Cooper And Sheppard Win Oceania Mtb Titles

Postby Rik on Mon 12th Feb 8:54am

Top-ranked Kiwi mountain bikers Anton Cooper and Samara Sheppard storm clear to win Oceania cross country titles in Dunedin.

Anton Cooper and Samara Sheppard have defended their cross-country titles in style at the Oceania mountain biking championships in Dunedin.

World No.7 ranked Cooper made his move when New Zealand compatriot Sam Gaze stopped to adjust his seat midway through the race at the Signal Hill course.

The Commonwealth Games champion pushed on to a dominant victory in one hour 21 minutes 54 seconds, to finish two minutes ahead of under-23 world champion Gaze, who had to stop for a second time to fix his mechanical issue.

'It is a big one for me. It is a big wad of points for me and the Continental title is always something special," Cooper said.

"It was a really tough course. As the laps wore on it got tougher and the extended effort crept up on me. But I really enjoyed it."

Australian-based Kiwi Sheppard trailed Australian champion Rebecca McConnell on the first of five laps before taking command on the gruelling climb on the second lap.

From that point she was in a class of her own, winning by three and a half minutes in 1hr 24min 28sec to see off Australian Holly Harris and former New Zealand champion Kate Fluker.

Cooper and Sheppard both have their sights on victory at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.a ... in%2Cnarts
Rik
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