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Cooper holds on to win NZ Cycle Classic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/01/2017

Joseph Cooper becomes the third Kiwi winner in the last four editions of the New Zealand Cycle Classic after coasting through the final day in the Wairarapa.

Wellington professional Cooper retained his 36-second lead on the field after his Australian Isowhey Sports Wellness team ensured there were no significant breaks made on the flat 120km final stage.

New Zealanders held down the top three positions on an unchanged general classification, with Logan Griffin just holding out third-placed James Oram.

A bunch sprint was won by Kiwi Alex Frame, who was the only rider to win two stages. The JLT Condor rider also unleashed his finishing power in a three sprint.

Isowhey Sports won the team honours while Oram was crowned King of the Mountain.

Cooper's triumph in the 30th edition of the tour comes two weeks after claiming the national road title.

He and the 90-strong field endured tough conditions through three of the five stages, making the Thursday finale a relaxed experienced.

"Today was more about having a little more control over the bunch. The hard work had already been done so we just had to ride the distance," he said.

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