Posted by Editoress on 06/28/12
Anton Cooper (New Zealand) rode away from the Junior Men’s field in the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup, finishing the race in one hour and nine minutes, over six minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Canadian Marc-Antoine Nadon. Keegan Swenson (USA) was the third-fastest finisher.
“I’m feeling really good at the moment, really strong,” said Cooper. “I knew I had a win in me. So I just had to go out there and put in a solid performance and I did that so I’m pretty happy.”
The New Zealand rider said that his goal this year is to win the World Championships title that eluded him last year before moving on to the U23 ranks next year.
“That’s my big target. So hopefully I can continue the form through to it. I want that title and I want that jersey.”
Nadon, the newly crowned Canadian Champion, will also be moving on to the U23 ranks next year. He said that he was expecting a top five finish today, and surprised himself by being able to stand on the World Cup podium for the first time.
“It’s really amazing for it to be on home soil. I’m really proud. It was a really good race,” he said. “My legs just felt amazing today. My coach, Kyle Douglas, and I just nailed it this year.”
Nadon said he went really hard off the start since he knew that the Beatrice rock garden would be hard to navigate from behind. He went through the technical descent in third place and was able to take the downhill safely and avoid getting caught behind any slower riders. During the second lap, Nadon attacked Keegan at the bottom of the Marmotte zig-zag climb and stayed ahead of him for the rest of the race.
“I just gave it from there and never looked back. But I could sense that he was gaining on me and that just made me push even harder. I wasn’t going to settle for third.”
First-year Junior rider, Peter Disera, was also surprised with how well he performed in his first-ever World Cup. He was the second Canadian finisher of the day in sixth place.
“I came into it not really expecting anything. I just didn’t want to get pulled,” he said.
Disera said that there was always someone he could see in front of him and so on the switchbacks he would pedal hard to catch up. Then he would gain time on them on the slippery Germaine downhill.
“There were a couple really, really scary sections but it was good,” he said.
The other Canadians in the race were Alexandre Vialle who finished 12th, Vincent Belhumeur (15th), Julien Gagné (18th), Jean-Daniel Boily (19th), Pierre-Olivier Veillette (21st), Elliot Galbraith (22nd), Merlin Dallaire (26th) and Charles Dubeau (DNF-flat).
Report by Sarah Moore