Samara Maxwell and Anton Cooper claim 2024 Oceania Mountain Bike titles

New Zealand dominated the elite races at the 2024 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Brisbane. 2023 Under 23 World Champion Samara Maxwell was dominant taking out the women’s race in her first year elite. There was no denying Anton Cooper an eighth consecutive Oceania title in a row as he raced ahead on the opening lap and never looked back.

In the elite women’s race, Maxwell opened a 13 second lead on the opening lap and steadily built her advantage each lap to seal a dominant victory by over five and a half minutes on silver medallist Zoe Cuthbert (Australia) and found-time defending champion Rebecca Henderson (Australia).

“It is unreal. This is my first ever elite win for Oceanias and against an incredible field,” said Maxwell. “Racing Zoe and Bec is never easy so it meant a lot to know I’ve got some good form.

“The body is in good form at the moment, but I am aware it is a big step up and it is going to be a long season, so that is something I have taken in to consideration.

“The course was good actually. It was really dry which made it hard in the corners but its a good course for me,” she added.

“The climbs are really steep so it suited me quite well and I like the road sections where you can put the power down and descents wise it was just recover and don’t crash.

With New Zealand and Oceania titles to her name she now looks ahead to what is a big year of cycling.

“Obviously we have some epic events this year with the Olympics, so hopefully selected for that and go to Paris and live a dream and then have World Champs and World Cups.

Cooper started strongly setting a rapid pace on the opening lap with only Sam Fox (Australia) able to keep up with his pace on the opening lap. Showing why he is now an eight time national champion, Cooper upped the pace and rode off on his own building a near three minute advantage over the next six laps to convincingly claim gold. Fox claimed silver with Caleb Bottcher (New Zealand) completing the podium.

“It’s cool. Eight on the bounce I don’t know if I ever expected to get to that point. “Starting to try and think about doing 10. It was an awesome day,” said an elated Cooper.

“It was an awesome day. Racing here last year was a real challenge. I certainly wasn’t on my best form after glandular fever and I felt quite lucky to win the race, but this year the form was good, I was able to have a good clean race and kind of get away on the first main lap and just extend the lead from there.

“I’m really happy with how I felt today and happy with how I was riding and look forward to the World Cups.

“The course was really good for me, its like that punchy sort of grity course, got some steep punchy climbs and suits me pretty well.”

In the under 23 categories Ethan Rose (New Zealand) stormed to gold ahead of Joel Dodds (Australia) and Jack Ward.

Gold in the under 23 women’s category went to Australia’s Isabella Flint, who claimed the only gold for Australia with a commanding ride, narrowly missing the elite podium. New Zealand duo Maria Laurie and Amelie Mackay completed the podium.

Millie Donald (New Zealand) claimed the under 19 women’s title ahead of Amelie Burrell (Australia) and Caitlyn Brazier (Australia). In the under 19 men’s it was New Zealand’s Fletcher Adams with the title ahead of Harry Doye (Australia) and Hunter Adams (New Zealand).

In the inaugural edition of the Pacific Cup for Mountain Bike it was a golden day for Tahiti. Teva Poulan who claimed the men’s title ahead of teammate Kahiri Endeler with Guam’s Edward Oingerang completing the podium. Clemence Dede took gold in the women’s race ahead of Samoan sister’s Patrica Brooks and Maria Brooks.

Elite Men
Gold: Anton Cooper (New Zealand)
Silver: Sam Fox (Australia)
Bronze: Caleb Bottcher (New Zealand)

Elite Women
Gold: Samara Maxwell (New Zealand)
Silver: Zoe Cuthbert (Australia)
Bronze: Rebecca Henderson (Australia)

Under 23 Men
Gold: Ethan Rose (New Zealand)
Silver: Joel Dodds (Australia)
Bronze: Jack Ward (Australia)

Under 23 Women
Gold: Isabella Flint (Australia)
Silver: Maria Laurie (New Zealand)
Bronze: Amelie Mackay (New Zealand)

Under 19 Men
Gold: Fletcher Adams (New Zealand)
Silver: Harry Doye (Australia)
Bronze: Hunter Adams (New Zealand)

Under 19 Women
Gold: Millie Donald (New Zealand)
Silver: Amelia Burrell (Australia)
Bronze: Caitlyn Brazier (Australia)

Pacific Cup Men
Gold: Teva Poulain (Tahiti)
Silver: Kahiri Endeler (Tahiti)
Bronze: Edward Oingerang (Guam)

Pacific Cup Women
Gold: Clemence Dede (Tahiti)
Silver: Patricia Brooks (Samoa)
Bronze: Maria Brooks (Samoa)