Anton Cooper (Trek World Racing) crushed his fellow junior competition at the World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada on Sunday morning. Behind him, Marc-Antoine Nadon (Canada) and Keegan Swenson (Cannondale) battled for second with the Canadian coming out ahead.
The New Zealand rider Cooper went to the front on the first climb of the first lap and never looked back.
"I got away on that first technical singletrack and kept pulling time. I'm really happy with the race," said Cooper. "I was trying to keep a steady pace and not take the downhills too hard. I thought that if I was going to lose it, that's where it would happen. I just took it consistently."
Cooper said the temperature was just right and the course was in good condition and holding up well even after five cross country races on it yesterday.
To keep him motivated, Cooper and his Trek World Racing team crew came up with a strategy. They would have him try to race as fast - by split times - as the top 15 elite men. Cooper did just that. Per the race analysis, he was always within a few seconds of 15th placed elite man Thomas Litscher. At the end of the fourth lap - the last for the junior men, Cooper had five seconds on Litscher.
"It's good to have that," said Cooper of the extra motivation. "It's something to push for when you're up front. Next year, I'll be in the U23 and it's good to gauge yourself before you move up."
The young New Zealand star will head home after the Windham World Cup for "five to six weeks of winter", then he will come back over to Europe to build up for the world championships in Austria in September.
Nadon spent most of the race in second place.
"Overall, it was a really good race," said Nadon. "Keegan and I were battling it out. Halfway through the second lap, I kind of took off, but I always heard him behind me chasing and that made me go even harder."
Swenson matched his previous best World Cup finish of third in Houffalize earlier this year. Speaking of his pursuit of Nadon, he said. "I started bringing him in, but then I crashed on that second to last lap and lost a bit of time. I could see him - he was always one switchback ahead of me."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Anton Cooper (NZl) Trek World Racing||1:09:55|
|2||Marc-Antoine Nadon (Can) Canada||0:06:20|
|3||Keegan Swenson (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing||0:06:46|
|4||Luis Camacho (CRc) Costa Rica||0:07:17|
|5||Wildy Sandoval (Col) Colombia||0:07:27|
|6||Peter Disera (Can) Canada||0:07:28|
|7||Nicolas Sessler (Bra) Brazil||0:08:28|
|8||Nigel Mcdowell (NZl) New-Zealand||0:08:47|
|9||Toki Sawada (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team||0:09:11|
|10||Ben Bradley (Aus) Australia||0:09:39|
|11||Artem Shevtsov (Ukr) Bi&Esse - Infotre Protek||0:10:13|
|12||Alexandre Vialle (Can) Canada - B||0:10:25|
|13||Lucas Newcomb (USA) United States Of America||0:10:35|
|14||Taylor Smith (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing||0:10:50|
|15||Vincent Belhumeur (Can) Canada - B||0:10:59|
|16||Tom Filmer (NZl) New-Zealand||0:11:59|
|17||Fabian Costa (Aut) Austria||0:13:25|
|18||Julien Gagne (Can) Canada||0:13:34|
|19||Jean-Daniel Boily (Can) Canada||0:13:50|
|20||Jaime Miranda (Mex) Mexico||0:14:50|
|21||Pierre-Olivier Veillette (Can) Canada - B||0:15:14|
|22||Elliot Galbraith (Can) Canada||0:15:40|
|23||Jacob Albrecht (USA) United States Of America||0:15:46|
|24||Boris Cara (Bel) Houffalize-Granville Team||0:16:22|
|25||Skyler Taylor (USA) United States Of America||0:18:26|
|26||Merlin Dallaire (Can) Canada - B||0:21:55|
|DNF||Casey Williams (USA) United States Of America|
|DNF||Charles Dubeau (Can) Canada - B|
|DNF||Tyler Coplea (USA) United States Of America|