In the end Cooper emptied the tank with another push near the end to win the gold as McConnell faltered allowing Gaze overtake him for the silver while Plaxton crossed the line 23s later in 4th. Raphael Gagne made the top 10 finishing 7th.
Early on in the 7-lap race which included an 800m start loop it was Gaze and Cooper mixing it up as Plaxton joined them and three gapped the field until McConnell was able to bridge to them on lap three as the chasers were at 20s.
The four-strong break worked well together with Plaxton taking the lead for a time as well as McConnell as they kept the Kiwis in temporary check. Along the way Plaxton’s back began to give him trouble and he fell back on the penultimate lap but rejoined the leaders for the seventh and final lap.
Suddenly McConnell took the lead and Plaxton out-manoevred the Kiwis on the Double Dare section taking the inside line and it like the two Kiwis were in trouble. But Cooper went to work and regained the lead picking up the pace as he and Gaze sandwiched McConnell while Plaxton started to fade up the next climb.
It soon became a 3-horse race with Cooper looking strong and ready to fend off all challengers while McConnell seemed to be biding his time for the right moment that never came. Cooper put in strong surge near the end that McConnell could not answer taking a well deserved win while Gaze passed his Aussie rival in the final section to take the silver for New Zealand.
1. Anton Cooper (Nzl) 1:38:26
2. Samuel Gaze (Nzl) 0:03
3. Daniel McConnell (Aus) 0:10
4. Max Plaxton (Can) 0:23
5. Grant Ferguson (Sco) 3:09
6. Liam Killeen (Eng) 3:31
7. Raphael Gagne (Can) 4:37
8. Cameron Ivory (Aus) 4:54
9. Paul Oldham (Eng) 5:03
10. Kenta Gallagher (Sco) 5:19
11. Gareth Montgomerie (Sco) 8:02
12. Andy Blair (Aus) 9:50
13. Philip Buys (Rsa) 10:08
14. James Roe (Ggy) 12:20
15. Yannick Lincoln (Mri) 12:57
16. Marios Athanasiadis (Cyp) 14:16
17. Elliot Baxter (Iom) 14:40
18. Heiko Redecker (Nam) 15:18
19. Rhys Hidrio (Jey) – Lap
20. Christos Loizou (Cyp) – Lap
21. Phetetso Monese (Les) – Lap
22. Richard Tanguy (Jey) – Lap
23. James Patterson (Jey) – Lap
24. Samson Gichuru (Ken) – Lap
25. Michael Serafin (Ggy) – Lap
26. Roger Aiken (Nir) – Lap
27. Sebastien Tyack (Mri) – Lap
28. Teboho Khantsi (Les) – Lap
29. Anthony Muite (Ken) – Lap
30. Robert Barnes (Jam) – Lap
31. William Kelly (Swz) – Lap
32. Benard Kabiro (Ken) – Lap
33. Moshoeshoe Khumalo (Swz) – Lap
DNS Mataya Tsoyo (Maw)
DNS Missi Thomas Kathumba (Maw)