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Gate wins Tour of Ireland sprint title

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/05/2016

New Zealand rider Aaron Gate has defended his sprinter's title at the Tour of Ireland.

An Post Chain Reaction professional Gate finished sixth overall when the eight-stage tour finished in Dublin on Sunday and did enough to retain the green jersey.

The Aucklander pushed hard for a second stage win in the 148km leg but was beaten into fourth in a sprint finish.

The tour was valuable for a contingent of New Zealand endurance track cyclists, who used it to build base fitness ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Hayden Roulston, Nick Kergozou and Regan Gough finished in the peloton, recording the same time as stage winner Nicholai Brochner of Denmark.

Austrian Clemens Fankhouser also finished in the bunch to claim his second tour victory in three years.

Gate was 1min 01sec behind Fankhouser, with Roulston 18th, Gough 26th and Kergozou 74th. Piet Bulling and Dylan Kennett retired earlier in the Tour.

The Kiwi track squad will return to their Belgian base for another training stint before the team for Rio is announced in early July.

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