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Sam Gaze - Commonwealth Games

When Sam Gaze lines up to compete at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July, the former Cambridge High School student will be there with one major motivation in mind.

‘‘He always competes wanting to win,’’ mum Sarah Gaze told the Cambridge Edition last week.

Gaze 18, is presently based in Austria where he is training and competing in the lead-up to Glasgow and all signs point to a strong showing at the games.

He competes in cross-country mountainbiking which takes place on a course over a set distance where riders race for multiple laps over various obstacles.

In February,  Gaze won the New Zealand Elite Men’s Cross Country National Championships and went on to claim the U23 title at the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships.

On May 25, Gaze – who is sponsored by Specialized New Zealand and Cyclezone among other businesses  – claimed bronze at the UCI Mountainbike World Cup in the Czech Republic, three places higher than the sixth he achieved at his last world cup meet in Cairns early last month.

Based on his success, Gaze – who is coached by Carl Paton – is just one of three Kiwi mountain bikers to be selected for Glasgow.

Sarah said she’s always known her son would do well in the sport.

‘‘When Sam was young his dad was competing on the mountain biking circuit so he has grown up around the sport. And he always used to say to me, ‘I’m going to be a pro rider mum’.’’

After tasting success for New Zealand at U17 level in road racing, he traded the road for dirt.

According to Sarah, he has never looked back and mountain biking is no doubt his passion.

‘‘Honestly, the kick he gets out of the sport is beating people. And from my perspective he’s very motivated. I’ve never had to make him train.’’ 

She said her son will soon be on an enforced break after a world cup round last weekend.

‘‘I booked plane tickets and made him go visit relatives in the United Kingdom so he can get off his bike and rest for a while,’’ she said.

Then, the focus will turn towards Glasgow after ‘‘four or five more big European races’’.

‘‘Goal-wise, there’s no doubt he’s there to try to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. He’s not just going there to ride a bike.’’

Article - Cambridge Edition
Photo - Supplied

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