Paul Manning led England's first clean sweep of a Commonwealth cycling event in Melbourne last night but a close encounter in traffic on the way to the velodrome could have seen the evening end early on a less happy note.

The 31-year-old from Sutton Coldfield beat Hampshire's Rob Hayles, aged 34, in the final while 24-year-old Merseysider Stephen Cummings won his bronze-medal race against New Zealand's Jason Allen.

But the story might have been different if the trio had not taken evasive action as they cycled through the Melbourne streets.

Manning, who added the gold to the bronze he won in Manchester four years ago, said: "We were just cycling along and we came out of the bike lane because there were cones in it and this guy just decided to come very close.

"We said, 'Why are you coming so close,' and he didn't like it."

Manning and Hayles laughed off the incident but both are well aware of the dangers of cycling in traffic.

Manning needed two operations on his arm after an accident five years ago while England team-mate Emma Davies, who has recovered in time to compete here, suffered a broken back when she was driven into in Manchester last October.

"Every day you get cut up by someone," Manning said. "They're in such a rush to get to the next red light.

"More often than not, you don't come off but you'll have a close call."

While he was delighted with his gold medal, and promised to buy Hayles a consolation beer, Manning said he took more satisfaction from the clean sweep - especially the performance of Cummings.

Manning and Hayles have been riding with and against each other for seven years but Cummings is a relatively new addition to the team.

The Wirral-born rider has won medals in the team pursuit - most notably silver at the Athens Olympics - but his bronze was the first in the individual competition.

Manning said: "It is great to see someone like Stephen get his act together. We know he's got the power and the quality that a pursuiter needs. To see him get that medal - I know what it meant to me in Manchester - it will give him the confidence to do well in whatever he wants to do on the bike."

There were more English medals - silver for Victoria Pendleton in the 500 metres time-trial and the same for Jason Queally in the kilometre.

However, Scotland's Chris Hoy lost his Commonwealth title after finishing third behind Queally and Australia's Ben Kersten. The Olympic champion's time was well over a second down on his personal best - a significant drop in performance in an event in which only 0.034 seconds separated Queally from Kersten.

However, Hoy is hoping the setback will inspire him to greater things in the team sprint when he will lead a Scotland trio against an England team led by Queally.

Bedfordshire's Pendleton beat the Commonwealth record, set by Kerrie Meares in Manchester four years ago, completing the two laps in 34.662 seconds. But the new mark lasted only a few moments as Meares' sister, Anna Meares, knocked 0.338 seconds off Pendleton's time to win gold.

After one session in the velodrome, the England cycling team is already one gold ahead of where they were at the end of the Manchester Games and have matched the number of medals won. They are ahead of Australia - who dominated four years ago and are widely regarded as the world's fore-most track cycling nation.

Dave Brailsford, British Cycling's performance director, said: "I couldn't have asked for any more from them."