Anton Cooper (Cannondale Factory Racing) was notably absent from the top of the results in the U23 men's cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup opener in Albstadt, Germany this weekend.
The junior world champion had won every junior World Cup race he contested during the past two years and was expected to mix it up with the top U23s this season; however, illness struck the young rider, who finished near the rear of his field on Saturday.
The 18-year-old suffered from a painful stomach upset and vomiting throughout the night prior to his race, but still decided to start in his first World Cup for his new Cannondale Factory Team at Albstadt.
"I spent the night with a terrible stomach ache and vomiting and got little sleep," Cooper said."I could not keep any food down. I guess these things happen."
Cooper was well off the pace, struggling home in 85th place, a lap behind the winner Markus Schulte-Leunzum of Germany.
"I need time to let the body recover, and I hope I can be right for the next round at Nove Mesto in a week," said Cooper.
Round two of the cross country World Cup will happen in Nove Mesto, Czech this weekend.