Hamish Bond has continued his successful transition from Olympic rowing champion to cyclist, taking the 2018 New Zealand national time trial title – and all but securing a ride in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
Bond made an impact in his debut national TT last year when he finished third behind Jack Bauer and Jason Christie. After focussing on his time trialling in the past 12 months, the 31-year-old took to the top step. It’s a familiar spot for Bond, who won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in the coxless pair and claimed eight rowing world titles between 2007-2015.
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Bond said it was tough going in windy conditions in Napier on Friday, January 5, and said it hurt more than rowing. He clocked 50 minutes and 50 seconds on the 40-kilometre course.
“Really pleased with the result – there’s some tough sections on the course there with the wind – you’ve got punchy climbs which you’ve really got to work hard to get up them,” Bond said to the New Zealand Herald.
“It was hard, every time I do a race like that I wonder what on earth I’m doing, maybe I should go back to rowing – it hurts and it carries on hurting for 50 minutes.”
Bond took the win over a minute ahead of his closest rival, Michael Vink. Christie completed the podium in third.
Two of the nation’s strongest riders against the clock were absent. Last year’s winner, Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) decided not to ride due to illness and LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett was also missing.
Bond rode for NZ at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway. An unfortunate puncture put paid to a high placing, but he still managed a creditable 39th place.
Beyond the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in April and the World Championships, Bond hopes to ride in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Georgia Williams (Mitchelton-Scott) took the elite women’s New Zealand national time trial title ahead of Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare) and Bronwyn MacGregor in third.