Cooper kicks off junior World Cup season with victory

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

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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 - BRow 18 - Cell 2
-1lapGareth Andrews (RSA) South Africa - BRow 19 - Cell 2
-1lapFrans Grotepass (RSA) South Africa - BRow 20 - Cell 2
-1lapJaco Pelser (RSA) South Africa - BRow 21 - Cell 2
-2lapsLichaba West LES19950218 LesothoRow 22 - Cell 2
DNFBercel Meggyesi (Hun) HungaryRow 23 - Cell 2
DNFKyle Dorkin (RSA) South AfricaRow 24 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Baker (GBr) Orange Monkey-CannondaleRow 25 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Schofield (RSA) South Africa - BRow 26 - Cell 2


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