Results: XC MTB - 2018 Commonwealth Games

Apr 12, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
Domination. Double. Dearing.
It was a repeat from Cairns last year, and World Cup #1 Stellenbosch for Sam Gaze.

The Commonwealth Games XC races were held in the Nerang National Park, in Queensland, Australia. On the men's side, New Zealand showed up to dominate, with three athletes in the top 5, and on the women's side it was England that collected two out of the three medals up for grabs.


Men

1st. Samuel Gaze (NZL)
2nd. Anton Cooper (NZL)
3rd. Alan Hatherly (RSA)
4th. Ben Oliver (NZL)
5th. Frazer Clacherty (ENG)

Women

1st. Annie Last (ENG)
2nd. Evie Richards (ENG)
3rd. Haley Smith (CAN)
4th. Emily Batty (CAN)
5th. Isla Short (SCO)


Full men's results can be found here, and full women's results can be found here.





A post shared by Anton Cooper (@anton.cooper) on



A post shared by Evie Richards (@eviee_alicee) on




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93 Comments

  • + 45
 Amazing result for New Zealand in the men's field. Such a shame Sam Gaze had to tarnish it by acting like a petulant child. We get it Sam, it must have been hard being in someones shadow for so long... he's half your size but somehow manages to always appear to be the bigger man.
  • - 14
flag jaame (Apr 12, 2018 at 16:23) (Below Threshold)
 What happened to N1N0?
  • + 13
 @jaame: Swiss don't race in the Commonwealth Games
  • - 18
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Apr 12, 2018 at 17:30) (Below Threshold)
 What did Gaze do?? Did he pull down his pants after the race and yell: "f*ck yeah!!!! Suck my dick, Nino!! Suck my dick everyone!! Who's the baddest motherf*cker on the whole planet!?? Who wants to be me!!???"
  • + 4
 I read some news articles about it. Disgraceful behaviour on the part of Gaze.
  • + 7
 Came across him at a local club night few years back where he would have put laps into fastest there riding blind and one footed and he was having a paddy about the timing.left a lingering impression of douche.Anton should have put more distance in.Gaze is in top form but I can't celebrate that.
  • - 2
 @dirtbeard: Anton could never have put more distance in, he never had the legs for it, Gaze finished with plenty left in his legs, that's why trying to run him off the track when he went for the pass was Coopers only option.
  • + 25
 Well Sam Gaze does have Ryan Lochte hair. Perhaps there's a correlation between douchey hair and douchey behavior....
  • + 24
 Gaze was totally in the wrong but kudos to him for at least realizing his mistake and apologizing shortly after.
  • + 21
 Agreed...however I will be rooting for his opponents until i see more evidence that is apology was sincere . Props to Anton Cooper for what i saw of him after the race too. Hectic finish
  • + 2
 What do you mean Gaze was totally in the wrong?
  • + 6
 @Colin707: Awful lack of humility and sportsmanship on the post-ride interview.
  • + 11
 @Colin707: Gave Anton crap about sprinting away while he was in tech support. Never mind they had a bokkie with them who could have easily won the race.

Sam still won the race, instead of being gracious in defeat pretty much tore Anton a new one and accused him of poor sportsmanship.

Sam's young, hopefully he learns from it.

It's not like there's an unwritten rule you have to be best friends with your fellow competitors and countrymen. In New Zealand it's creating a bit of a stir because we like our team mates to be buddies.
  • + 8
 @dubiousdesigns: Cooper should have sprinted away. This isn't road riding- every man for themself. I think what pushed him over the top was Cooper crowding him out, off the double track when Gaze was trying to pass towards the end.
  • + 9
 Reading his instagram post, it looks like he had some choice words for Anton after the finish. Bit of a bummer when people seem to be poor/sore winners. You won. Let go of whatever you think went sideways and be humble in victory.
  • + 8
 @Mwmg15: Yeah. That was interesting to watch, Sam took his hand off the bar for a split second during the pass and it's a bit like the Sagan/Cavendish thing from last year. Glad we didn't have to figure out if he was giving him a shove or keeping his balance because someone went down.

I think making yourself look like a bit of a dick on one of the biggest days of your career is punishment enough. Like I said he's young, who didn't mouth off a bit in their early twenties?

