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Second New Zealand national cross country title for Anton Cooper

Anton Cooper on his way to winning the national title

Anton Cooper on his way to winning the national title (Image credit: Mead Norton Photography)

Just as did in Glasgow at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Anton Cooper proved too fast for Sam Gaze as he rode to victory at the New Zealand national cross country titles in Rotorua.

The 20-year-old, who won the national title in 2013, also claimed the top U23 prize with a winning margin of 1:10 minutes over Gaze who got his front wheel wedged in a tree during the final lap after both riders had gone clear of the field.

"I was able to capitalise on a small fumble by Sam and stretched out a good advantage and pinned the ears back to the finish," Cooper added.

At the end of last season, Cannondale announced that it had extended Cooper's deal with the team for a further two season with the New Zealander focusing on world cup success this year with an eye on Rio 2016.