Cooper, Maxwell lead kiwi cross-country sweep at Oceania MTB Championships

Mountain Bike
BPM 2024 54738 v2

New Zealand riders dominated the UCI Oceania MTB Championships cross-country in Queensland.

Kiwi riders won both female and male titles in elite, under-23 men, and under-19 men and women races to record an outstanding sweep for the visitors at the Mt Cotton course, south of Brisbane.

Trek Factory professional Anton Cooper claimed the men’s race to record his eighth straight elite men’s Oceania title while Samara Maxwell stamped her class on the elite women’s field in her first year at the top level.

Cooper, the world no 15 ranked rider, produced a dominant display, going to the front from the gun, to open a narrow lead by the end of the first lap. He extended on each of the seven laps, going on to win in 1:22.33, nearly three minutes back to Australian runner-up Sam Fox with Rotorua’s Caleb Bottcher third in his best international result.

"Eight on the bounce - I don't know if I ever expected to get to that point. I am starting to think about doing 10. It was an awesome day,” said Cooper.

"Racing here last year was a real challenge. I certainly wasn't on my best form after glandular fever and I felt quite lucky to win the race, but this year the form was good. I'm really happy with how I felt today and happy with how I was riding and look forward to the World Cups.

"The course was really good for me, with some steep punchy climbs and suits me pretty well."

Under-23 world champion Samara Maxwell stamped her class on the women’s field to claim her first elite title, winning in 1:21.88.

Maxwell, who will ride for the Decathlon Ford pro team on her first year on the elite world circuit this year, has already jumped to no. 15 on the elite world rankings.

She showed her climbing prowess on the short, steep climbs to open a 13-second lead on the opening lap of six, before powering clear of the field that included Australia’s world no 10 ranked Rebecca Henderson, winning in 1:21.47.

The Wellington-based Taupo rider finished 5m37s ahead of Australian Zoe Cuthbert with a further minute back to Henderson in third.

"It is unreal. This is my first ever elite win in the Oceanias and against an incredible field. Racing Zoe and Bec is never easy, so it meant a lot to know I've got some good form,” said Maxwell.

Like Cooper, Maxwell found favour with the Mt Cotton test.

"The course was good. The climbs are steep so it suited me quite well and I like the road sections where you can put the power down and with the descents, it was just recovered and don't crash.”

The strong kiwi showing did not stop with Cooper and Maxwell, with kiwi riders also winning the under-23 and under-19 races.

Christchurch’s national champion Ethan Rose added the men’s under23 title to his resume after leading from the start, to finish 1m49s clear of Australian Joel Dodds in 1:11.49. Rose will also step-up to the World Cup circuit this year, signed for the Trek Future team.

Hamilton’s Fletcher Adams won the Under-19 male title with brother Hunter Adams third, while Wellington’s Millie Donald won the Under-19 female contest to round out a superb day for kiwi cross-country riders.

Results, UCI Oceania Championships, Male, elite: Anton Cooper (NZL, Trek Factory) 1h22m33s, 1; Sam Fox (AUS) at 2m55s, 2; Caleb Bottcher (NZL) at 5m15s, 3.

Under-23: Ethan Rose (NZL, Trek Future) 1h11m49s, 1; Joel Dodds (AUS) at 1m49s, 2; Jack Ward (AUS) at 4:35.07, 32. Also NZers: Coen Nicol at 5:08, 4.

Junior (U19): Fletcher Adams (NZL) 1h04m15s, 1; Harry Dodds (AUS) at 45s, 2; Hunter Adams (NZL) at 1:02.28, 3. Also NZers: Nate Beard at 7:46,9; Lachlan McKnight at 15:17, 13.

Female, elite: Samara Maxwell (NZL, Decathlon Ford) 1:21.47, 1; Zoe Cuthbert (AUS) at 5:37, 2; Rebecca Henderson (AUS) at 6:39, 3.

Under-19: Millie Donald (NZL) 1:04.13, 1; Amelie Burrell (AUS) at 37s, 2; Caitlyn Brazier (AUS) at 50s, 3.

Back to news