(We'll, the grommies who infest pinkbike probably don't, but that's why they're groms).
  • + 17
 Yes, what Sam said wasn't cool. No, he's not a bad guy because of it. He's 22 and at the top of the sport plus he had just finished a grueling race and was still seeing red. Cut the guy some slack. Props to Anton though for not firing right back. A year older and a year wiser...
  • + 10
 You know, I just went and watched his pass again and that was pretty dicey. Hoping he matures a little after this because I really do like the guy but man... I have to reiterate props to Anton Cooper for not immediately taking a swing at Sam.
  • + 7
 @fullfacemike: I don't think the pass was the issue. Giving Anton the middle finger on live TV however was not so smart.
  • + 4
 @stemcaps-com: Middle fingers aren't dangerous but that pass was.
  • + 3
 @stemcaps-com: it wasn't on TV it was caught by a photographer and published afterwards
  • + 19
 Go Haley and Emily! Great to see Haley on the top 3.
  • + 13
 Fun fact, i came here to know if any french made it...
  • + 4
 That gave me a laugh. Well done.
  • + 10
 Hoping for a Bad Boy Samuel vs Good Guy Nino narrative this year...the limited release documentary will be epic
  • + 8
 So basically Sam got pissy that Anton didn't wait for him when he got a flat. Complain some more why don't ya? Quit acting like Loic, it's just how racing can go.
  • + 4
 Update: checked his apology and am glad he realized he was being a dick head.

Congrats on the win still, just don't let it be This way again mate
  • - 1
 @Artikay13: ever, ever...and I mean f*cking EVER again
  • + 5
 Seem's like XCOs gone full roadie with the hissy fits and lack of sportsmanship.

Does anyone else think that they were all running team strategies?? No way that ENG 1st and 2nd and CAN 3rd and 4th, and NZL 1st, 2nd and 4th just happened with everyone riding as individuals.

I reckon Sam was pretty pissed in the moment because Anton didn't stick to the plan of wearing Hatherly out then having a sprint finish to decide gold (which Anton really had no chance in).
  • + 15
 Gaze is a roadie masquerading as an MTB'er.
  • - 8
flag mbikes1 (Apr 12, 2018 at 16:41) (Below Threshold)
 I'm just relieved Cooper didn't take them both down trying to block the pass, that would have been a sh!t show!!
  • + 5
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: He's a local at our bike park and his normal training rides include all the purpose built DH trails, and he can lay a pretty good table and do a pretty good whip. So ability wise he is a true MTBer....but he probably does need to sort his attitude out a bit.
  • + 3
 They waited for Ben to catch them up on the first full lap, but Ben couldn't hang. 3 Kiwi's vs 1 Saffer may have ended up with the Sth African spat out the back, you never know.. I think, if anything, they worked as a team until the last or second to last lap, and then it's a free for all. Only one person can ever take the gold home. Then again, they may never have even talked about "team" work. If you look at recent results, it was only ever going to be the kiwi's at the front. Of the Commonwealth countries, we're heads and shoulders ahead in the mens division, whereas in the womens division, it is England and Canada leading the way. As nice as Samara is, I don't think when push comes to 34-10, she wouldn't be able to beat Annie Last, Emily Batty et al.
  • + 11
 Gaze's being absolutely flayed here by the mainstream NZ Press at the moment. And quite rightly so in my opinion. He may feel that his apology went some way to making amends, but in reality it's done stuff all. And he's got a hell of a hard road ahead of him to improve his public image. One headline I saw said something to the effect "Worst Ever Display of Sportmanship by a New Zealander". Way to go kid.

He's clearly someone who is immensely driven and talented, but lacks the emotional maturity required by top athletes (I can only imagine how challenging this would be). He's a complete hot head with one hell of a chip on his shoulder. You should have seen him hitting back at people's criticisms on social media regarding his issues with migraines in last year's WC races—completely mad!

I have friends whose sons are racing XC at a national level a few years behind Sam and I worry for them that they see bad attitudes like Sam's as somehow normal. Compare this with the easy-going collegial vibe at grassroots enduro events here in NZ and I know where I'll be trying to focus my boys attention when they get a bit older.
  • - 2
 @DDB1: I dunno, I think its been made pretty clear these last 2 days that unsporting behaviour is fine, but calling it out isn't.
  • + 2
 @DDB1: To be honest I am 50/50 on what went down.
Should have Sam pulled the finger toward Anton ....No.
Should Anton have tried to cut Sam off...No.

But he has been made out to be public enemy No1 in NZ media which I think is a bit unfair. He was the best rider on the day by a long way which is amazing at international level, but yes he has a bit of work to do around how he conducts himself.
  • + 9
 @StackingItSince1991: I think it would be pretty unusual, in the last lap of a Commonwealth Games race, to have expected Cooper to move over to wave Gaze on through. He closed the door, but because Gaze was a team mate didn't close it fully. He was in front and had every right to close that door. Gaze complaining about Cooper not waiting because he had a mechanical strikes me as more than a little ironic. I didn't see Gaze waiting for Nino to get his foot clipped back in before continuing the sprint few weeks ago...
  • + 4
 @DDB1: Not that surprised about the media reaction, in Aus.....well just look at the cricket, but bad sportsmanship from a Kiwi !! I mean pushing the boundaries in rugby maybe but being a bad sport and to your own team mate what's more. Are you sure he isn't from our side of the ditch?

