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Gold ride off for Alison Shanks at 2012 Track Worlds
Apr 8th, 12. Alison Shanks rode a personal best time in the individual pursuit to take the No.1 spot in the gold medal ride off in the final session of the UCI World Track Champs.
The 29 year old Kiwi has the chance to regain the World Individual Pursuit Title she won in 2009 when she faces 37 year old Great Britain's Wendy Houvenaghel in the gold medal final tonight.
Shanks executed a quality ride to qualify fastest in a new personal best time of 3.27.26 - 0.5 seconds faster than Houvenaghel.
"It was a great ride this afternoon. There were some fast times early on, and being the last ride she had to deliver and produce a PB, and she did," coach Dayle Cheatley told RoadCycling.co.nz
"She rode what we knew she had to do to make the final ride. I think there is more in the tank for tonight."
Cheatley says Shanks will need to eclipse her personal best time tonight in order to win. She is the first Kiwi to make a gold medal final these championships.
Shanks has the mental edge heading into the final, having beaten Houvenaghel to Commonwealth Gold in 2010 and in their most recent ride off, the Cali World Cup in December where Shanks took gold by 4sec.
"She's definitely focused, she really wants this. Ali is a great IP rider, and she knows how to turn it on and be really competitive on the day."
It's a quick turn-around between rides, with the gold medal ride the second race of the evening following the bronze ride-off scheduled for 7pm Melbourne time, 9pm New Zealand time.
"It's only a short time between drinks. Ali will go home now, probably have a shower, relax a bit before coming back down to the track. She will only be home about half an hour before having to head back down to the track."
Fellow Team Pursuit member Jaime Nielsen rode a new personal best time of 3.35.286 to finish 10th, with National Road Time Trial Champion Lauren Ellis recording 3.37.925, 12th.
Australia is guaranteed the bronze medal with Amy Cure riding against Ashlee Ankudinoff. Cure rode an incredible 7sec personal best to make the final!
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