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Gaze wins first mountain bike World Cup

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/04/2016

Cambridge professional Sam Gaze has won the under-23 cross country title at the mountain bike World Cup in Cairns.

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist held off the French pair of Romain Seigle and Titouan Carod in a sprint finish after the trio rode together once they broke clear on the second of five laps.

"A lot has gone into this. I've been hard in training since mid-November for this. So to pull one together and finally win a World Cup under-23 means a lot to me," 20-year-old Gaze said.

"There was a lot of cat and mouse - I knew my kick was one of my strengths, so I was prepared to wait.

"I got to the front into the last corner to line everything up and from there I just let it rip."

In the elite men's race, Glasgow gold medallist Anton Cooper, making his senior debut despite illness, drifted back to finish well down the field.

It was a real disappointment for Cooper, who fell ill mid-week but wanted to race.

He made a fast start to jump from 30th to 16th but within two laps had drifted well back in the field and ultimately finished one lap down.

The World Cup action moves to Europe with cross-country in back-to-back races in Germany and France next month.

The third round of the downhill competition is set for Fort William in Scotland in early June.

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