The next Olympic cycle has begun without one of rowing’s most successful figures in recent memory. But Hamish Bond, the two-time Kiwi champion in the men’s pair, hasn’t left sport altogether. He has begun an earnest effort to cycle his way to further fame.
Bond’s transition from competitive rower to cyclist comes as the legendary British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins focuses his efforts on rowing—at least indoor rowing, for now.
“I might be being a bit delusional, but the times suggest I’m not,” Wiggins, 37, told the BBC in June. “I’m going to see how far I can take it. Maybe a sixth Olympic gold?”
Currently, his sights are set on the British Indoor Rowing Championships set for the end of the year, but Wiggins’ reputation as perhaps the greatest cyclist in British history suggests the sky’s the limit. After all, with five Olympic cycling gold medals and Great Britain’s first-ever Tour de France title to his name, Wiggins may well go down as one of the greatest racers in history.
Meanwhile, Bond is pushing his name to the top of the leader boards in the cycling world. The 31-year-old recently won a national senior men’s cycling title in his home of New Zealand, mere months after switching to training on a bike. Soon, he will head to Europe to focus on time trial riding to determine whether cycling in Tokyo is a feasible goal.
So could either man be a contender in 2020? After all, there’s so much more to each sport than just fitness, although both Wiggins and Bond undoubtedly fit the bill.
“His biggest challenge is going to be the technical side,” recently retired British rower Andrew Triggs Hodge said about Wiggins. “Rowing is a whole different ball game to cycling.”
Bond told Stuff, a New Zealand news site, that even if cycling doesn’t pan out, he still plans to go for another shot at the Olympic podium. “I’ve set up to be at Tokyo in the Olympics, whether that’s on the bike or in a boat.”