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.
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