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Peters and Fluker win New Zealand MTB Cup opener in Bluff

Anton Cooper had some bad luck in the form of a mechanical during the New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup opener in Bluff

Anton Cooper had some bad luck in the form of a mechanical during the New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup opener in Bluff (Image credit: BikeNZ)

A mechanical failure put an end to Anton Cooper's chances of victory in the opening cross country round of the BikeNZ MTB Cup Series in Bluff on Sunday.

The junior world champion suffered a mechanical problem on the third lap of the four-lap race. It took him five minutes to fix and cost him the victory in the under 23 category, in which he finished seven seconds down on Logan Horn, who won with a time of 1:28:20.

The elite champion was Rotorua's Dirk Peters who was part of the New Zealand under 23 team in last year's world championships.

Horn said he had hoped to have enough to hold off the world champion. "I was confident in the position I was in, but Anton would've beaten me if he didn't have the mechanical, and he pulled it back to a really close finish," Horn said.

"It was a really tough course. It was a long way to the top and big descent, but it's a really well built course and I enjoyed it. Usually I prefer to have to have two or three mains climbs, but I rode well today."

Cooper, who will ride full time on the UCI World Cup for the Cannondale Factory Team this year, was relaxed about the defeat,

"That's the way racing is. I'm not too worried as this is part of the build up for me for the rest of the season."

Invercargill local Logan Havenaar took third place with a time of 1:36:03.

Peters won the five-lap elite men's race in convincing style with a time of 1:47:16. The 21-year-old made the most of favourable conditions to get an early lead on his opponents, including fellow Rotorua rider Carl Jones who took second in 1:50:36, and Auckland's Adrian Retief in third with 1:52:27.

"It was pretty good out there today. It was pretty rocky but nice and dry which suited me a bit better," Peters said

"I got away at the start with Anton, who was riding the under 23 race, but then he had a mechanical, so I was out on my own. I just rode at my own pace and had fun.

"I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, it should be good, and I'm hoping for a bit of home town advantage for the national championships in Rotorua."

In the elite women's race, Kate Fluker was well ahead of the pack, finishing in a time of 1:40:49, almost nine minutes ahead of second place Erin Greene in 1:48:45 and Cayley Brooks of Canada in 1:51:47.

Mary Gray, a top-10 finisher in the world championships last year, took out the women's under 23 honours in 1:21:14.

Cross country riders will face two more rounds in the series at Mt Victoria in Wellington on February 1-3 and Hunua ahead of the national championships.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dirk Peters (NZl)1:47:16
2Carl Jones (NZl)0:03:20
3Adrian Retief (NZl)0:05:11
4Tom Bradshaw (NZl)0:08:01
5Ryan Cull (NZl)0:08:26
6Nick Clark (NZl)0:12:33
DNFJeremy Inglis (NZl)
DNFFraser Hewett (NZl)
DNFBrad Hudson (NZl)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Fluker (NZl)1:40:49
2Erin Greene (NZl)0:08:56
3Cayley Brooks (Can)0:10:58
4Melissa Newell (NZl)0:16:46

U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Logan Horn (NZl)1:28:20
2Anton Cooper (NZl)0:00:07
3Logan Havenaar (NZl)0:07:43
4Brehan Cairns (NZl)0:09:39

U23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mary Gray (NZl)1:21:14

U19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Oliver (NZl)1:24:53
2David Ashby-Coventry (NZl)0:01:43
3Mitchell Campbell (NZl)0:08:38
4Charlie Murray (NZl)0:09:28
5Simon Lawson (NZl)0:15:20
6Alistair Green (NZl)0:32:28
7Samuel Gaze (NZl)0:02:22
DNSCraig Oliver (NZl)

U19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amber Johnston (NZl)1:18:10
2Samantha Hope (NZl)0:00:49
3Olivia Miller (NZl)0:11:54

U17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Scott Barr (NZl)1:09:21
2Nathan Johnston (NZl)0:00:02
3Paul Wright (NZl)0:04:22
4Kim Wright (NZl)0:06:09
5Ben Friel (NZl)0:08:03
6Cameron Richards (NZl)0:09:06
7Jayson Binns (NZl)0:13:34
8Hamish Beadle (NZl)0:14:49
9Tom Sexton (NZl)0:15:23
10Jayden Fischer (NZl)0:20:01
11Simon Owen (NZl)0:20:54
12Fraser Dixon (NZl)0:21:56
13Jake Milligan (NZl)0:35:18
14Phillip Knubley (NZl)0:41:00
DNFJoshua Sheehan (NZl)

U17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shannon Hope (NZl)0:57:32
2Lydia Kinsman (NZl)0:07:43
3Isabel Clarke (NZl)0:16:31

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