Bond happy with ride

Waipa Post - - The Country -

Multi World and Olympic row­ing cham­pion Hamish Bond re­turns home safe with the knowl­edge he now has put an ac­cu­rate stake in the ground on his global sta­tus as a time trial cy­clist.

The 32-year-old Van­tage-spon­sored rider fin­ished 25th from 53 starters in the 52kms in­di­vid­ual time trial at the UCI Road World Cham­pi­onships in Inns­bruck,

Aus­tria.

Bond turned from row­ing to cy­cling just two years ago, but a punc­ture on his world cham­pi­onship de­but thwart­ed­some ad­vance­ment. Since then he fin­ished third at the Com­mon­wealth Games and now 25th in a stacked world cham­pi­onship field, where he fin­ished ahead of former world one-hour record-holder Alex Dowset (GBR) and team time trial world cham­pion Te­jay van Garderen (USA).

“I am pleased that I put to­gether a good ride. My power num­bers where above tar­get through­out the ride, in fact bet­ter than we had hoped,” Bond said. “That was good enough for 25th which I should be proud of. At the same time it is tinged with a re­al­ity-check of where I am at in this sport.

“I know it was a very tall or­der to turn from one sport to a com­pletely dif­fer­ent one in a short time. But I have ded­i­cated my­self com­pletely to this project. What I have done has not been done be­fore so there was no blue­print, and I’ve done it ba­si­cally on my own with the help of friends, some good cy­cling peo­ple and some fan­tas­tic spon­sors.

“I am com­pletely in awe of just how fast these guys can pedal a bi­cy­cle. Paddy was quite bril­liant to be eighth and hats off to Ro­han Den­nis for his win. It was in­cred­i­ble. “

Bond said the na­ture of the cour­ses used last year in Nor­way and this week in Aus­tria — con­sid­er­ably longer, at al­ti­tude and with sig­nif­i­cant climbs — posed an ad­di­tional ob­sta­cle for him.

“I am a big guy at 6ft 3ins. I’ve stripped away a lot of weight from my row­ing days but I am still a big guy com­pared with these rid­ers here.

“I can now see the gap ahead of me, and while it is less than it was, it is a sig­nif­i­cant amount to bridge if I am go­ing to reach near the top.

“I did a good job and I’ve put a line in the sand. It is just quite a leap to go.”

Bond, who has spent time in spe­cial­ist time trial races in UK and train­ing at al­ti­tude in the USA, re­turns home im­me­di­ately to take some time out with his fam­ily be­fore plot­ting his next steps.

Pho­tos / Robert Jones

Hamish Bond in ac­tion dur­ing the time trial at the UCI World Road Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships in Inns­bruck, Aus­tria.

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