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Could Olympic rower Hamish Bond break the 10-mile TT record?

Peter Stuart
2 Aug 2017

Bond is racing on the infamously fast V718 course on Saturday, before returning to New Zealand

Hamish Bond, the most successful international rower in recent history, will be competing on the V718 dual carriageway 10-mile time trial course on the A63 near Hull on Saturday, where he stands a chance of beating the competition record.

To beat the current record of 16.35, set by Marcin Bialoblocki, Bond would need to average 36.2mph (or 58.2kmh) over 10 miles. Bond has already set a time of 17.55 on a considerably slower course

The double-Olympic gold medallist and world record holder has been in the UK for several months, where he has taken part in seven major races as part of a campaign to win a spot in the Individual Time Trial at the 2020 Olympic Games.

He has won all but one – finishing 1 second behind the winner of the RTTC Circuit Championships.

Photo by Steve McArthur

The British Season

Bond has been training with midlands-based aerodynamics experts AeroCoach, who work with numerous time trialists in the UK, headed by Dr Xavier Disley. Under their coaching, he clocked a 45.22 for a 25-mile TT last month, which is an average of over 33mph (or 53.1kmh).

Disley spoke cautiously about the possibility of breaking the record on Saturday, a race which will also mark Hamish Bond’s final race in the UK for the season.

‘It’s tricky, the V718 requires an easterly wind to be really quick, because it's longer on the return leg. Currently it’s projected to have a westerly wind of around 15 miles an hour,’ says Disley.

If conditions are good, Disley is confident that Bond is capable of beating 17-minutes, which is a feat only ever achieved by Bialoblocki, despite attempts by Bradley Wiggins and Alex Dowsett. ‘Sub 17 minutes is definitely doable for him, physiologically speaking,’ says Disley.

The Olympic Pathway

Speaking of his broader work with Bond, Disley is confident that the Kiwi can achieve his goal of a spot in the Individual Time Trial at the Olympics in 2020. ‘He’s very impressive. He’s been a double gold medallist, the ability to stay at the top of your game that long and deal with it physically and mentally, it’s unreal.’

The goal of an Olympic has meant that Disley has focussed more on a position and mixture of aerodynamics and power that suits UCI racing rather than the domestic UK time trialling scene. ‘We’ve focussed more on power delivery than low CdA (Coefficient of drag area),’ says Disley. ‘We could have focussed in low CdA to get him to beat the 10-record but we wanted to focus on UCI legality.’

As for Bond himself, when asked if he was going for the record, he put it simply, ‘I’m on the V718 and I’m gonna go as fast as I can.’

Regardless of the result on Saturday, Bond’s presence on the UK scene has certainly been fruitful, as his work with Aerocoach looks set to continue after his departure. The British company will assist him in his goals of a World Championship and Olympic slot.

Photos by Steve McArthur

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