Spoke Magazine

Cooper Slays Cross-Country Rivals; Cole Podiums in Downhill

Posted by Caleb Smith on Monday August 22 2011

The New Zealand Mountain Bike Team completed its competition schedule in Italy today at the final round of the UCI World Cup, in the beautiful northern Italian Val di Sole. Temperatures again rose to 40 degrees plus for the days racing, with competition to match the heat.

The Junior Men’s Cross-Country race started at 9:30 this morning, anticipation rising as fast as the temperature. A huge field of 102 men took the line, with the Junior Women’s race on course at the same time. Christchurch’s Anton Cooper proudly started the race with the Number 1 plate on his bike, and in prime attack position in the middle of the front line on the start grid. The Christchurch flier jumped out into clear air at the gun and went into the first lap (of four) in a small lead group of four riders, which quickly reduced to three on the first pinch climb. Cooper had some issues first lap with a dropped chain, but stuck to his race plan of attacking the field in the second lap and from there never looked back, charging to a one minute win. In consecutive weekends at these last two World Cups, Cooper has now accounted for all of Europe’s best junior cross-country athletes who seem to have no answer for his stunning turn of power and balanced approach to claiming line honours. Cooper moves into final preparations for the World Championships in two weeks with confidence high for delivering a breakthrough result for his country.

Cooper’s win is also a momentous and unprecedented achievement for a New Zealand cross-country athlete. Not quite 17 years old yet, Cooper took the top step of the podium today at a World Cup for a second time, never before achieved by a New Zealander at World Cup level in any discipline, let alone in the absolutely demanding XC format in the stronghold of the sport amongst Europe’s best.

Typically humble, Cooper summed up his morning; “The race went pretty well for me today – a few issues with the dropped chain and a couple of small dramas riding through the back of the Junior Women’s field but all good. I’m rapt to be lapping at a pace comparable to the fastest Under 23 Men and am in a great space for the World Champs in Champery.”

Other New Zealanders in the Junior race also had a good day on the bike – Wellington’s Tom Bradshaw charging to a 22nd place finish after getting out to a good start. Mathew Waghorn (Palmerston North) in 28th was slightly down on his own expectations, with Rotorua’s Nigel McDowell 71st.

The Downhill competition got underway at 2pm for the men, with New Zealand’s seven qualifiers all eager to improve in their drive for the podium. Nelson’s Reuben Olorenshaw was first away. The only Kiwi Junior to make the top 80 cut, Olorenshaw raced hard and fast and on a par with his qualification time, ending 50th. Olorenshaw was all praise for his New Zealand-designed and built Zerode downhill bike. “I loved this World Cup course – it was so epically long and rough, and the Zerode simply ate it all up, I’m really happy with the way I raced today”. George Brannigan (Hawkes Bay) unfortunately had a bad crash at the end of this morning’s practice session, damaging ligaments in his knee and unable to start the final. Sam Blenkinsop (Whanganui) was next away and looked to be uncomfortable on his run, not able to get into his characteristic attack mode for a disappointing 25th finish. Justin Leov (Dunedin) showed he could turn around his own fortunes after a heavy first day practice crash and subsequent hospital visit for a 12th place. Brook MacDonald (Napier) was targeting a podium today at the very least, after developing a refined taste for standing on the coveted steps this year at World Cup level. MacDonald’s run took him to the leaders hot seat with only 11 riders still to come, eventually finishing 7th. Cam Cole (Christchurch) then bumped his good friend out of the hot seat to hold a lead that looked like it had the legs to go all the way – Cole surviving an incredibly sketchy moment mid-course that looked like it would ruin his day, only to ride it out and deliver a storming time. Matthew Scoles was last Kiwi away, and looked to be on a wild ride that just didn’t translate into podium potential, but still good enough for 10th. The last four starters one by one chipped away at Cole’s lead, leaving the Lapierre International professional with a well deserved podium fifth.

It also completes a very successful World Cup series for the New Zealanders, with MacDonald 6th in the overall standings, Cole 7th, Leov 9th, Blenky 13th and Scoles 16th.

The NZ MTB Team now disperses for five days training before coming together again in Champery, Switzerland on August 27th for the UCI World Championships.

NZ Team Manager Chris Mildon.

