Samuel Gaze claimed the men's short track victory on the first day of the Albstadt World Cup ©Getty Images

New Zealand’s Samuel Gaze and Australia’s Rebecca McConnell secured short track victories at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt in Germany.

Gaze recorded a time of 21min 29sec in fending off Jordan Sarrou of France and Nino Schurter of Switzerland to finish top of the podium.

The race came down to the wire as Gaze bided his time during the nine-lap contest before pouncing in the final moments, beating Sarrou and Schurter in a sprint to the line.

Sarrou crossed second and Schurter was third, with all three given the same time.

Germany’s Luca Schwarzbauer - who led after eight laps - missed out on a top-three position by a second while Brazil’s Henrique Avancini completed the top five.

Reigning Olympic cross-country champion Tom Pidcock of Britain was eighth.

McConnell clocked in at 18:56 to claim the women's win, edging Pauline Ferrand-Prévot of France in another neck-and-neck finish after seven laps of the course.

Sweden’s Jenny Rissveds had taken the lead on the final lap, but was eclipsed by both McConnell and Ferrand-Prévot so had to settle for third place.

Swiss duo Alessandra Keller and Jolanda Neff - the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist - finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with just three second separating the top six.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is due to continue tomorrow with men's and women's under-23 cross-country races.