Bond Blitzes Field to Win Inaugural Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge

By Icon Sport

Two-time Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond has won the inaugural Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge, defeating a field of quality riders that included Tour de France pro rider George Bennett.
Bond laid down the gauntlet early in the 158km race and continued to power away to win by more than five minutes at the end in a time of 3 hours 51 minutes and 51 seconds. Second was Ollie Jones in 3 hours 57 minutes and 10 seconds. Paul Odlin was third, Warrick Spence fourth and Rob Reid rounded out the top five. Bennett eventually came home sixth.
"I didn’t really plan to go hard so early but I was feeling good and got stuck in about 10km out of town," explained an exhausted but elated Bond. "I kept the power on and was able to break away. Later a group of five was chasing and I figured if I could pull away a little more at that point then I could break their spirits. Thankfully I managed that. I did push really hard but I think that is an important part of becoming an elite cyclist and learning quickly. You have to make these huge efforts to understand where you are, what you are capable of as an athlete and of course, what areas you need to improve in going forward.
"It was a fast course and I really enjoyed it. The weather has been great and it is lovely ride on the outward leg and on the inward leg, where we had a nice tail breeze today. That helped with the time for sure." Bond averaged over 40km/h for the ride.
Susie Wood was the top female rider, completing the course in 4 hours, 22 minutes and 2 seconds, less than a minute ahead of her main rival through the race, Indy Kraal, who finished in 4 hours, 22 minutes and 57 seconds. Shelley Nisbet was third, eight minutes behind in 4 hours 30 minutes and 15 seconds. Jessica Johnstone and Michaela Kerr completed the top five.

Men's Overall Top Ten
1              Hamish Bond                     3:51:51  
2              Ollie Jones                          3:57:10  
3              Paul Odlin                            3:57:10  
4              Warrick Spence                 4:09:48  
5              Rob Reid                              4:10:29
6              George Bennett                               4:10:41
7              Joshua Aldridge                                4:10:59
8              Yancey Arrington             4:11:03  
9              Dean Fulton                       4:12:11  
10           Josh Ryan                            4:15:55   
Women's Overall Top Ten
1              Susie Wood                        4:22:02
2              Indy Kraal                            4:22:57
3              Shelley Nisbet                   4:30:15
4              Jessica Johnstone            4:43:12
5              Michaela Kerr                    4:45:49
6              Britney Kerr                        4:45:53
7              Janice Hill                             4:46:02
8              Deirdre Hough                  4:46:06  
9              Sophie Souwer                 4:46.06  
10           Heather Daniels                                4:54:04
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