Rank Name UCI Code Team Result
1 GWIN Aaron USA19871224 TREK WORLD RACING 3:10.356
2 HART Danny GBR19910920 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +01.232
3 ATHERTON Gee GBR19850226 COMMENCAL +04.114
4 BROSNAN Troy ° AUS19930713 MONSTER ENERGY / SPECIALIZED / MAD CATZ +05.417
5 COLE Cameron NZL19880203 LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL +06.173
6 MINNAAR Greg RSA19811113 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE +06.973
7 MACDONALD Brook NZL19911125 MS EVIL RACING +08.037
8 LEHIKOINEN Matti FIN19840419 CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF +09.396
9 NEETHLING Andrew RSA19840805 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +09.407
10 SCOLES Matthew NZL19890605 TEAM CINGOLANI TREK +09.595
11 BRYCELAND Josh GBR19900323 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE +10.314
12 LEOV Justin NZL19841020 TREK WORLD RACING +10.762
13 BEAUMONT Marc GBR19840925 +11.518
14 THIRION Rémi FRA19900423 LABYRINTH SHIMANO RACING TEAM +11.661
15 GUARDIA PASCUAL Bernat ESP19820930 +12.038
16 SIMMONDS Matthew GBR19870520 CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF +12.152
17 BRUNI Loic ° FRA19940513 LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL +12.781
18 SPAGNOLO Damien FRA19850428 MONDRAKER FACTORY TEAM +13.261
19 STROBEL Luke USA19860624 MS EVIL RACING +13.512
20 PASCAL Mickael FRA19791011 MOREWOOD UNITEDRIDE +14.502
21 ROPELATO Mitch USA19920303 +15.839
22 SMITH Joseph GBR19900704 CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF +15.893
23 WILLEMSE Rhys AUS19910911 +15.945
24 GEORGES Pierre Charles FRA19860206 TEAM LAC BLANC / SOLID / MASSIF DES VOSGES +15.994
25 BLENKINSOP Samuel NZL19881028 LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL +16.384
26 THOME Patrick FRA19911020 MONDRAKER FACTORY TEAM +16.441
27 FEARON Connor ° AUS19940119 KONA +16.901
28 JACKSON Eliot USA19900619 YETI FOX SHOX FACTORY RACE TEAM +17.380
29 BRAYTON Adam GBR19881019 +17.400
30 FAIRCLOUGH Brendan GBR19880110 MONSTER ENERGY / SPECIALIZED / MAD CATZ +17.489
31 RISCHBIETH Will AUS19891203 +17.779
32 CHARVAT Matej CZE19851126 +18.057
33 BUTTON Joshua AUS19891125 SC – INTENSE +18.307
34 WILLIAMSON Greg GBR19920608 +18.785
35 KERR Bernard GBR19910216 +18.840
36 KLAUSMANN Marcus GER19770808 GHOST FACTORY RACING TEAM +18.914
37 WALLNER Robin SWE19880704 TEAM ARE BIKEPARK POWERED BY W – RACING +19.181
38 LAMB Fergus GBR19860916 +19.612
39 READING Jack GBR19881210 +19.790
40 O’CONNOR Shaun AUS19910713 YETI FOX SHOX FACTORY RACE TEAM +20.015
41 CHOLLEY Geoffrey FRA19920911 +20.027
42 PEKOLL Markus AUT19871013 MS EVIL RACING +20.079
43 CUNNINGHAM Ruaridh GBR19890215 TEAM MAXXIS – ROCKY MOUNTAIN +20.199
44 OULEGO MORENO Ivan ESP19760604 +20.507
45 RUTAR Nejc SLO19890427 UNIOR TOOLS TEAM +20.515
46 PAYET Florent FRA19861121 SC – INTENSE +20.629
47 PEAT Steve GBR19740617 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE +21.356
48 HANNAH Michael AUS19831121 +21.488
49 DI PASQUALE Charly FRA19900704 LABYRINTH SHIMANO RACING TEAM +21.724
50 OLORENSHAW Reuben ° NZL19930426 +22.179
51 OGET Ludovic ° FRA19931112 LABYRINTH SHIMANO RACING TEAM +22.242
52 PEDEMANAUD Fabien FRA19840612 SCOTT 11 +22.530
53 STRASSER Benny GER19890805 +23.045
54 BEER Matthew CAN19860926 +23.164
55 PUJOL Alexis FRA19880611 +24.684
56 MULALLY Neko ° USA19930219 TREK WORLD RACING +25.284
57 RACAUD Arthur FRA19920903 US CAGNES VTT +25.735
58 DERTELL Dennis SWE19900108 +25.958
59 GUTIERREZ VILLEGAS Marcelo COL19900509 CG RACING BRIGADE +26.315
60 MILIVINTI Marco ITA19851202 TORPADO SURFING SHOP +27.814
61 REID Ben IRL19860324 DIRT NORCO RACE TEAM +28.548
62 BURTON Oliver GBR19890712 +28.798
63 BEER Marcel SUI19851227 +30.242
64 TRUMMER David ° AUT19940601 +30.450
65 PARRET Arthur ° FRA19930131 PASSION VELO THIERS STEMTEE +31.445
66 NYLENDE Terje NOR19910806 +35.598
67 HARNSTROM Oscar SWE19900420 +37.998
68 KNAPEC Martin ° SVK19941204 +38.163
69 HEATH Harry GBR19910805 UNIOR TOOLS TEAM +38.466
70 DAVIES Emyr GBR19900315 +38.802
71 MAY Ludovic SUI19890403 +43.007
72 RUFFIN Gaetan FRA19910629 RIDING ADDICTION COMMENCAL +53.083
73 DELFS Mitchell AUS19890725 KONA +1:04.433
74 CONNELL Joe ° GBR19940320 TEAM SUNN MONTGENEVRE +1:27.710
75 MOLLOY Harry GBR19910530 MADISON SARACEN +1:38.795
76 BEER Nick SUI19870917 SCOTT 11 +1:48.204

