A rower and an ironman athlete upstaged the cyclists in time trials on the opening day of the Vantage National Road Cycling Championships in Cambridge with Hamish Bond and Teresa Adam taking the elite titles.
The 2018 champion Hamish Bond reclaimed the elite male title while Auckland triathlete Teresa Adam won the elite women’s jersey in the time trials on the first day of the championships.
The titles were up for grabs with all four of the time trial category winners from last year in Napier on the sideline due to injury or illness.
Bond returned to rowing last year after a three-year focus on cycling that included a competitive performance over the time trial at the 2019 world championships.
Based on home territory in Cambridge, Bond stepped out of his boat to produce a strong battle with Jumbo-Visma World Tour rider George Bennett, mostly known as one of the world’s best climbers.
The diminutive Bennett from Nelson took the battle to the bigger riders, up by nearly five seconds on Bond at 5km of the 40km journey, but only 0.4sec ahead at 29km. However Bond beefed up the challenge to finish the stronger to clock 46:52.95s, which was 15 seconds clear of Bennett with South Canterbury’s Dylan Kennett, a noted track and road rider, third 1:22 behind the winner.
“I’m clocking about 93kms as a rower so I would be surprised if there’s anyone heavier in cycling out there today,” said Bond. “I was not punished on this course and I had a bigger frame. I had to push out a lot more watts to go the same speed as George. I was 93kg generally of muscle and he is 58kgs of whippet.
“I thought a couple of months ago when I was a bit injured and was on an exercise bike that I might consider entering and decided a month ago to give it a go.”
Adam, who has chalked up three wins in just five IRONMAN starts, including the Asia Pacific Championship, showed her class in the elite women’s time trial over 20kms. She was too strong and posted the fastest time of 26:32.65 which was 36.5s ahead of second placed Georgia Perry and 1:17 clear of Bronwyn MacGregor.
“It was awesome,” said Adam. “Training for IRONMAN is the main goal and a big focus is on the bike. I do a lot of sessions on the TT bike and it translates well to time trials. It all hurts but you need to know how to hurt. I am really excited and happy to be here.”
The world’s fastest junior individual pursuit rider on the track, Finn Fisher-Black, showed his prowess to dominate the under-23 men’s time trial, winning in 48:04.65. Fisher-Black, who will ride for Jumbo-Visma’s development team this year, finished over a minute clear of Ethan Batt and Logan Currie. His time was the third fastest overall.
“It was a good way to start the season with a win in the Jumbo colours. My aim was to keep up my pacing as much as possible in a long TT. I don’t get a chance to ride TTs of this length generally so today the biggest goal was to pace myself right and think I did an alright job,” said Fisher-Black.
The women’s under-23 battle was closer with World Tour professional Ella Harris and 2017 winner Mikayla Harvey locked at 10kms but the strength of Harris proved decisive on the closing kilometres to clock 27:27.97, the third fastest overall, to win by 16 seconds from Harvey and 17 seconds to Niamh Fisher-Black.
“I am not very experienced in these time trials so I just got my speed off my Garmin and rode as hard as I could and I was pleased. It is a nice way to start the season,” said Harris.
Saturday’s focus is on the RIDE recreational racing with both men and women elite and under-23 riders competing in road races from 8am on Sunday, with two loops in the country before returning for fast laps around the Cambridge centre.
Elite men: Hamish Bond (Waikato BOP) 46:52.95, 1; George Bennett (Jimbo Visma, Tasman) 47:08.41, 2; Dylan Kennett (St George Continental, Waikato BOP) 48:15.55, 3; Joel Yates (St George Continental, WCNI) 49:12.43, 4; Hayden McCormick (Black Spoke, Waikato BOP) 49:25.01, 5.
Under-23: Finn Fisher-Black 48:04.65, 1 (Jumbo Visma, Tasman; Ethan Batt 49:10:04, 2 (Black Spoke, Tasman; Logan Currie (Velo South, Canterbury) 49:15:02, 3; Connor Brown (NTT Continental, Auckland) 49:15:30, 4; Keegan Hornblow (Skoda Fruzio, Tasman) 50:39:81, 5.
Elite female: Teresa Adam (Waikato BOP) 26:32.65 1; Georgia Perry (Waikato BOP) 27:09.21, 2; Bronwyn MacGregor (Waikato BOP) 27:50:32, 3; Kate McCarthy (Waikato BOP) 28:24.73, 4; Georgia Christie (Tasman) 28:25.43, 5.
Under-23: Ella Harris (Canyon SRAM, Otago) 27:28.97, 1; Mikayla Harvey (Bigla Katusha, Southland) 27:44.87, 2; Niamh Fisher-Black (Bigla Katusha, Tasman) 27:46.41, 3; Ally Wollaston (Velo Project, Waikato BOP) 29:04.61, 4; Hannah Bartram (Canterbury) 29:12.76, 5.