Aaron Gate looking to convert bronze into gold at NZ Track Nationals

It has been a long two weeks for Auckland's Aaron Gate since finished two points shy of making the podium at the Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia in February in the defence of the omnium title he won last year in Minsk.

The 23-year-old duplicated his world championship podium finish in the 4000m men's individual pursuit at the New Zealand Track Nationals inside the all-new Avantidrome in Cambridge on Thursday.

"I am not quite in the same place I was at Track Worlds in terms of my time and form, but I'm still fairly happy with the results," Gate told Cyclingnews. "I entered the event understanding that I just had to ride and give it everything I had and that is what I did and it got me a medal so I can't complain too much."

The 2012 Olympic team pursuit bronze medallist, alongside teammates Sam Bewley, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent, says that the past two weeks since wrapping up the world championships in Cali have had a negative toll on his performance.

"It was a bit of a mission getting home from Colombia," he said. "It took us about four days of travel to get back home. So that's four days off and then a couple of more days getting the body to get back into the time zone. The body has also been recovering from a pretty intense build up [to the worlds]."

The remaining schedule for Gate in Cambridge includes the scratch race on Friday evening, the points race on Saturday and the madison, where he rekindles an old partnership with Shem Rodger for the first time since 2008. The omnium nationals were held separately last week with none of the World's team attending.

From there, Gate will return to Europe to rejoin his Ireland's An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly team, with countryman Shane Archbold and Australian's Glenn O'Shea and Robert-Jon McCarthy before setting his sights on more track gold at the Commonwealth Games in July.

"My road career is something I am trying to continue developing and An Post is a great team for that," said Gate, who is entering his second year with the Belgium-based squad. "It's a great racing program and with awesome support behind us from our sponsors. It's really cool for us to go over there after all my track commitments and it's great to have a team that allow us to do this."


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