Men’s Final 2011 UCI World Cup Downhill Rankings:

Rank Name Nation Team Points
1 GWIN Aaron USA TREK WORLD RACING 1558
2 MINNAAR Greg RSA SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE 1093
3 ATHERTON Gee GBR COMMENCAL 1009
4 HART Danny GBR GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM 879
5 SMITH Steve CAN DEVINCI GLOBAL RACING 772
6 MACDONALD Brook NZL MS EVIL RACING 742
7 COLE Cameron NZL LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL 676
8 BROSNAN Troy ° AUS MONSTER ENERGY / SPECIALIZED / MAD CATZ 625
9 LEOV Justin NZL TREK WORLD RACING 621
10 BRYCELAND Josh GBR SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE 616
11 PEAT Steve GBR SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE 582
12 BEAUMONT Marc GBR 560
13 BLENKINSOP Samuel NZL LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL 534
14 BAREL Fabien FRA MONDRAKER FACTORY TEAM 526
15 NEETHLING Andrew RSA GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM 471
16 SCOLES Matthew NZL TEAM CINGOLANI TREK 432
17 SPAGNOLO Damien FRA MONDRAKER FACTORY TEAM 422
18 STROBEL Luke USA MS EVIL RACING 413
19 PASCAL Mickael FRA MOREWOOD UNITEDRIDE 397
20 LEHIKOINEN Matti FIN CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF 395
21 GRACIA Cédric FRA CG RACING BRIGADE 366
22 PEKOLL Markus AUT MS EVIL RACING 366
23 GEORGES Pierre Charles FRA TEAM LAC BLANC / SOLID / MASSIF DES VOSGES 361
24 HANNAH Michael AUS 337
25 CUNNINGHAM Ruaridh GBR TEAM MAXXIS – ROCKY MOUNTAIN 336
26 THIRION Rémi FRA LABYRINTH SHIMANO RACING TEAM 326
27 HILL Samuel AUS MONSTER ENERGY / SPECIALIZED / MAD CATZ 315
28 SMITH Joseph GBR CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF 307
29 FAIRCLOUGH Brendan GBR MONSTER ENERGY / SPECIALIZED / MAD CATZ 303
30 CAMELLINI Julien FRA TEAM SUNN MONTGENEVRE 299
31 PAYET Florent FRA SC – INTENSE 298
32 BRUNI Loic ° FRA LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL 297
33 MULALLY Neko ° USA TREK WORLD RACING 280
34 POLC Filip SVK MS EVIL RACING 275
35 PEDEMANAUD Fabien FRA SCOTT 11 268
36 BUTTON Joshua AUS SC – INTENSE 267
37 CATHRO Ben GBR 264
38 SIMMONDS Matthew GBR CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF 262
39 O’CONNOR Shaun AUS YETI FOX SHOX FACTORY RACE TEAM 261
40 WALLNER Robin SWE TEAM ARE BIKEPARK POWERED BY W – RACING 257
41 REID Ben IRL DIRT NORCO RACE TEAM 256
42 HEATH Harry GBR UNIOR TOOLS TEAM 235
43 DALE Sam GBR TEAM SUNN MONTGENEVRE 233
44 BUCHANAN Lewis ° GBR CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / NUKEPROOF 231
45 RIFFLE Duncan USA GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM 228
46 PAULHAN Romain FRA 226
47 GUTIERREZ VILLEGAS Marcelo COL CG RACING BRIGADE 226
48 BEER Nick SUI SCOTT 11 225
49 COUSINIE Fabien FRA MOREWOOD UNITEDRIDE 222
50 GUARDIA PASCUAL Bernat ESP 218

