke rode strongly to seal the team honours at the Tour of Hellas in Greece.
The goal was to promote Aaron Gate to a second overall general classification victory, as he went in trailing the leader by a few seconds, needing the bonus sprint to claw back the deficit. He launched his attach on the final climb to open the lead but the peloton caught him with 200m to go, and he had to be content with second overall behind the Caja Rural-Seguros rider, Iuri Leitao by just six seconds.
Teammate Rory Townsend finished in fourth and Logan Currie was seventh with the satisfaction to claim the white jersey for best young rider.
For the seconds straight year, the kiwi combination won the best team category.
“Momentum is building, and with some great races coming up we will be carrying some good form,” said Gate.
Meanwhile Campbell Stewart, the only kiwi in the field for the Giro D’Italia, was mid-pack in the opening individual time trial won by Remco Evenepoel ahead of Fillippo Ganna.
In France, Christchurch teenager Lola Bryson Boe was the best of the Black Magic women’s cycling team in the opening stage of the Nations Cup stage race at the Tour de Gevaudan Occitanie.
Bryson Boe was 1:48 down on the winner in 15th in the opening of two-stages in the south of France, with the team run by Patrick Harvey in ninth placing, up against national teams.