Cycling: Track rookie Hamish Bond sets national pursuit record

Hamish Bond rides the national time trial championship
Hamish Bond rides the national time trial championship. Photo credit: Photosport

Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond has written another chapter in his incredible crossover to cycling, setting a national individual pursuit record at his first track nationals in Cambridge.

Bond, 32, is known primarily as a double Olympic gold medallist and seven-time world champion in the coxless pairs, with long-time crewmate Eric Murray.

But he switched to the bike after the 2016 Rio Olympics, specialising in time trial and taking a bronze medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Bond made the decision to switch to the track, after finishing mid-field at the world time trial championship in September, realising he probably could not improve enough to contend for road medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

After only a short transition, he has already shown his abilities in the velodrome, clocking 4m 12.436s over 4000m to lead qualifying rounds at the NZ championships.

His time was almost a full second faster than the previous national record, set by Dylan Kennett in Commonwealth Games qualifying last year - Kennett went on to take the bronze medal on the Gold Coast.

Bond's performance was also faster than the all-comers record held by Australian-born Jordan Kerby, a former world champion at the event, who has recently switched allegiances and joined the NZ team pursuit programme.

Bond defeated Kerby, the second-fastest qualifier, in the individual pursuit final on Thursday night, albeit two seconds slower that his preliminary time. Kennett took bronze.