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Joe Cooper wins Festival of Cycling Classic

Media release 1 December 2007

Subway's Joe Cooper wins Festival of Cycling Harbour Classic

Subway Cycling Team's Joe Cooper has won today's Harbour Classic race in the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling in Christchurch.

The two-day festival began today with the 75km Harbour Classic that covers the hilly terrain of the Lyttelton basin. Cooper, who has been racing with Bike NZ for the under-23 national team in France for the past seven months, took the lead in the second part of the race.

Subway Cyclist Jeremy Yates, one of the favourites in today's race, set the pace early on taking the lead and the first major hill climb of the circut, securing him the King of the Mountain title. Joe Cooper was able to make an attack at Governor's Bay and maintained it throughout the race taking the winners title.

Joe Cooper says, "There was a strong team strategy behind today's race that we stuck to. It was the best team effort that the Subway cyclists have shown. The group really gelled together and helped to secure the win."

"I'm honoured to win the title today. It's an awesome feeling and I'll be on a high for the next few days. I feel the high-level racing I've been doing in France over the past few months was a great stepping stone for this win and the strong team effort helped to secure it in the end."

The Subway Cyclists will now prepare for Sunday's event in the Christchurch Festival of Cycling, the fast-paced criterium around a 1km circuit on Christchurch's popular café area known as The Strip.

Tomorrow's fast-paced criterium is a chance for the sprint specialists to shine with Hayden Godfrey wearing the number one on his back. After finishing third in 2006, Hayden takes the top spot this year in the absence of last year's top place-getters Marc Ryan and Hayden Roulston.

Josh England also has the credentials to win after winning several high-profile criteriums this year including the prestigious North Shore City Criterium.

ENDS

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