Aaron Gate has been crowned SRAM Tour de Ranges champion for 2017.  The Tour of Southland and Taupo champion took the win solo ahead of Taylor Gunman and Harry Waine after just over two and a half hours in the saddle; breaking his own course record in the process.

This year’s SRAM Tour de Ranges saw a strong field of just under 50 riders tackle the elite 110km course.  Starting the race from Clevedon the field would quickly begin climbing up to the highest point of the race on the run in towards Hunua.  Then after rolling through Mangatawhiri and Kaiaua, the KOM climb of the day – Snake Hill – would kick in just before Kawakawa Bay, and from there it would be a largely downhill/flat run in to the finish.  

Aaron Gate arrived at the SRAM Tour de Ranges fresh from his stint at the Elite Road National Championships in Napier where he finished fifth in the elite men’s road race behind Joseph Cooper.  Up against him were the likes of Taylor Gunman of Madison Genesis who hadn’t raced the Elite Road Nationals, along with the likes of Morgan Smith, Roman van Uden, Stuart Holder, Harry Waine, Aaron Strong, James Oram and more.

After an original group of five broke clear the major climb of the day would prove decisive as Gate piled on the pressure to whittle that group down from five to two and then power away to take the win, and with it the course record.  By the time Gate reached the finish line he was a full 2.11mins ahead of the chasing field and comfortably in control as he crossed the line to take the win.

The previous course record – set by Gate – was 2.33.53 but Gate went just a little faster this time around to stop the clock in 2 hours 33 minutes 35.52 seconds; while behind him it was Taylor Gunman who managed to do enough to claim second place as he out sprinted Harry Waine who claimed the final spot on the podium.

After the race we caught up with a soon-to-be-married Aaron Gate.  “It was a great race, conditions were perfect, and as per usual at the Tour de Ranges the race was full gas for the first half with seemingly endless attacks and chases!” Gate told us.  “Eventually 5 of us finally forced our way off the front, and when I pushed the tempo a bit on the last long climb up Snake Hill I was able to get a gap on the others and then time trialled my way through the last 25km to the finish.”

Morgan Smith placed fourth across the line while Roman Van Uden just outed Connor Brown and Stuart Holder to round out the top five.

Results:

Pos. Rider Time

1

Aaron Gate 2.33.35

2

Taylor Gunman 2.35.46

3

Harry Waine ST

4

Morgan Smith 2.35.46

5

Roman van Uden 2.35.49

6

Connor Brown ST

7

Stuart Holder ST

8

Chris Denholm 2.35.50

9

Bradley Leitch ST

10

Sam Titter-Dower ST

11

Aaron Strong ST

12

Cameron Wynniatt ST

13

Nick Miller ST

14

Blake Sunde 2.35.51

15

Jacob Sievwright ST

16

Sam Cook ST

17

Karl Poole ST

18

Matt Peat ST

19

Richard McKey 2.35.52

20

Steve Furminger ST

21

Owen Owen ST

22

James Oram ST

23

Logan Mort 2.35.53

24

Theo Gilbertson 2.36.38

25

Daniel Molyneux 2.38.44

26

Ben Hamilton 2.38.45

27

David Fussell ST

28

Rob Scarlett 2.42.36

29

Finn Buckeridge ST

30

Jack McNeely ST

31

Caleb Awake 2.44.59

32

Nicholas Magill ST

33

Nathan Bunn ST

34

Sam Horn 2.45.00

35

Sam Mobberley 2.51.25

36

Aidan Cook ST

37

Michael Carswell 2.53.41

38

Paul Strutters 3.07.11

39

Daryn Johnston 3.31.22

40

Mike Walker 3.39.39

41

Andrew Wilson 3.45.50

42

Matt Wilson-Vogler 3.56.37

 

Photo:  ScottieT Photography

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