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Gate sprints to stage win in Ireland

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/05/2016

Kiwi Olympic cycling hopeful Aaron Gate has sprinted his way to victory on the 159km sixth stage of the Tour of Ireland.

Gate, riding for his An Post Chain Reaction professional team, benefited from some sterling work by the Australian and Austrian teams as the peloton hauled in a dangerous break in the final kilometre of the 159km stage along the southern coast to Dungarvan.

The New Zealander, who won two stages of the Tour last year, out-sprinted his rivals for the victory and to retain his lead in the points classification.

"The An Post Chain Reaction boys did such an awesome job today and I can't thank them enough for the win," Gate said.

"But the race definitely isn't over yet. Tomorrow will be a tough stage and a close battle for sure. Hopefully we can get the win again."

Gate remains fifth in the general classification at five seconds, with fellow Kiwis Regan Gough 19th at 1min 11sec and Hayden Roulston 23rd at 3:38 back.

The riders are part of Cycling New Zealand's endurance track squad using the tour as they prepare for the Rio Olympics in August.

The 155km penultimate stage heads north to Baltinglass and takes in four categorised climbs including the intimidating category one ascent of Mount Leinster.

The tour finishes on Monday (NZT) in Skerries, north of Dublin.

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