Alison Shanks

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Alison Shanks
Alison Shanks.jpg
Personal information
Born (1982-12-13) 13 December 1982 (age 38)
Dunedin, New Zealand
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight63 kg (139 lb)[1]
Team information
DisciplineTrack & Road
Rider typePursuit/Time-trial
Professional team
2007–2008Jazz Apple Cycling Team[2][3]

Alison Shanks (born 13 December 1982) is a retired New Zealand professional racing cyclist, specialising in individual pursuit in track cycling and individual time trial in road bicycle racing. Prior to that she was an Otago Rebels netballer, the sport she played for more than five years before her cycling career.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 13 December 1982, Shanks graduated from the University of Otago in 2005 with a BCom(Hons) in marketing and a BSc in human nutrition.[4]

Cycling career[edit]

Shanks began cycling in 2005, and soon enjoyed success. After more than five years competing for the Otago Rebels in the National Bank Cup netball, she competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where she finished fourth in the pursuit. She placed eighth in the pursuit during her first appearance at the World Championships in 2006, and improved on this to finish seventh in 2007.[5]

Shanks competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the Individual Pursuit, where she placed 4th overall after being defeated by Lesya Kalytovska of the Ukraine in the bronze medal match. Prior to this, in defeating Sarah Hammer of the United States in her semifinal, she set a new personal best of 3:32.478 minutes.

She began her 2009 season by competing in the 2008–2009 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics in Beijing, she lowered her personal best once more with a time of 3:30.685 to take the gold medal. Shanks also rode the team pursuit with Kaytee Boyd and Lauren Ellis, in a time of 3:28.044, becoming the fastest qualifiers.[6] They went on to take the gold medal in a time of 3:24.421, setting the second fastest time in the world behind the 3:22.425 world record set by Great Britain at Manchester in 2008.[7]

Shanks then continued her great form by winning the 2009 UCI Track Cycling World Championships Individual Pursuit in Pruskow, Poland on 25 March in a time of 3:29.807 beating Wendy Houvenaghel of Great Britain.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Shanks won a gold medal for the Cycling Track 3000m Individual Pursuit Women. She just nudged out Wendy Houvenaghel of Northern Ireland with a time of 3:30.875.[8] She is due to race in the Cycling Road 29 km Individual Time Trial Women on Wednesday 13 October.[9]

In 2012, she finished second at the individual pursuit at the Track Cycling World Cup in London. Then on 8 April 2012 Shanks won Gold in the Individual Pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia with a time of 3:30.199.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the Women's team pursuit for the national team. Shanks retired from professional cycling early in 2014. She has since moved to Cambridge.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Athlete Biography – SHANKS Alison". Beijing Olympics official website. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Jazz Apple Team to return to North America". 31 March 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  3. ^ Atkins, Ben (20 April 2009). "Jazz Apple Team to return to North America". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Ali's Story". Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Alison Shanks". TVNZ. 16 June 2008.
  6. ^ Alistair McMurran (19 January 2009). "Cycling: Campaign starts with World Cup win". Otago Daily Times.
  7. ^ "Team pursuit gold for NZ women". Otago Daily Times. 19 January 2009.
  8. ^ "Alison Shanks powers to gold for NZ". TV3. 8 October 2010. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Alison Shanks". XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Dehli Official Website. 8 October 2010.
  10. ^ Strang, Ben (1 February 2014). "Alison Shanks' individual pursuit comes to end". Retrieved 15 April 2014.

External links[edit]