Superlatives for Super Cooper after 7th National Title
Published 27 Feb 2021
Anton Cooper scored his seventh elite title and fifth in a row at the Torpeo7 Mountain Bike National Championships in Christchurch today and immediately set his sights the Tokyo Olympics.
Cooper, the Trek Factory Racing professional, was in remarkable form winning the championship in 1:29.01, three minutes clear of fellow North Canterbury rider Ben Oliver at the superb Crocodile Park course in Christchurch. Cooper has used his time away from Covid-hit competition to work his way to outstanding form.
“I knew I was training well but you never know until you race. My prep has gone well and I feel I am in the best shape ever. I am healthy and fit and the results are coming,” said Cooper.
He was 1 minute clear of Oliver after the first full lap of six and gradually disappeared from the chasers, lapping consistently in a commanding performance.
“It's may be the most special of all my national champs, doing it at home with such a big crowd and with the calibre of riders in New Zealand these days, it is pretty special. We've not raced in front of a crowd for over 12 months so to have this turnout is unreal.”
Cooper will now return to Europe for two planned UCI World Cups which will be the last qualification races for the Tokyo Olympics.
“This is great prep for the upcoming World Cups. They are very important. It's what my team is focussed on and in terms of Olympic selection it's going to be really important. If that goes well, then I can then turn my attentions to Tokyo.”
Men, Elite 1. Anton Cooper (Christchurch) 1:29:01 2. Ben Oliver (Christchurch) 1:32.12 3. Sam Shaw (Christchurch) 1:33.29 Photo Caption: Anton Cooper taking his 7th National title at the Torpedo7 Mountain Bike National Championships at Crocodile Park in Christchurch.
(Photo Credit: Cycling New Zealand)