In a world class performance today Anton Cooper won his first World Cup race of the year in stunning fashion, putting four and half minutes into the reigning Junior World Champion, and taking the first World Cup XC victory for his new team. The young rider from Christchurch, New Zealand attacked decisively on the second climb of the first lap, putting 15 seconds into Frenchman Victor Koretzky and continued to stretch his lead over the four-lap race.
Lapping around 1 minute a lap quicker than his nearest opponents, it was clear that Anton had brought his main game to the race in South Africa after a great summer of racing in New Zealand. His lap times, considering the course was still wet from the overnight run (so much so that some of the shorter and more technical sections of the course were closed off), were fast enough to draw comparison to the Elite Men’s field from yesterday.
Anton has now won every World Cup he has entered, and today scored Trek World Racing's first ever XC World Cup victory.
Anton said: "The race went really well for me as I had such fresh legs so it was fun to race today. Honestly, I could have gone for another lap I enjoyed it so much! I'm really happy to be on a team that has great support and has made me feel so welcome, as well as having amazing equipment sponsors. It's been my dream. There are some other big races coming up this year so I'm really looking forward to them."
Team Owner Martin Whiteley said: "Watching Anton race is very special, and we couldn't be prouder of what he did today, that is a big milestone for the program. Anton has slotted into the team brilliantly and we're all excited about what the future holds for him."
Tomorrow Anton heads home to continue his schooling and some local racing before joining the team once again for the Mont-Sainte-Anne and Windham rounds of the World Cup.
Team website: http://xc.trekworldracing.com/
Follow Anton on Twitter here.