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Bond powers to Nelson road race win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/12/2016

Olympic rowing gold medalist Hamish Bond © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images Olympic rowing gold medalist Hamish Bond Rowing great Hamish Bond's switch to cycling has gathered steam with a crushing win in a one-day road race in Nelson.

Two-time Olympic champion Bond won the inaugural Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge, dominating a field of 300 riders over a testing 158km course.

The 30-year-old finished in three hours 51 minutes and 51 seconds, more than 5min clear of Christchurch rider Ollie Jones.

There was a 19min gap back to World Tour rider George Bennett, who is coming out of a rest period following a year in which he was prominent at the Tour de France and finished 10th on general classification in the Tour of Spain.

Bond stunned the field by making a solo break just 10km into the race and was never threatened.

He told journalists he didn't mean to break clear that early and was in some pain over the final 30km.

After a seven-year unbeaten run in the men's pair with Eric Murray, 30-year-old Bond is taking next year off rowing to test himself as a cyclist.

He impressed by finishing eighth overall in last month's Tour of Southland, New Zealand's premier tour.

Bond will turn his attention to the New Zealand road cycling championships in Napier in January.

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