Aaron Gate has finished 9th in the final stage of the Tour des Fjords. The Aqua Blue Sport Kiwi sprinted to a very strong finish behind stage winner Bjorg Lambrecht of Lotto Soudal with Michael Albasini securing the overall crown.

A big week of racing awaits Aaron Gate and teammate Shane Archbold as they move straight from the Tour des Fjords to the Hammer Stavanger. The Tour des Fjords concluded today with a 183km trek from Farsmund to Egersund which featured a tough finishing kick to the line; inviting attacks. Bjorg Lambrecht proved the strongest of the attackers as he accelerated away in the finale to take an emotional stage win, but it was Michael Albasini who managed to hold on to second place and secure the overall win for Mitchelton-Scott.

Behind them Aaron Gate powered through the final metres to take 9th place across the line, a result that saw him climb into 12th overall on the final day; up from 25th.

The result is promising as Gate and Archbold now turn their attention to Hammer Stavanger, which began last year. Forming part of the Hammer Series the three-day race forms part of 3-event series that also takes in Limburg and Hong Kong. After its highly successful inaugural outing last year, expectations are high for this entirely team-oriented race.

The Hammer Climb, Hammer Sprint and Hammer Chase events comprise the race with points on offer to teams, not individuals. Over the first two stages the Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint will offer points to teams; while the Hammer Chase will bring it all down to a grand finale that will run on a first-across-the-line wins the overall title of Hammer Stavanger champion.

Gate is looking forward to tackling the Hammer Stavanger event, having played spectator last year. “I watched bits of it [last year],” Aaron told Aaron S. Lee. “The team time trial definitely looked like absolute chaos, so it’ll be interesting to see how that one goes this year too!”

With the event appealing to a wider demographic of cycling fans and enthusiasts, Gate recognises that there is great potential for the event; and would even go as far to think that something like it would work in New Zealand! “It is cool and I think it will be good for the spectators who are there and present as well,” Aaron said. “It will be cool to see if it is the kind of thing that can keep growing. Downtown Auckland or in Aussie around the time of the Sun Tour or something could be a good time for another one. So there’s plenty of opportunities to keep creating these events.”

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