Georgia Williams swept up her fifth New Zealand time trial title on Friday with a dominant performance on an undulating course in South Waikato, while Aaron Gate took his second elite title in the race against the clock after both riders managed to hold on to their lead despite mechanical difficulties.
It was a replication of the top two steps of the 2021 podium in the 33.5km elite men’s time trial with George Bennett coming over the line in Tokoroa with the second fastest time again in 2023. The UAE Team Emirates rider was just under seven seconds behind Gate, who stopped the clock in 44:42.25 to claim the title. In third it was James Oram, Gate’s teammate at Bolton Equities Black Spoke which has this season levelled up to become New Zealand’s first ProTeam.
“This one is special. It’s cool to have this jersey and take it overseas with my Bolton Equities Black Spoke team to Europe. I am looking forward to flying the flag in time trials this year,” Gate said after the event, which wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 32 year old. “I dropped my chain and would have kicked myself if that came down to winning but just had enough to hold George off.”
In the elite women’s time trial none of Williams’ rivals came even close to matching the time of 50:42.74 as the 29 year old secured the title for a third year in a row, with Georgia Perry her nearest elite competitor, more than a minute and 20 seconds back, then it was Sharlotte Lucas in third.
“It was a really hard course. I paced it as well as I could,” said Williams in a Cycling New Zealand media release. I had a slow leak after about 8km and lost pressure in my rear tyre and did not have a spare disc which cost me a little bit.”
“I guess I have to come back next year to beat the record.”
Despite there being some doubt about whether or not Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance-Soudal QuickStep) would line up – she had surgery to remove some metal from her wrist this week – the national criterium champion managed to post a time of 50:08.69 to claim victory in the under 23 women’s time trial, which was faster than both second and third place in the elite race. Henrietta Christie (Human Powered Health) came second in the U23 category and Ella Wyllie (LifePlus Wahoo) third.
Logan Currie (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) went into the U23 men’s competition as a clear favourite, having come fourth in the time trial in the category at the World Championships in Wollongong last year, and not only did he win the U23…
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