Cooper will be staying up at Cardrona for most of March, training at altitude for Nationals, Oceanias and the first three World Cup races which are selection events for the Rio Olympics later this year. He believes the month on the mountain will help give him an edge over his competitors in the hour and a half long races.
“It’s the altitude and the variety of tracks up here. There are other places to train at altitude, but the nature of Cardrona as a bike park makes it the perfect place to train – it doesn’t get any better anwhere else in New Zealand,” says Cooper.
Cooper joins Winter Olympic hopefuls like skier Jossi Wells and snowboarder Christy Prior who spend the majority of their respective Southern Hemisphere seasons training at Cardrona. Both Wells and Prior placed third in their events at the recent Pyeongchang Olympics test event.
“We’re stoked to have Anton training up at Cardrona this month,” says Cardrona’s General Manager Bridget Legnavsky. “Cardrona is committed to becoming a year-round resort, so having top athletes from both summer and winter sports training for the Olympics up here is very exciting.”
The 2016 Altherm Mountain Bike National Championships take place on the 19th and 20th of March, with registration, course inspection and practice from the 17th and 18th. The Cross Country championships will take place on the 19th, followed by the Downhill Championships on the 20th. All UCI division riders will need to pre-register online for the event, while non-UCI riders have the option to sign up on registration day.
Spectator chairlift passes will be available for competition weekend for one ride up McDougall’s Quad and track-side access for $10. The Downhill Championships course finishes at the bottom of Valley View Quad for any spectators wishing to see the end of the race.
Cardrona are also offering deals on accommodation and lift passes for the Championships, with the three night special including three free day lift passes. For more information visit http://www.cardrona.com/cardrona-bike-park/2016-downhill-xc-nationals/
For more information on the Altherm Mountain Bike National Championships, please visit http://www.mtbnationals.co.nz/or facebook.com/MTBNewZealand/