Cyclist wins first gold medal for NZ

6:06 am on 9 October 2010

New Zealand cyclist Alison Shanks has broken New Zealand's gold medal drought at the Commonwealth Games, storming to victory in the women's individual pursuit in Delhi.

The Dunedin rider beat Northern Ireland's Wendy Houvenaghel in the gold medal ride, falling just short of the Games record in 3 minutes 30.875 seconds at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex on Friday.

New Zealand's Jamie Nielsen lost the battle for bronze to Canadian Tara Whitten.

Shanks is the 2009 world champion and her gold makes up for several recent disappointments after she finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.

The men's cycling team of Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell claimed silver in the team sprint final narrowly losing to arch-rivals Australia.