Anton pushes Schurter to photo finish World Cup #3
Published 28 May 2018
Literally a blink separated Anton Cooper from his first victory in an elite UCI Mountain Bike World Cup when he was pipped by World and Olympic Champion Nino Schurter in the Czech Republic yesterday.
A photo finish was needed to separate the pair, and after a delay of around 10seconds, the jury confirmed it was Schurter's 27th career victory. The Oceania and New Zealand champion Cooper took up the challenge, working his way through from the second row on the grid with Frenchman Maxine Marotte. They caught the leaders mid-race, before the pair, together with Schurter, pushed clear over the demanding climbs on the challenging course in Nove Mesto na Morave.
Marotte lost contact on the final lap as Cooper, the former Junior and Under 23 World Champion, clung on when Schurter attacked. The Swiss star could not shake the New Zealander as he led on to the finishing straight. Cooper sprinted from behind but missed out in the frantic lunge for the line by the closest of margins.Cooper had to settle for second place, his best World Cup finish at elite level, and was delighted with his performance.
“I think that was the best race I've ever ridden with the tightest finish too,” Cooper said on twitter. “It was a real thriller and great to be racing at the very front of an elite world cup.”
It is Cooper’s best finish in a World Cup, after the Trek Factory rider finished third in Germany last year, while he was ninth at Nove Mesto in the opening round in 2017. Schurter leads the world cup standings from Marotte with Cooper moving up from 11th to 5th.
CAPTION: Anton Cooper in action, and in the photo finish with Nino Schurter at the UCI Mountain Bike cross-country world cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic.
Credit: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool.