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Aaron Gate kicks off the New Zealand Cycle Classic with a win

Aaron Gate kicks off the New Zealand Cycle Classic with a win

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 8:51 am

The road season in Europe will have to wait a while, with the first UCI race of 2024 starting in New Zealand on Wednesday. Aaron Gade won stage one of the New Zealand Cycle Classic (2.2). The 33-year-old New Zealander clearly proved to be the fastest in the sprint.

The Australian championships took place earlier this month, but on Wednesday exactly ninety riders started the first UCI race of 2024. The 37th edition of the New Zealand Cycle Classic, a five-day stage race on the 2.2 scale, began with a very flat starting surface. 158.1 kilometers with start and finish in Masterton.

The stage turned into a sprint with a large group, but the finish was still treacherous (about 5%) uphill. Turns out it was Aaron Gate's fault. The veteran New Zealander, who we know from his successful efforts on the track, convincingly defeated his compatriots Bailey O'Donnell and Logan Currie.

Gate will be released this year – after the disappearance of Bolton Equities' black spoke – Burgos-Ph. However, he will not be competing for the Spanish organization at the New Zealand Cycle Classic, but rather for New Zealand's national selection. With his victory in the opening stage, Kate will start the second stage as leader tomorrow: a 127.3 kilometer long, mostly flat stage to Martinborough.

Important ride
Faster men seem to be in charge on the first few days, but in the third stage the climb starts at a point that ends at Admiral Hill (9.4km 4.1%). The finish will be on Sunday, January 14, after a flat stage with riders traveling to Wellington and back. James Oram took overall victory at last year's New Zealand Cycle Classic, but the New Zealander will not be there to defend his title this year.

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