Sam Gaze has apologised for his unsportsmanlike behaviour after winning gold in the mountain bike race.

He delivered one of the most exhilarating moments of this Commonwealth Games when he suffered a puncture on the final lap but chased down Anton Cooper to take gold, reversing the medal order from four years ago.

However, poor sportsmanship overshadowed his performance when he was captured extending his middle finger in the direction of Cooper after getting forced off his bike.

Gaze was fined 200 Swiss francs ($282) for the gesture. The currency is used because Switzerland is the base for cycling's governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale.

Advertisement

Gaze also put his forefinger to his lips as he crossed the finish line and suggested that "the good guys always win" afterwards.

Today he addressed his actions and showed contrition after putting together a magnificent piece of sporting theatre.

"If I'm going to act like a boy, I'd better act like a man now," the 22-year-old told the Herald from New Zealand House in Surfers Paradise.

"Yesterday was the first time of my life I really had to deal with pressure... it was a hard moment to handle when I thought [my race was over].

"In the heat of the moment I made a decision that was not respectable by any means. I am gravely sorry."

Gaze said he left the race course in a sour state and wanted to put it right.

"There's so much tension and anger when it comes to racing.

"I thought about it, and as soon as I got home I said, 'I'm not happy with how this was'.

"I pulled the high performance director aside and said 'this is not who I am and I'm going to make things right'… so I drafted up an apology."

Gaze was asked whether his obligations under the New Zealand Olympic Committee athlete agreement were brought to his attention.

They state that athletes: "agree not to make or endorse any public statements which may have a negative effect on any member of the actual or potential team (including support staff) during the build-up to the Games and/or the protected period".

"It's self-evident," Gaze said. "As a person wearing the silver fern I made a wrong decision and that has to be lived with.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make that right. Anton's been understanding about it, we've had this feud for years. It's one thing that drives us."

Chef de mission Rob Waddell confirmed Gaze had come to him and apologised of his own volition.

Gaze regretted the way he acted.

"It's the way the sport is, there's a sportsman side and a human side to you. Sometimes that gets jumbled when there's too much on the line.

"Anyone who knows who I am knows that's not me. I look forward to the opportunity to right these things, I'm living and learning."

Gaze appreciated Cooper's response.

"We're two guys from the same country with the same common goal.

"I'm grateful for the way he has taken this, and look forward to making it up to him in future.

"Emotion worked two ways for me yesterday."

Cooper said he had accepted the apology after Gaze berated him for attacking post-puncture.

"He does a lot of road riding and I assume this is where it comes from," Cooper said.

"They have a different etiquette there. If the leader of the Tour de France got a puncture, the peloton would wait. It's a different thing in mountain biking because that's seen as rider error.

"I've never had someone wait for me in a race, and I've never been accused of not waiting for someone or being unsportsmanlike in that manner.

"So I was surprised."

Cooper believed Gaze had genuinely realised his mistake.

"I don't have any ill-feeling towards Sam. We have had a heated rivalry, which makes for tough competition that brings out the best and worst in people.

"It's a healthy competition, we respect each other and we have to get on because we're going to see a lot more of each other."