27 Sep 2015

Gate, Ellis win national omnium titles

1:43 pm on 27 September 2015

The 2013 world champion Aaron Gate and Olympian Lauren Ellis won the New Zealand omnium track cycling titles in Cambridge.

The New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate competing.

The New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate competing. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The experienced pair came from behind to dominate the all-important final points race to win their respective titles at the Avantidrome.

The championships incorporated a training camp and coaching seminar as Cycling New Zealand look to develop more riders for this gruelling six-discipline, two-day battle which is one of the five Olympic medal events.

Young Southland rider Nick Kergozou, who led the men's event after three events on Thursday, continued his progress finishing second to fellow Southlander Cam Karwowski in the 1000m time trial and then won the flying lap in 12.212 ahead of Karwowski.

However the demanding 160-lap points race proved the difference, with Gate showing his class and experience. Only three of the nine riders managed to finish and only Gate and teenage star Luke Mudgway finished on the lead lap.

Gate, recently returned from a successful European season with An Post Chain Reaction race team, won seven of the final nine sprints to clear out to win the title on 234 points.

Kergozou did not finish to drop out of the contest, with Mudgway second overall from Karwowski.

Ellis shared the day one lead with Christchurch's Liz Steel in the women's omnium.

She was second to Southland's Kirstie James in the 500m time trial and the flying lap to push clear into the overall lead.

Steel fought back to win three of the opening four sprints in the points race but Ellis finished the stronger to win with 203 points from Steel and James.

The riders now turn their attentions to the Oceania Championships at Invercargill in two weeks, and hope for selection to the World Cup competitions, with most interest in the second of the three event series, to be held in New Zealand for the first time at Cambridge in December.