A record has been broken after elite road cyclists took on SRAM Tour de Ranges yesterday in Clevedon, Auckland. Aaron Gate won with a record time of 02:33:21, 14 seconds faster than his previous record, while female elite winner Georgia Danford came in with a time of 02:55:38.
Gate said it felt awesome to come away with the win.
“This is one of my favourite races on the calendar so it’s always nice to come here and get a win.”
He said there was a solid pace at the start with everyone working together until they reached the first climb where there were a few splits in the group that kept coming back together.
“Everyone was avoiding doing too much work and then I managed to sneak away and James rode over to me and the two of us managed to stay away from the rest of the bunch until the finish.” James Oram came in a close second place.
Oram and Gate rode together until the last sprint where Gate took the lead by milliseconds.
The pair showed sportsmanship throughout the race sharing water after Gate’s water bottle fell out of his holder at around the 75km mark. The gesture from Oram didn’t go unnoticed by a grateful Aaron Gate.
“I was like can I have another drink please, and it was all good so it was much appreciated.”
Oram said they were good friends and happy to work together.
“Every time I’ve been chasing Aaron so once we got away on the coast we were happy to work together and pace all the way to the line. Just coming into the finish about 200m to go he kicked and I couldn’t quite get around him.”
Aaron Wyllie came third with a time of 02:38:26. He said it was a hard course and he was happy to come in third place.
Georgia Danford said she was stoked with her win. “It was such a good race, I had lots of fun.”
Female elite Jorja Swain came in second place with a time of 02:55:38.
“It feels good, it was a hard day out. It was hard on the coast where the guys were doing 50 on the flats and I was just holding on for dear life.”
Sophie Hamer was the third female to cross the finish line with a time of 03:07:16.
Gate also won the Wheelworks Elite King of the Mountain, while Oram came second and Wyllie came third.
Event director Tim Farmer said it was a good day racing with a close finish for the Elite category. “It was good to see Aaron being pushed hard all the way to the finish line and good to see close female elite racing too.”
Tour de Ranges was established in 2009 and winds through the Hunua Ranges, with views of the Hauraki Gulf. It was created to attract all levels of cycling ability to some of the most remarkable roads in Auckland.