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Anton Cooper wins Commonwealth Games mountain bike race

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Elite men's podium at the Commonwealth Games mountain bike race

Elite men's podium at the Commonwealth Games mountain bike race
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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 4 leaders start last lap

4 leaders start last lap
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Liam Killeen (England)

Liam Killeen (England)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Max Plaxton (Canada)

Max Plaxton (Canada)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Sam Gaze (New Zealand) at the front

Sam Gaze (New Zealand) at the front
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Cameron Ivory (Australia)

Cameron Ivory (Australia)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Anton Cooper (New Zealand)

Anton Cooper (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Max Plaxton (Canada) in the lead

Max Plaxton (Canada) in the lead
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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You don't often see a Jersey jersey.... (Couldn't resist)

You don't often see a Jersey jersey.... (Couldn't resist)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Raphael Gagne (Canada)

Raphael Gagne (Canada)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Grant Ferguson (Scotland)

Grant Ferguson (Scotland)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Dan McConnell (Australia)

Dan McConnell (Australia)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Anton Cooper (New Zealand)

Anton Cooper (New Zealand)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The start of the men's race

The start of the men's race
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Anton Cooper (New Zealand) wins

Anton Cooper (New Zealand) wins
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Anton Cooper (New Zealand) led from the front to win his nation's first gold in mountain biking at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The 19-year-old attacked on the uphill finish of the course to win ahead of his teammate Samuel Gaze. Daniel McConnell (Australia) was forced to settle for bronze after he was unable to respond to the attacks from both Cooper and Gaze.

The trio had moved clear early in the race with Canadian Max Plaxton with defending champion Liam Killeen among those who could not sustain a fast pace.

It was South Africa’s Philip Buys who made the early pace on the first lap. He stretched the field with a seven-man group containing the pre-race favourites.

Buys led through Propeller Point with Cooper already in second place by mid-way through the first lap.

However it was Gaze who attacked first. He jumped clear before the completion of the first lap with only Gaze able to respond. Plaxton led the chase third at five seconds as Killeen and Grant Ferguson (Scotland) began to lose ground.

There was a brief spell of rain but after two laps the lead group began to take shape with Plaxton and McConnell both making contact to create a leading four man group that would decide the medals.

All four riders took turns on the front through the several technical sections but it was McConnell who set pace for almost a full lap as the foursome continued to distance the field with British mountain bike champion Ferguson giving a spirited but unsuccessful chase.

After 14.6km of racing the Scott was fifth at 53 seconds, with Killeen in sixth.

With four laps to go, McConnell was still on the front before a discussion between the leaders saw Plaxton taking his first turn. The Canadian upped the pace on Double Dare but it was an effort that he would pay for later in the race.

Gaze led over the line with 3 three laps to go and there was almost a coming together between the New Zealander and Plaxton on Double Dare. The Canadian had the weight of responsibility on his shoulders - Canada never having finished off the podium in mountain biking at the Commonwealth Games but whenever there was a slight injection of pace he slipped off the back.

After chasing back and closing several gaps, he made a move on Double Dare but on the final climb he was eventually distanced for good as Cooper took control of the race.

McConnell - fourth in the UCI rankings - matched Cooper’s pace as Gaze sat in third and it looked as though the trio would fight it out in a sprint finish. However Cooper had other ideas and threw down a powerful attack from the front of the group on the final climb to the finish line. McConnell had no answer and had to watch on as Gaze came around him for third.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anton Cooper (New Zealand)1:38:26
2Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)0:00:03
3Daniel Mcconnell (Australia)0:00:10
4Max Plaxton (Canada)0:00:23
5Grant Ferguson (Scotland)0:03:09
6Liam Killeen (England)0:03:31
7Raphael Gagne (Canada)0:04:37
8Cameron Ivory (Australia)0:04:54
9Paul Oldham (England)0:05:03
10Kenta Gallagher (Scotland)0:05:19
11Gareth Montgomerie (Scotland)0:08:02
12Andy Blair (Australia)0:09:50
13Philip Buys (South Africa)0:10:08
14James Roe (Guernsey)0:12:20
15Yannick Lincoln (Mauritius)0:12:57
16Marios Athanasiadis (Cyprus)0:14:16
17Elliot Baxter (Isle of Man)0:14:40
18Heiko Redecker (Namibia)0:15:18
19Rhys Hidrio (Jersey)
20Christos Loizou (Cyprus)
21Phetetso Monese (Lesotho)
22Richard Tanguy (Jersey)
23James Patterson (Jersey)
24Samson Gichuru (Kenya)
25Michael Serafin (Guernsey)
26Roger Aiken (Northern Ireland)
27Sebastien Tyack (Mauritius)
28Teboho Khantsi (Lesotho)
29Anthony Muite (Kenya)
30Robert Barnes (Jam)
31William Kelly (Swaziland)
32Benard Kabiro (Kenya)
33Moshoeshoe Khumalo (Swaziland)
DNSMataya Tsoyo (Malawi)
DNSMissi ThomasKathumba (Malawi)

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