Hamish Bond a step closer to cycling at Tokyo 2020

Rowing double Olympic champion wins Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

Not content with dominating one Olympic discipline, Hamish Bond is en route to success in a second.

The New Zealander won rowing gold in the coxless pair at London 2012 and Rio 2016, but is hoping to go to the next Olympics as a cyclist.

That ambitious dream just took a step closer to fruition, as the 32-year-old scooped first place in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge elite men's race.

Bond's best result yet

Slogging it out over a 160km course, Bond claimed the title in 3 hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds.

He finished a staggering two minutes ahead of second place, which came at a price in the difficult conditions.

"It was a little bit chilly around the back with rain, but I ended up in a strong bunch and we worked pretty well," Bond told stuff.co.nz.

"So yeah, my hamstrings are pretty cooked now.

"This is probably my best result yet."

Hamish Bond completed 160km in 3 hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds.
Hamish Bond completed 160km in 3 hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds.Hamish Bond completed 160km in 3 hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds.

Success in cycling

Bond has raced as an elite level cycling races since 2009 and made the full-time switch to the sport after the Rio Olympics.

In his first attempt at the national time trials in January 2017 he finished in third place and was selected to represent New Zealand at the 2017 World Championships. He laboured to a 39th-place finish in Norway after suffering a puncture.

However Bond bounced right back to win the national time trial championships with a new course record in January 2018.

The Dunedin-born racer was subsequently selected to compete at the Commonwealth Games and in March this year made known his intentions to win a cycling medal at Tokyo 2020.

Rowing versus cycling

Athletes switching between rowing and cycling has been done before, with Great Britain's Rebecca Romero winning Olympic medals in both.

However success at elite level in both is extremely hard to achieve, which British four-time cycling gold medallist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins found out when turning his attention to the water.

But as Olympic rowing legend Steven Redgrave told the Olympic Channel, cycling should be easier to transition to from rowing than the other way around, due to the two-wheeled sport's less technical nature.

In any case, Bond seems to have found a way to translate his excellence in the boat to cycling and if his current rate of achievement continues he is sure to be on the plane to Japan in 2020.

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