Cooper chases eight straight at Oceania MTB Championships

Mountain Bike
BPM 2024 56420 v2

National champion Anton Cooper leads a 21-strong New Zealand contingent across the Tasman for the 2024 UCI Oceania MTB cross-country championships in Queensland.

The event carries continental ranking points, as elite kiwi riders chase qualification for the Paris Olympics, with New Zealand in a close battle to qualify two male riders for cross-country, along with a qualifying slot for females.

Cooper looks to continue his remarkable record, chasing an eighth straight elite men’s Oceania crown which will return to last year’s venue at Mt Cotton, 45km south of Brisbane.

The Trek Factory rider is joined by Manawatu’s Caleb Bottcher among the New Zealand riders in the elite men’s contest, that includes five-time winner Dan McConnell and last year’s leading Australian, Cameron Ivory.

Canberra’s world No 10 ranked Rebecca Henderson will defend her elite women’s crown, up against under-23 world champion and recent New Zealand Elite winner, Samara Maxwell. The young Decathlon Ford pro rider was runner-up and Tasmanian-based Jess Manchester third to the Australian on the same course last year.

Trek Future pro rider Ethan Rose (Christchurch) will defend his under-23 men’s title, with fellow Canterbury rider Amelie Mackay, joined by clubmate Maria Laurie, hoping to improve on last year’s third placing.

The Mt Cotton track is a mix of fast and flowing sections with six short but steep climbs per lap and some old-fashioned hand-cut trails and some new raw trail lines that will add a more technical element.

Racing on Saturday for female U15 and U17 along with Masters is from 4am (NZ time), and U15 and U17 and Masters males from 6am. Female U-19, U23 and elite is from 8.30am and males from 11am.

The provisional list of New Zealand riders competing is:

Females, elite: Mary Gray (Christchurch), Jess Manchester (Launceston), Samara Maxwell (Wellington), Mary-Ann Moller (Wellington).

Under-23: Maria Laurie (Christchurch), Amelie Mackay (Christchurch).

Under-19: Alexandra Clark (Rotorua), Millie Donald (Wellington).

Under-17: Millie Junge (Canterbury).

Under-15: Harlow Adams (Hamilton).

Males, elite: Caleb Bottcher (Manawatu), Anton Cooper (Christchurch).

Under-23: Coen Nicol (Taupo), Corban Nicol (Taupo), Ethan Rose (Christchurch).

Under-19: Eddie Adams (Central Otago Wakatipu), Fletcher Adams (Hamilton), Hunter Adams (Hamilton), Nate Beard (Wellington), Lachlan McKnight (Hamilton).

Under-17: James Climo (Hamilton), Tommy Mollison, (Rotorua).

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