He's suffering to a large extent because of the level of decency of the rest of you !
  • + 1
 @Dallasdownunder: Hah! Very good. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one!!
  • + 5
 Many athletes use a perceived sense of injustice to inspire themselves to work harder, look at certain European footballers.But when the race has finished, it is time to park those emotions and be gracious in defeat and victory.

Why are there so many punctures in XC races? The Olympics were even worse. I can understand the reason for making tyres as light as possible, but they should be at least strong enough to finish a race.
  • + 2
 Its Just Specialzed tyres. Gaze and Shepard CG18 Gaze and Sagen RIO16 and others There are more specialized tyre failers but I cant remember I think Stan maybe pissing in the sealant as payback for the years spent in court vs specialized, who when on to buy stans no tubes
  • + 8
 What did Sam Gaze do that makes him in the wrong?
  • + 2
 What did Gaze do? I read his post this morning but I have no idea what he did
  • + 5
 The final lap just got a little bit aggressive (like any race really), sam got a puncture and then has been pictured pulling the finger at Anton as he attacks. Sam then instantly after winning went to the media calling Anton out for bad sportsmanship. It really just blew up because of the media focusing on the claims rather than reporting on the fact NZ had 3 riders in the top 4 which is a great result
  • + 9
 He had a slow leak and pulled into pits abruptly before last lap. Then he proceeded to Flick off his teammate Anton Cooper for continuing without him.(they were a group of three with Hatherly from south Africa)

Made a questionable pass on Cooper during the last descent...Cooper could have shut the door on him but didn't.

After winning he then complained they didn't wait for him a calling it unsportsmanlike after the race. And said some crap like "good guys always win".
  • + 3
 Slow leak? do these guys not run tubeless? or are they for some reason running tubes?
  • - 4
flag mbikes1 (Apr 12, 2018 at 16:40) (Below Threshold)
 Sam got a puncture, so Anton attacked, then when Gaze somehow caught him he tried to run him off the track in the pass. Doesn't matter though, the better rider won.
  • + 13
 @mbikes1: Let me correct that...the *faster* rider won...
  • - 14
flag mbikes1 (Apr 12, 2018 at 23:04) (Below Threshold)
 @handynzl: nah mate, the better rider won.
  • + 5
 Theres more to racing than pure speed. Sure you can be the fastest out, but if no one respects you, and sponsors no longer want to support you, your racing days will be over pretty quickly
  • - 5
flag mbikes1 (Apr 13, 2018 at 5:53) (Below Threshold)
 @rrsport: I think Gaze will let his results do the talking from now on, Hopefully Cooper doesn't try to knock him off again.
  • + 6
 I haven't seen anything so cold between teammates as when Gaze had finished his photo's with the silver fern flag and sort of threw it at Cooper.
  • + 3
 I saw that - there was no 'sort of' about it. Full on chucked it at him. Apart from this incident is there a history between them??
  • + 6
 @Xmas: Cooper beat Gaze at the last Commonwealth Games. Gaze has been sore about it since then, and still is.
  • + 3
 I wonder what "I'll work on making sure this never happens again" means? Media training like footballers receive or anger management classes maybe? Either way from a country of sports men and women who always come across with absolute class this was pretty poor Samuel! Take a while for him to bring people round no doubt.
  • + 6
 Can we at least got some feels for Alan Hatherley. a great ride by the young South African
  • + 5
 Hilarious. How predictable - an XC catfight meow - yawn
  • + 1
 Saucer of milk for table number 3
  • + 1
 Amazing race, what a beast to be able to puncture on the second to last lap, get a co2 refil, manage a leaking tyre while closing the gap on a break away, pass and take the sprint. He finished looking like he had more left in his legs too.
  • + 1
 Putting nationality's aside,...I like to think of it as ALOT of a*sholes from this "planet" decided that f*cking over ALOT MORE pretty easy going types of many races, greed's and nations etc. would be a great way of making a living, it paid off for a good while, in all sorts of ways, all totally wrong in every sense of the word, but hey,been happening since the dawn of human kind, and I don't see it ending anytime soon, least not till the ants take over, then we're all in a whole new world of shit!
  • + 1
 Sir...put the weed down and come back to PB when you are sober.
  • + 4
 Where in the world can I watch a replay of this or at least some footage of the finish? Can't find anything so far.
  • + 1
 Looks like the crowds went wild!!!
  • + 0
 My balls hurt just looking at this,,,, great job!
  • + 1
 X game??
  • + 0
 What's Commonwealth?
  • + 26
 It's when the British took over a 25% of the world, killed millions of people, stripped the wealth of nations then in return gave them a smaller version of the Olympic Games.
  • + 1
 @KiwiXC: killed millions? Where and when?
  • + 3
 @iamamodel: India, China, North America, Polynesia, Southern and Western Africa, the Middle East, Ireland, Scotland, and probably some guy in Antarctica. Space maybe, too? Millions might be a stretch but not a big one. Imperialism is kind of a hard thing to pin down, since generations of folks lived and died while it was still in "kill all the brown people" mode. Though there were particularly dirt-baggy genocidal maniacs among "the British" who stood out.
  • + 2
 It's the root of the brave new world we now inhabit. Having fun yet?
  • + 2
 @iamamodel: well one example was the british Indian colonial scorched earth and boat denial policy, distortion of the rice market, increased payments to England, and denial that a famine existed or that a response was required in Bengal in 1943. 2.1 million people died there.
  • + 3
 @Pynchonite: you are confused. they weren't alone. it was the dutch, the french, the portugese, the spanish, etc all played a big part in it as well.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: another example, approx. 3.5 million slaves were transported and sold by the Royal African Company and others to the new world, mainly the British Caribbean. About 1 in 7 are estimated to have died.
  • + 6
 So, awesome race, right?
  • + 3
 @KiwiXC: The current commonwealth is approximately 25% of the world but our original empire was far larger. America and China were once under British rule but are not part of the commonwealth. The commonwealth is a diluted version of an old empire where all the member nations have their own independence yet have good trade deals and a silly, olympic like sporting event.
  • + 2
 @Pynchonite: Irish and the poor were also on the Empires 'kill all' list along with said brown folks.
  • + 2
 @iamamodel: Australia to start with.
  • + 1
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: It all depends on who the hegemonic group decides is "brown" at a given time. American comics from the 1950's portray all Russians as being East Asian (you know, in a racist way).

