Video: Epic row between Kiwi cyclists after gold medal sprint

Posted on: April 13th, 2018

One of the Kiwis gave the other the middle finger mid race, above, and that was on the start of it. The row overshadows their gold and silver medals.


Sam Gaze and Anton Cooper took the silver gold medals in the MTB race at the Commonwealth Games.

But a row blew up during the race, which continued afterwards.

Cooper was the defending champion but Gaze is the rising star of the sport, and U23 world champion.

Going onto the last lap of seven, Cooper and Gaze were at the head of the race with South African Alan Hatherly.

But Gaze would suffer a mechanical and needed to stop. And when Cooper kept going – with Hatherly – Gaze gave him the middle finger.

He then got his bike fixed and chased down the leading pair to win the race in a two-up sprint with Cooper.

But even after the finish, and on the podium, Gaze wouldn’t move on despite the fact he won.

He refused to embrace Cooper and looked devastated, almost depressed, on the podium despite receiving the gold medal.

To his credit, when  he had calmed down – and when wiser heads had a word in his ear – he took to social media and the TV airwaves to apologise for his actions.

But that didn’t stop him doing a very awkward interview with New Zealand TV, below.

It was recorded after he had apologised privately to Cooper and in public for his behaviour generally.

Continue reading below videos…


On social media Sam Gaze said he could not defend his actions and was apologetic.

“I’m a competitive guy and when I had that issue with my bike I thought my dream was ove,” he wrote. “I reacted badly and want to apologise for my words and my actions.

“I am really embarrassed for how I acted and how the impact of how special of a day it was for New Zealand Cycling was tainted by my actions.

“I respect Anton and his ability to race hard and fast and I regret the way that I spoke right after the race.

“He is an incredible rider and together we put on a really exciting race today. I was proud that we could finish one-two again like we did in Glasgow and am grateful for the talent we are growing in New Zealand.

“I have caught up with Anton and apologised personally. But I wanted to let the New Zealand team here on the Gold Coast and the New Zealand public know that I acted in the heat of the moment.

“And I will work on making sure this type of action doesn’t happen again. Thanks for everyone’s support.

“I am sorry that my actions have affected the public’s view of how really special these Games have been.”

For his part, Cooper said mechanicals are part of cycling. He added that had be stopped for Gaze their South African rival would probably have won the gold medal.

“His tyre looked fine, I heard he had a flat or something. So I thought I’m not going to stop and ask questions and see why,” he said.

“I was focusing on getting rid of the South African at that point.”