Hamish Bond’s cycling mission is far from finished. The two-time Olympic rowing champion’s journey on the road may be coming to a natural end, but his pursuit of Olympic success on two wheels is ramping up with a transition to the track which after his first test looks like a potentially more natural fit.
The Waikato Bay of Plenty Track Championships from 14th-16th December provided the first test for Hamish Bond as he ventured from the tar seal to the velodrome to continue his pursuit of Olympic success in cycling. After two attempts at the UCI World Road Championships, a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and a national time trial title, the time came to face, with brutal honesty, the facts that Bond had reached about as far as he could on the road.
Bond’s great advantage over the last couple of months has been his ruthless ability to self-assess and provide no sugar-coating to results that simply didn’t go his way. The World Championships in Austria were the test that he needed and it seems that it was there that the realisation came that something needed to change.
That doesn’t mean at all that he’s finished using the road. Indeed, he used his customary attack, attack and attack again routine to eventually come away with the win in the inaugural Hobbiton Movie Set Gran Fondo; and it never ceases to be a pleasure seeing Bond tearing it up on the tar.
But the Waikato/BOP Track Champs were definitely the signpost to indicate that Bond’s decision to turn to the track was a good one. He broke a near-8 year old national record held by one Jesse Sergent as he lowered the benchmark in the individual pursuit from 4.16.139mins to 4.15.816mins. He’s certainly staked his claim to world championship selection with his performance but will Cycling New Zealand send a rider to an event that does not feature in the Olympic programme?