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Cooper ends mountain bike season early

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016

Commonwealth Games mountain bike champion Anton Cooper is pulling the plug on a forgettable year.

Six weeks after missing Olympic cross country selection, Cooper is withdrawing from the World Cup series and other international events to undergo surgery to address breathing problems.

The Commonwealth Games champion has been plagued this year by chronic fatigue symptoms and breathing difficulties, which was recently diagnosed as being caused by swollen adenoids.

Cooper, 21, has decided surgery in New Zealand is the best long-term pathway rather than contest the rest of the World Cup season.

"While I held onto the hope that things would come right for the remaining rounds in Canada and Andorra, things haven't progressed anywhere near as fast as required to be in a raceable condition at either of those races," he wrote on his Facebook page.

The German-based Cannondale Factory Racing professional missed out on New Zealand's lone spot for the Rio Olympics to the in-form Sam Gaze.

A former under-23 world champion, Cooper is already setting his sights on 2017.

"I truly believe in my potential as an elite World Cup racer. I'll be back and hopefully in a big way."

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