9 Apr 2012

Track cyclist Alison Shanks on top of world again

7:12 am on 9 April 2012

New Zealand's Alison Shanks has won the gold medal in the women's 3000m individual pursuit on final night of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

The 2009 world champion who rode a personal best in qualifying in the non-Olympic event, was always in command in her final against old adversary Wendy Houvenaghel from Great Britain.

She led from the second lap, and won with more than two seconds clear of the Northern Irish rider, to seal New Zealand's most successful ever world track cycling championships.

It brought the New Zealand tally to five medals, one more than the four medals won in 2010 and 2011.

That total appeared to be six medals when Matawatu sprinter Simon van Velthooven finished third in the final of the keirin, an Olympic event.

However he was later relegated to sixth place after the officials ruled he had squeezed Great Britain's Jason Kenny and affected the outcome of the race.

New Zealand's other medals comprised bronze to the men's team pursuit, men's team sprint, van Velthooven in the 1000m time trial and Westley Gough in the individual pursuit.

BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott, says the team has given Olympic selectors some challenges before they make their recommendations for nomination to the New Zealand Olympic committee selectors.