26 Mar 2009

Shanks powers to world cycling gold

3:14 pm on 26 March 2009

Alison Shanks rode a brilliant race to take the gold medal in the individual pursuit at the World Track Cycling Championships in Poland.

Shanks qualified second for the final, more than a second and a half slower than Britain's Wendy Houvenaghel, the silver medalist at last year's Olympics in Beijing.

The Dunedin rider, who was fourth in Beijing, was more than a second down after a third of the 3000m final.

But she took the lead after 2,000m and powered home to record a personal best time of 3 minutes 29.8 seconds, nearly two seconds ahead of Houvenaghel. Vilija Sereikaite of Lithuania claimed the bronze medal.

It is New Zealand's first world cycling title since both Sarah Ulmer and Greg Henderson won golds in 2004.