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New Zealand sets new world championship medal mark

Alison Shanks was happy with her pursuit championship

Alison Shanks was happy with her pursuit championship (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

New Zealand completed their most successful campaign at the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, finishing with three medals. Alison Shanks won gold in the individual pursuit while the women's and men's team pursuit squads earned silver and bronze respectively.

Their medal tally surpassed the two medals won at Japan in 1990 with Karen Holiday and Madonna Harris, at Berlin in 1999 by Sarah Ulmer and Anthony Peden and in Melbourne in 2004 by Ulmer and Greg Henderson.

"Overall I am satisfied with the team performance," said BikeNZ Director, Mark Elliott in a press release. "I am extremely proud of how the female programme performed with two medals from such a young developing team. There's a real culture within this group that is always looking for gains."

Elliott said the aim had been to build on the performances at the Beijing Olympics throughout the team.

"We were looking to make gains and take the step to the next level - both on and off the track. We were looking for consistently high performance and we wanted to take a step forward with our support systems, our recovery protocols, data capture as well as benchmarking against other key programmes. I believe we have achieved that goal."

Newly crowned world champion Alison Shanks has followed in Ulmer's footsteps with victory in the women's individual pursuit while New Zealand scored their first medal in the men's team pursuit that followed on from the bronze medal won at last year's Beijing Olympics.

Elliott said the support team had worked hard on optimizing of marginal gains made in key areas of preparation and recovery.

"The commitment of the coaching and support staff has been nothing short of phenomenal. They set themselves world class best practice which is a key part of our overall performance."

A number of the team are heading directly to North America or Europe to join professional road teams for the northern hemisphere summer.