25 Jun 2012

Anton Cooper wins gold in Canada

2:21 pm on 25 June 2012

New Zealand mountain bikers celebrated their most successful World Cup in Canada with Christchurch teenager Anton Cooper a runaway winner in the junior men's cross country.

The gold adds to the two medals earned by Samara Sheppard and Amber Johnston in the under-23 and junior women respectively on Sunday.

The 2009 junior world champion Brook Macdonald roared down the rocky course to finish sixth in the downhill where four NZ riders finished in the top 11.

It is the first time NZ riders have earned three medals in cross country in the same World Cup competition while New Zealand now has five riders in the top-15 on world cup standings in downhill, the most of any nation.

The 17-year-old Cooper, who rides for Trek World Racing, was in a class of his own in the junior men's competition. He was a minute ahead after the start loop, three minutes clear after lap one and he eventually won the 20.57-kilometre race in 1:09.55, more than six minutes clear of second placed Marc-Antoine Nadon of Canada.

On lap times, Cooper compared with those inside the top 15 times in the elite race, and he remains unbeaten after two rounds this year.