There was something very special about seeing Jack Bauer, resplendent in the white jersey with black fern, tearing around the roads of France at le Tour in July last year.  If he is to make it a double in the elite men’s time trial at the Elite Road National Championships though he will face a stern challenge from past winners, track stars and of course our favourite rower-turned-cyclist.

Both defending champions – Jack Bauer and Regan Gough – are set to go in Napier on Friday but to say there will be plenty of interest in those who will be challenging for the top spot is a bit of an understatement.  The fields are positively electric with talent. 

Regan Gough enjoys the spotlight on the podium after winning the U23 men’s time trial in 2017, photo Bruce Jenkins Photography

Last year’s U23 podium, which were separated by 22 seconds at the close of play, are all back for more this year.  Jake Marryatt has had a stellar year domestically, winning the Calder Stewart Elite Series as an U23, while James Fouche’s 2017 has seen him land a contract alongside fellow Kiwi Campbell Stewart (also riding the time trial) with Team WIGGINS.  Regan Gough’s 2018 is as yet uncertain with An Post-Chain Reaction not continuing next year, so that may prove extra motivation to return to the top step of the podium as he did last January.

There will be plenty of riders around the three of them, however, all too eager to change the format of the top three.  Team Skoda Racing have a number of riders ready to go with Alex West and Joel Yates – two riders set for seasons in America and Europe – leading the charge.  Look out for Ryan Christensen, riding for Crediflex Pro4mance, as well as the likes of Nick Kergozou, Campbell Stewart, Tom Sexton, Harry Waine, who have come from the Track World Cup scene where they’ve been dominant and consistently improving on the team pursuit scene.

Bib No. Name Team Start time: 11.00am

188

Max Jones Team Skoda Racing  

192

Mitchell Kinghorn West Coast North Island  

184

Ben Hamilton Team Skoda Racing  

164

Oliver Young Auckland  

186

Ian Talbot Team Skoda Racing  

175

Thomas Carter Waikato Bay of Plenty  

181

Kees Duyvesteyn NZ Cycling Project L&M Group Ricoh  

176

Matias Fitzwater Crediflex Pro4mance  

157

Michael Carswell Auckland  

170

Hugo Jones Canterbury  

180

Nick Kergozou Cycling Southland  

174

Jared Gray Waikato Bay of Plenty  

197

Ethan Batt Tasman  

156

Blake Sunde Auckland  

182

Josh Scott NZ Cycling Project L&M Group Ricoh  

172

Nicholas Reddish Waikato Bay of Plenty  

169

Campbell Pithie Canterbury  

185

Harry Waine Team Skoda Racing  

191

Campbell Stewart West Coast North Island  

179

Tom Sexton Cycling Southland  

173

Ryan Christensen Waikato Bay of Plenty  

158

Connor Brown Auckland  

178

Paul Wright Cycling Southland  

187

Joel Yates Team Skoda Racing  

183

Alex West Team Skoda Racing  

167

Jake Marryatt Canterbury  

155

James Fouche Auckland  

151

Regan Gough East Coast North Island  

 

The elite men’s field has a line up to get seriously excited about.  Champion against champion in 2018 pits Jack Bauer of Mitchelton-Scott against Patrick Bevin of BMC Racing the 2016 time trial champion.  Of course there are the 2015 national champion in Michael Vink and the 2012 champion in Paul Odlin both present as well as former U23 champion Hayden McCormick.  

It’s going to be an interesting one as far as World Tour presence is concerned with Jack Bauer, Patrick Bevin and Amgen Tour of California champion George Bennett all on the start list.  Bennett’s TT performance screamed into the public consciousness last year with 4th place that took him to the overall victory in California, as well as a 10th place against the clock in the Tour of the Basque Country.  While his reputation is as a climber, against the clock Bennett has been getting stronger; but will the course be hard enough for him?

Hamish Bond might have something to say this year, as he did last.  Third place in his debut elite nationals TT, Bond began to lay the foundations that led to an eventual call up to the national team for the World Champs in Norway.  Commonwealth Games will be a heavy motivator this year, and expect the double Olympic champion to be eager to impress.  To his advantage is that he doesn’t have to juggle pressure of World Tour demands like Bauer, Bennett and co do which has already ruled the aforementioned duo out from being able to take on the Gold Coast later in the year.

Hamish Bond in action at the UCI World Road Championships in Bergen, photo Robert Jones
Bib No. Name Team

30

Brett Grieve East Coast North Island

44

Craig Fleming Waikato Bay of Plenty

26

Nicholas Magill Crediflex Pro4mance

29

Ben Earnshaw East Coast North Island

13

Roger Grierson Auckland

24

Toby Atkins Crediflex Pro4mance

12

Rob Scarlett Auckland

6

George Bennett Tasman

43

Hayden McCormick Waikato Bay of Plenty

21

Michael Vink Canterbury

40

Patrick Bevin Waikato Bay of Plenty

35

Glenn Haden Tank Guy/Bike Box Rental

22

Paul Odlin Canterbury

45

Dylan Kennett Waikato Bay of Plenty

23

Sam Horgan Canterbury

11

James Oram Auckland

5

Jason Christie Tasman

42

Hamish Bond Waikato Bay of Plenty

7

Jack Bauer Tasman

 

 

 

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