Hamish Bond and Grace Brown earn 2018 Oceania time trial titles in Tasmania
Dual Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond (New Zealand) scorched his way to the elite men’s Oceania time trial title as Grace Brown (Australia) snared a maiden crown in the elite women’s in Evandale, Tasmania, Friday March 23.
New Zealand did the double in the under 23 category with Mikayla Harvey (New Zealand) and Jake Marryatt taking home gold. In the under 19’s it was Tasmanian local Anya Louw (Australia) and Luke Plapp (Australia) who emerged on the top step of the podium.
After starting cycling 18 months ago, Hamish Bond (New Zealand), a dual Olympic champion and eight-time world champion in rowing can now call himself an Oceania Champion in cycling following a brilliant ride. Bond the penultimate rider to start covered the 41-kilometre course in 52 minutes and three seconds, 32ssec clear of defending champion Sean Lake (Australia) and 1min 7secs on bronze medallist James Ogilvie (Australia).
“It is good, and this is obviously a stepping stone for Commonwealth Games and it is always good to get the win and there was some quality competition on what looked like quite a benign course but was actually quite challenging with those rollers on the back half,” a delighted Bond explained.
“I perhaps spent a little bit energy too early and then there was that headwind on the way home so was going a bit slower, I needed a bit more power in the legs but that is good learning I have only been cycling for 18 months so I am still building experience so it is a massive boost of knowledge in terms of what I am capable of.
“There is not that many opportunities to do time trials down in this part of the world so a race like this is really big and having to be on the start line at a certain time and competing against some quality opposition, Sean [Lake] has won this event the last couple of years and he is a class rider so it is a good opportunity for me, Bond added on the importance of the event.
Australia’s Grace Brown turned a fourth place finish at the Australian Championships in January in to Oceania gold with a dominant performance completing the 27-kilometre course in 36mins 44secs. Silver went to Kate Perry (Australia), 45 seconds back with New Zealand’s Sharlotte Lucas rounding out the top three just over two minutes off Brown’s pace.
“It is very exciting, this is probably the biggest time trial win of my career so far it is very exciting,” Brown said.
“There are not many opportunities through the year to do a full-length time trial like this and doing this is extra practise to achieve better goals as next year’s nationals, as fourth there was bittersweet, and it is a little bit sweeter coming away with first here.
“The course was perfect for me, I like a flat course, so it was ideal. When I saw the profile I was pretty happy,” she added.
Brown now turns her attention to Saturday’s road race. “I am hoping to get a good result in the road race as well, obviously can’t be complacent, but I think I have some good opportunities there.”
Two years after winning the under 19 crown Mikayla Harvey (New Zealand-38:07) was back on the top step adding the under 23 title to her name, having collected silver a year ago. Silver went to Libby Arbuckle who stopped the clock 40 seconds slower than Harvey and 2017 under 19 champion Maeve Plouffe (Australia-39:11) earned bronze.
“It’s definitely a special feeling to come away with another Oceania title. It’s a pretty special moment being able to stand on the top of the podium and hear my national anthem being played,” Harvey said of adding another Oceania title to her palmares.
“I have been training really hard leading into the race, and it’s definitely a huge confidence boosting leading into the rest of my season with Team illuminate.
“The course was quite simple with no corners or hills to break it up. So it was quite a constant battle the whole way. Luckily the conditions were really good and we had no winds to deal with!”
New Zealand’s Jake Marryatt was too strong for the field in the men’s stopping the clock in 51mins 13secs, 52 seconds clear of 2017 winner Liam Magennis (Australia-52:05) and Jason Lea (Australia-52:08).
The first event of the day saw a Tasmanian take gold on home roads with Anya Louw (Australia) storming to gold in 22 minutes and nine seconds, narrowly holding off Phoebe Young (New Zealand-22:25) with Sarah Gigante (Australia-22:58) rounding out the top three.
In the men’s Luke Plapp added the Oceania title to his Australian Championship crown with the Australian in unbeatable form covering the 27-kilometre course in 32mins 52secs, over a minute and a half clear of his closest rivals Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand-34:27) and Tyler Lindorff (Australia-34:48).
The Oceania Championships continue Saturday with the under 19 men’s and under 23 and elite women’s road races in Railton, Tasmania.
2018 Oceania Road Championship Medallists
Gold – Hamish BOND (New Zealand)
Silver – Sean LAKE (Australia)
Bronze – James OGILVIE (Australia)
Gold – Grace BROWN (Australia)
Silver – Kate PERRY (Australia)
Bronze – Sharlotte LUCAS (New Zealand)
Under 23 Men
Gold – Jake MARRYATT (New Zealand)
Silver – Liam MAGENNIS (Australia)
Bronze – Jason LEA (Australia)
Under 23 Women
Gold – Mikayla HARVEY (New Zealand)
Silver – Libby ARBUCKLE (New Zealand)
Bronze – Maeve PLOUFFE (Australia)
Under 19 Men
Gold – Luke PLAPP (Australia)
Silver – Finn FISHER-BLACK (New Zealand)
Bronze – Tyler LINDORFF (Australia)
Under 19 Women
Gold – Anya LOUW (Australia)
Silver – Phoebe YOUNG (New Zealand)
Bronze – Sarah GIGANTE (Australia)