The wind and rain combined to make a brutal day of racing in the first stage of the New Zealand Cycle Classic. Sadly one of the riders to fare less well in the stage was Blindz Direct’s Hamish Bond who came down early in the stage along with Joshua Aldridge.
Crosswinds, headwinds, tailwinds, all-winds-in-one-day by all accounts are what greeted the riders on the opening stage of the New Zealand Cycle Classic. While the day belonged to Tim Roe of IsoWhey Sports-SwissWellness who attacked late to claim the stage, it was a crash early on that may have dented the hopes of Hamish Bond to illuminate the race.
The incident in question appears to have happened in the very opening kilometres of the race, with attacks flying left, right and centre. Cycling commentator Del Woodford told RoadCycling, “It happened quite early in the stage, of course 100 riders in the field, a little bit of nervousness, crosswinds . . . I don’t really know how it happened. I suspect it will have been a gust of wind, a tip of wheels or something like that.”
“He came down quite hard, damaged his bike so he had a bike change. He’s gotten a lot of skin off his hip, he’s got a really damaged shoulder – I don’t know how damaged – but looking at the way the bone was shaping I don’t believe it’s broken.”
It’s a testament to the fighting spirit and tough character that is Hamish Bond, that the double Olympic rowing champion was able to remount, calm his nerves and get back in the race to position himself just outside the top 20 on the stage, 43 seconds down on Roe but still well within touching distance of being able to make a serious impact on the general classification.
“He’s such a tough man, you can see why he’s won two Olympic golds in a pretty tough sport [in]rowing,” Woodford told us. “I’m really disappointed for him to crash, because he really wanted to test himself in an international bike race and hopefully his injuries don’t hold him back too much.”