Accuracy and Anton Cooper

How did you get into Mountain Biking?
I got into riding after getting into lots of other sports. I played tennis and soccer when I was younger and did a lot of cross-country too. My Dad used to run and ride as well. What I love the most about riding is the competitiveness – I love winning.
How does mental endurance play a part in Mountain Biking?
Mental endurance is a big part of mountain biking. It’s a long race. Each race is roughly 1:15 to 1:25 long. You have to be able to maintain that intensity over a long period of time. Maintaining that intensity is something that comes quite naturally to me as I’m blessed with a strong competitive nature. However, practise is a huge part of it as well. You have to spend a lot of hours on the bike.
What about physical endurance?
In terms of working on your physical endurance it all comes down to work on the bike. Gym work and the such can help, but ultimately you need to speed as many hours riding as you can.
How do you reach success?
I feel that a lot of my success just comes down to wanting it more than the person next to me. You have to have that hunger and that want. Every part of you has to want it. You have to have a really strong will to succeed. When I’m in the toughest part of a race, I always remind myself that everyone else is hurting just as much as I am. When things are really tough, I also remind myself of the amount of hours I’ve spent training and that he needs to give everything to make that all worth it. Keeping calm is also important and having good mental composure.
How does it feel knowing you are an inspiration to New Zealanders?
I am definitely aware of the impact I have as an inspiration for other New Zealanders. Lots of kids look up to me, which is special as I used to look up to other riders as well. I love competing for my country, there is a pride that comes with that. Mountain biking isn’t a job it’s a life.
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