Anton Cooper continues to tick the boxes in his final preparations before an all-important 2019 UCI Mountain Bike international season.
The Trek Factory professional claimed his fourth straight Oceania mountain bike cross-country title in Bright, in the Alpine National Park in Victoria, Australia to match his national title last month in Rotorua.
Cooper will now return home to complete final preparations ahead of the start of his UCI World Cup campaign in Germany next month.
After racing the first of five laps with fellow North Canterbury rider Ben Oliver, Cooper cleared out to win comfortably in 1:43.46. Oliver, who will also head to Europe for the season, was a minute back in second ahead of Australian Cameron Ivory.
“It was good I am really happy. I felt quite good actually, a lot better than at Nationals,” said Cooper. “I had a bit of a cold there, and it was one of the hardest races I have ever done probably. This one just felt fresh from the start and the second lap I felt really good and just able to keep a consistent pace the whole race.
“There is nothing like really hard on the course but there is a lot of sections which could catch you out or you could puncture.
“Right now, I am where I want to be. I haven’t focused specifically on these races [Nationals and Oceanias]. It has been racing where I want to defend my titles and get the maximum points but the big goal is World Cups, which start in five weeks.”
Image : Matt Rousu