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Commonwealth Games: Gaze wins mountain bike gold

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Gold medallist Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)

Gold medallist Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Sam Gaze with a New Zealand flag after winning gold

Sam Gaze with a New Zealand flag after winning gold
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Anton Cooper (New Zealand), Samuel Gaze (New Zealand), and Alan Hatherly (South Africa) on the podium

Anton Cooper (New Zealand), Samuel Gaze (New Zealand), and Alan Hatherly (South Africa) on the podium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand)

Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Sam Gaze (New Zealand) riding to gold

Sam Gaze (New Zealand) riding to gold
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand) after the duo went gold and silver

Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand) after the duo went gold and silver
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Daniel McConnell (Australia) didn't have his best day

Daniel McConnell (Australia) didn't have his best day
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Air time for Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)

Air time for Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Anton Cooper also gets some air

Anton Cooper also gets some air
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Sam Gaze looks back before celebrating his gold medal

Sam Gaze looks back before celebrating his gold medal
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) riding past Alan Hatherly (South Africa) on the final lap

Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) riding past Alan Hatherly (South Africa) on the final lap
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand) riding to a 1-2 finish

Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand) riding to a 1-2 finish
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand) sprint for gold

Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper (New Zealand) sprint for gold
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Ben Oliver (New Zealand)

Ben Oliver (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Daniel McConnell (Australia)

Daniel McConnell (Australia)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Ben Oliver and Sam Gaze (New Zealand)

Ben Oliver and Sam Gaze (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Ben Oliver leading the New Zealand trio at the start of the race

Ben Oliver leading the New Zealand trio at the start of the race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Alan Hatherly (South Africa)

Alan Hatherly (South Africa)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Leandre Bouchard (Canada)

Leandre Bouchard (Canada)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Rhys Hidrio (Jersey)

Rhys Hidrio (Jersey)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Grant Ferguson (Scotland)

Grant Ferguson (Scotland)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Sam Gaze (New Zealand)

Sam Gaze (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Gaze overcame a last lap puncture to beat New Zealand compatriot and defending champion Anton Cooper to Commonwealth Games mountain bike gold. Gaze got the better of Cooper in a two-up sprint for gold with bronze for South African Alan Hatherly. Ben Oliver closed out a banner day for New Zealand as he finished in fourth place.

Gaze was second to Cooper in the 2014 Glasgow mountain bike race and was looking at a repeat silver medal when he stopped in the mechanical pits with a rear flat the start of the final lap. Cooper and Hatherly had pushed on without and the U23 world champion looked to be out of contention for silver or gold. However, a blistering chase quickly brought back Hatherly. Gaze turning the pedals in anger as he then reeled in Cooper.

"There is good sportsmanship and there's not, and I feel like that wasn't there today. It's a bit of a shame really, I've got the utmost respect for the guy, still, even with that move," Gaze said according to Stuff.nz. "That's racing, you can't get along with everyone."

With Gaze possessing the faster sprint finish of the duo, Cooper did his best to drop his compatriot. Gaze proved equal to Cooper's strength though, moving into front position inside the final 500 metres of the race. On the velodrome finish, Gaze led out the sprint with enough time to raise a finger to his lips, silencing his doubters, before celebrating the win.

"I went in with one goal and one goal only and I'm honoured I could take it out," said the 22-year-old. "I've also got racing on Saturday with the men's road race so I wanted to conserve best as I can and make up where I could."

From the gun, New Zealand's three riders made their presence felt in the race, leading into the holeshot and never giving up front position. Oliver was crucial in setting the early pace to distance the likes of Dan McConnell. The leading quartet of Cooper, Gaze, Oliver and Hatherly had been established and would remain unchanged for the seven-lap race.

A chase group including Grant Ferguson briefly made contact on the second lap while a mechanical saw Cooper step out. Both events were minor moments in the race however as the quartet's lead increased to around the one-minute mark.

While Cooper and Gaze were enjoying a day out, the early efforts from Oliver took the toll and he dropped from the front group. From the now leading trio, Cooper and Gaze were the riders making the race. Bronze for Hatherly looked a likely outcome but the battle for gold remained open. Cooper was in the box seat to defend his title at the start of the final lap following Gaze's mechanical. Gaze, who won the opening round of the World Cup, had other ideas and pulled off a ride that is sure to go down in Commonwealth Games cycling history.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)1:17:36
2Anton Cooper (New Zealand)
3Alan Hatherly (South Africa)0:00:20
4Ben Oliver (New Zealand)0:01:05
5Frazer Clacherty (England)0:01:38
6Leandre Bouchard (Canada)0:01:39
7Daniel McConnell (Australia)0:02:23
8Cameron Orr (Northern Ireland)0:02:30
9Grant Ferguson (Scotland)0:04:53
10Nicholas Corlett (Isle of Man)0:08:44
11Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Wales)0:09:01
12Tristan de Lange (Namibia)0:09:23
13James Roe (Guernsey)0:09:30
14Rhys Hidrio (Jersey)0:10:06
15Andreas Miltiadis (Cyprus)0:10:42
16Michael Serafin Guernsey- 1 lap
17Marc Potts (Northern Ireland)
18Phetetso Monese (Lesotho)- 2 laps
19Tumelo Makae (Lesotho)
20Oliver Lowthorpe (Jersey)- 3 laps
21Andrew Colver (Guernsey)

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