Video: Team New Zealand call on Simon van Velthooven

Team New Zealand has turned to another Olympic medallist to help power their bold new innovation for this year's America's Cup campaign.

Newshub can reveal sprint cyclist and cult personality Simon van Velthooven has been training with the team as one of their new grinders, hot on the heels of yesterday's revelation that the syndicate is set to debut foot pedals instead of the traditional hand-driven grinders.

Team New Zealand will officially launch their new catamaran tomorrow, but Cycling New Zealand officials have confirmed to Newshub that 28-year-old Van Velthooven has been given permission to pursue other opportunities away from the bike.

Video: Team New Zealand call on Simon van Velthooven

The Palmerston North rider affectionately known as "Rhino" won a bronze medal at the London Olympics in the Kierin event, with 2 Commonwealth Games medals also on his resume. Van Velthooven was disappointed to miss out on the track selection for Rio last year.

Team New Zealand has two Olympic stars in gold medal winning sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke already in the crew and former Olympic rowing champion Joseph Suillivan was also trialling with the team last year.

Van Velthooven and Suillivan are not the first Olympians without sailing backgrounds to be involved with Team New Zealand.

Rower Rob Waddell, who won Olympic gold in the single sculls in Sydney, famously switched to America's Cup sailing.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: