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Cooper kicks off junior World Cup season with victory

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Anton Cooper (Trek World Racing) wins in Pietermaritzburg

Anton Cooper (Trek World Racing) wins in Pietermaritzburg (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Kiwi Anton Cooper picked up this season where he left off with the World Cup last season

Kiwi Anton Cooper picked up this season where he left off with the World Cup last season (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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Kiwi ace Anton Cooper romped to a lopsided win in the junior cross country

Kiwi ace Anton Cooper romped to a lopsided win in the junior cross country (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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South African rider Gareth Andrews racing in the junior cross country

South African rider Gareth Andrews racing in the junior cross country (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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unior world champion Victor Koretsky had to settle for the runner-up berth in the junior cross country

unior world champion Victor Koretsky had to settle for the runner-up berth in the junior cross country (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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World champ Victor Koretsky leads the field off the startline in the junior cross country

World champ Victor Koretsky leads the field off the startline in the junior cross country (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)

To absolutely no one's surprise, the young New Zealand phenom Anton Cooper (Trek World Racing) easily won the final cross country race of the Pietermaritzburg World Cup on Sunday morning, beating junior world champion Victor Koretzky by over four and a half minutes. Brazil's Nicolas Sessler took third.

After the heavy rain of the previous evening and overnight, the course had started to dry, but some sections were still treacherous, so the decision was taken to close the "A" line on a few of the most difficult technical sections. Koretzky flatted late in the first lap, but it made no difference - Cooper as already over a minute up and pulling away.

"I had a good start, and I got onto the singletrack first and started to push it from there," said Cooper. "It was kind of greasy, but I came good and I got used to those downhills soon after. I gradually pulled time each lap, I think, so I finished really strongly in the end."

Cooper was pleased at how well the course raced after the heavy rains the night before. "It was actually better than I thought it might be, it was slippery more in the trees and some of the corners. We weren't allowed to ride some of the wooden log rollovers and the drop, but that's all right."

Cooper will now miss the next three World Cups while he finishes up his school year, but will return for the Mont-Sainte-Anne round in late June.

Koretsky conceded that Copper was just too good for him on the day. "Cooper was very strong, but it was not that important because during winter I did a lot of cyclo-cross and then had a month's break. This is my first race of the year, so I'm not in top form at the moment," said Koretksy.

"The track was very slippery and wet," he said. "It was difficult to ride. Where there was a lot of sun, it was perfect. It was okay, but there was some difficulty."

Full Results

Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anton Cooper (NZl) Trek World Racing1:09:48
2Victor Koretzky (Fra) Bikepark.Ch Scott0:04:29
3Nicolas Sessler (Bra) Brazil0:05:54
4Manuel Fasnacht (Swi) Switzerland0:06:50
5Boris Cara (Bel) Houffalize-Granville Team0:06:59
6Enea Vetsch (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team0:07:49
7Fredrik Fang Liland (Nor) Merida NTG0:08:00
8Edvard Vea Iversen (Nor) Merida NTG0:09:06
9Patrick Belton (RSA) South Africa0:09:52
10Connor Bell (USA) United States Of America0:10:42
11Paul Rodenbach (RSA) South Africa - B0:11:30
12Ben Bradley (Aus) Australia0:13:03
13Dylan Hattingh (RSA) South Africa0:13:32
14Evan Van Der Spuy (RSA) South Africa0:13:45
15Dominik Banyai (Hun) Hungary0:14:48
16Casey Williams (USA) United States Of America0:15:25
17Richardt Ferreira (RSA) South Africa0:16:56
18Werner Van Heerden (RSA) South Africa0:19:25
-1lapEdward Best (RSA) South Africa - B
-1lapGareth Andrews (RSA) South Africa - B
-1lapFrans Grotepass (RSA) South Africa - B
-1lapJaco Pelser (RSA) South Africa - B
-2lapsLichaba West LES19950218 Lesotho
DNFBercel Meggyesi (Hun) Hungary
DNFKyle Dorkin (RSA) South Africa
DNFAlex Baker (GBr) Orange Monkey-Cannondale
DNFMatthew Schofield (RSA) South Africa - B

 

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