Kiwi Commonwealth Games mountain-biking gold-medallist Sam Gaze has lashed out at compatriot and silver-medallist Anton Cooper for what he perceived as poor sportsmanship in Thursday's race.
Gaze beat Cooper by a whisker in the Gold Coast's Nerang State Forest, recovering from a late-race tyre puncture to storm home.
Cooper appeared certain to nab back-to-back Games golds when he broke away from Gaze and South African Alan Hatherly with a little over a lap left, almost immediately after Gaze's tyre issue.
Gaze - who nevertheless reeled him in and overtook him down the blind side of a drag - was livid with his compatriot post-race.
He took issue with Cooper's decision to hit the gas and establish a sizeable lead while he was off his bike and tending to his tyre.
Both racers were credited with a time of one hour 17 minutes 36 seconds after the seven 4.5km laps but Gaze was one length ahead of Cooper.
As he crossed the line, Gaze lifted a finger to his lips in a silencing motion.
"There's good sportsmanship and there's not and I felt like that wasn't there today - it's a bit of a shame really," Gaze said immediately after the race.
Cooper, who was five metres ahead of Gaze heading into the final lap, disputed Gaze's version of events, saying he was under no obligation to slow down.
As he was in front, he couldn't see why Gaze had stopped.
"I didn't know if he was feeling unwell or something had gone drastically wrong - it's not my job to sit around and wait at that point," Cooper said.
"I can't think of a situation where anyone would sit and wait."
Gaze later released a statement apologising for what he'd said in the heat of the moment.
"I'm a competitive guy and when I had that issue with my bike I thought my dream was over," the statement said.
"I am really embarrassed for how I acted and how the impact of how special of a day it was for New Zealand cycling was tainted by my actions."
He said he had also apologised to Cooper.
Nevertheless, the result means New Zealand has again claimed a Games quinella after Gaze and Cooper's exploits in 2014 in Glasgow.
However the order has been reversed on the Gold Coast.
Hatherly ultimately finished third, having moved aside to let Gaze through, while fellow Kiwi Ben Oliver finished a respectable fourth.
Gaze said he was pleased to claim the gold medal.
"I went in with one goal and one goal only and I'm honoured I could take it out," the 22-year-old and under-23 world champion said.
"I've also got racing on Saturday with the men's road race so I wanted to conserve best as I can and make up where I could."