Women:

Rank Name UCI Code Team Result
1 NICOLE Myriam FRA19900208 RIDING ADDICTION COMMENCAL 3:52.231
2 PUGIN Floriane FRA19890417 SCOTT 11 +00.809
3 ATHERTON Rachel GBR19871206 COMMENCAL +02.174
4 RAGOT Emmeline FRA19860527 TEAM GR +10.624
5 MOSELEY Tracy GBR19790412 TREK WORLD RACING +10.994
6 SIEGENTHALER Emilie SUI19860919 SCOTT 11 +15.253
7 JONNIER Sabrina FRA19810819 TEAM MAXXIS – ROCKY MOUNTAIN +18.905
8 CARPENTER Manon ° GBR19930311 MADISON SARACEN +19.009
9 BERNHARD Petra AUT19801118 ALPINE COMMENCAL AUSTRIA +19.656
10 KINTNER Jill USA19811024 +25.641
11 RUCKNAGEL Harriet GER19881011 +32.154
12 STONE Jessica GBR19900914 +32.414
13 SAX Caroline FRA19881007 DOUBLE DRAGON EL GALLO +34.058
14 GROS Céline FRA19830128 TEAM MORZINE – AVORIAZ / HAUTE – SAVOIE +34.136
15 SUEMASA Mio JPN19830401 +37.242
16 MARCELLINI Alia ITA19910711 TORPADO SURFING SHOP +38.531
17 FOURTON Lea ° FRA19930610 DOUBLE DRAGON EL GALLO +39.410
18 GRIFFITHS Fionn GBR19820827 TEAM GR +43.370
19 DELEST Agnes ° FRA19931112 +46.669

Women’s Final 2011 UCI World Cup Downhill Rankings:

Rank Name Nation Team Points
1 MOSELEY Tracy GBR TREK WORLD RACING 1465
2 PUGIN Floriane FRA SCOTT 11 1390
3 ATHERTON Rachel GBR COMMENCAL 1115
4 NICOLE Myriam FRA RIDING ADDICTION COMMENCAL 929
5 JONNIER Sabrina FRA TEAM MAXXIS – ROCKY MOUNTAIN 889
6 RAGOT Emmeline FRA TEAM GR 705
7 SIEGENTHALER Emilie SUI SCOTT 11 621
8 BERNHARD Petra AUT ALPINE COMMENCAL AUSTRIA 552
9 KINTNER Jill USA 412
10 CARPENTER Manon ° GBR MADISON SARACEN 387
11 GRIFFITHS Fionn GBR TEAM GR 367
12 GROS Céline FRA TEAM MORZINE – AVORIAZ / HAUTE – SAVOIE 327
13 GATTO Micayla CAN 235
14 RUCKNAGEL Harriet GER 224
15 SUEMASA Mio JPN 211
16 RUCHTI Miriam SUI 210
17 STONE Jessica GBR 185
18 HARMONY Jacqueline USA 165
19 MILLER Miranda CAN 105
20 CHARRE Morgane FRA PASSION VELO THIERS STEMTEE 85
21 AGER-WICK Anita NOR 80
22 CERNILOGAR Zarja SLO 45
23 SAX Caroline FRA DOUBLE DRAGON EL GALLO 40
24 DELEST Agnes ° FRA 40
25 LOMBARD Fanny FRA 35
  • Ben Wilde

    I know Blenky has a sore knee but I don’t think that’s grounds for Chris M forgetting about him ;-)

    • Ben Wilde

      as in ” It als completes a very successful World Cup series for the New Zealanders, with MacDonald 6th in the overall standings, Cole 7th, Leov 9th and Scoles 16th.”

      • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

        Oh Ben, good point!

      • Brett

        Blenky gets his due now… cheers Ben