@makripper We'll wait until the WC goes through Spain and such. Today's Britain's day.
  • + 1
 @Pynchonite: yup....there is literally a battle called "the battle of blood river" where the blood of the zulus turned the water red
  • + 2
 @KiwiXC: and then sent out shiploads of people to inhabit the lands of the new empire, but are now upset because the ancestors of these people would like to return to the homeland.
  • + 2
 ooops..i retract my comment on the battle of blood river..seems my history is a bit hazy..that was the boers and not the british. i would delete it if i could!
  • + 5
 I always sn*gger when I hear white people from Commonwealth countries talk about all the negative things "the British" did in colonial times, as if I am somehow responsible for it, whereas their white ancestors from the British isles were not responsible, despite my family having resided in the UK since before the time of the Vikings, and their ancestors actually went overseas to take advantage of what the empire offered. If you are of British descent, and you live in a Commonwealth country, it is your ancestors, not mine, who raped and pillaged the world. If that is indeed what happened. I'm sure that the current trend for bashing colonialism will be over in a hundred years or so, and people will be able to look back and comment objectively.
  • + 0
 @jaame: Relax, no one attacks the current British for what happened back then. Heck, I'm born in The Netherlands and it still baffles me how the country still doesn't take full responsibility for the horrible mess they made during the independence war of Indonesia, after the second world war. More than a few Western European countries made a mess on other continents. By no means just the Brits. To blame the Vikings for something though... I'll probably travel through Italy this summer and I'll rub it in their face "Hey that emperor of yours the other day. What was his name again? Caesar! Damn, violent chap that was...".
  • + 0
 @vinay: I dunno, a lot of British think they are still back then, and they're ruining it for the rest of their compatriots right now. For some, the days when Britannia could take out pretty much anyone it wanted are something of a golden era... But it's silly to generalize about whole populations, even if it's convenient for the sake of an argument. France f*cked up North Africa good and proper and that was quite recent. What you reap is what you sow.
  • - 2
 @djm35: nope. During peak was 24% and it wasn't China. Just hong Kong. The British empire wasn't anything special. compared to the ottoman, Roman, etc.

You guys have taken a beating for thousands of years. Even the rag rag scandanavians layed into you.

Maybe close to on par with the Dutch empire.....
  • + 1
 @BenPea: yeah thanks Napoleon! But on the other hand, alot of good care of the French revolution!
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