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World’s fastest rower joins AeroCoach team to target UK time trial season

Joseph Delves
31 May 2017

Gold medallist rower Hamish Bond now has the Tokyo Olympic time trial in his sights

Multiple Olympic medalist Hamish Bond is moving to the UK to compete in the domestic time trial scene as he attempts to make the transfer from rowing to bike racing ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Rather than rest on his laurels, the New Zealander who has become the most successful oarsman in history is now seeking a fresh challenge.

Ahead of his arrival and following a cyclist.co.uk feature on Bond’s career change, Dr Xavier Disley of AeroCoach approached the rider with an offer of coaching and a supported spot on the company’s team.

‘Having read the article on Cyclist about Hamish coming over we thought it was a great story.

'We liked how he was putting faith in the UK TT scene, so through some intermediaries we got in touch with him to offer our technical support and also a spot on the team to allow him to race,’ he explained.

An expert on aerodynamics, physiology and biomechanics Disley will be hoping to use his expertise to add some finesse, and cycling specific insight, to Bond’s already well proven raw power.

‘In focusing on time trialling he's chosen the correct mode. In time trialling there's little in the way of tactics.

'It's an individual effort, so compared to road or track racing his skills should be directly transferable. He's got a great physiological heritage and proven ability.

'Time trial cycling is such a data driven sport. With his power numbers it's obvious that he's capable of good results. Something he's already proved by placing third at the New Zealand national TT champs,' explained Disley

Having already worked with a range of athletes including Tour de France winners along with UCI World, Olympic & National Champions, the team, which has access to an in-house wind tunnel, should be well set-up to assess Bond's current form.

‘Although he’s already spent a little time in a wind tunnel, achieving both an aerodynamic and also biomechanically efficient position is our speciality.

'We also have a range of products, including some brand new unreleased equipment, which he’ll have available to speed him up even more.’

With a rough schedule already pencilled in, Bond plans to use the summer to gauge the viability of his switching sports.

A tall order, given that he has less than three years to make the transfer from water to tarmac.

‘Once Hamish arrives he's intending to ride a 10-mile time trial within a few days, in order to qualify for the bigger events.

'After that he's riding in the CTT Circuit Championships at the end of the week to lay down a marker before we start to work on his positioning and make improvements,’ said Disley.

All being well the second stage of his preparation will focus on honing the skills necessary for his attempt on the Olympic race.

‘The UK is famous for its fast courses, but with his potential goal of competing at the Tokyo Olympics we'll also be trying to mix in some more technical, UCI style courses, of the sort that are likely to feature at the Games and races along the way,’ his new coach explained.

When Cyclist recently caught up with Bond he appeared well aware of the enormity of the challenge he has set for himself.

‘Compared to rowing, internationally there’s more depth in a sport like cycling. I mean you only have to look at the number of competitors and in terms of competing at the Olympics there’s a lot of spots for rowers and a lot of medals to win.

'If you’re a cyclist there’s a few on the track, if you’re a road cyclist there’s two. That’s hard, and you’ve got maybe 500 cyclists training professionally to a very high level for two olympic medals,’ he explained.

However, having travelled across continents to immerse himself in with one of the most competitive national scenes in the world, if Bond fares well this summer the podium steps at the Tokyo Olympics will be a lot closer.

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