Aaron Gate vents his frustrations on the track
NATHAN BURDON IN GLASGOW
Auckland's Aaron Gate vented his frustrations on the track this morning to help Tom Scully to Commonwealth Games gold in the points race and win bronze in the process.
A member of the pursuit team which finished third at the world championships this year, Gate lost his place in the lineup for Thursday's pursuiting after surgery on a shoulder injury which he then aggravated in a crash 10 days out from the Games.
His place in the team was taken by Shane Archbold, with the pursuit team struggling in qualifying before coming back to smash Canada in the bronze medal rideoff.
''It's awesome to get something from the Commonwealth Games after a pretty rough lead in and even better to see Tom up there on the top step after we've been teammates for so long,'' Gate said.
New Zealand's endurance riders have taken something of a back seat this week to their sprinting counterparts, who had won two golds and a bronze, along with silver and bronze to Simon van Velthooven and Matt Archibald this morning.
''It has been a bit frustrating - to see the endurance boys almost get one back at the sprinters now with a gold is pretty cool. I said yesterday, we'll have to keep the 'two Kiwis, one podium' tradition rolling and to see Rhino [van Velthooven] and Matt get up there just before us was pretty motivating to go out there and hurt the legs a little bit more on the bike.''
Gate had been feeling some angst this week not just for himself, but the fact his parents Murray and Annette had travelled to Glasgow to watch him race.
The results from the entire track cycling team, and this morning's bronze would keep them happy, Gate said.
''We knew it was going to be a race of points, but also laps, because of the class of riders that were in the field. It was just a case of trying to get those early points so we had the upper hand, also not letting any riders get away off the front of the bunch,'' Gate said.
''It was touch and go, I started to feel a bit of cramp come into my legs 40 laps in and there was still a long way to go. Luckily I managed to bounce back and get those last few points I just needed in the last 40 laps to secure me the podium spot.''
Gate holds no hard feelings about missing out on the team pursuit ride.
''I knew I could have slotted in there and done my job but I couldn't fault the ride that the other guys had done. It was just a bit risky. I wasn't quite going as good as the other guys in training but I knew on race day that I could have come in and had a good ride,'' he said.
''I was happy to see them go out there and get that bronze medal in the final. It's good fuel for me to go back and carry on training through to the track season and also on to Rio.''