If New Zealand's high performance athletes were ranked from dreamers to doers, Hamish Bond would be anchored in the latter camp.

When the double Olympic champion seeks to complete a project, there are no half measures from a self-confessed "control freak who finds it hard to delegate".

He embarks on the 60th Tour of Southland next weekend having organised the entry of his Vantage Windows & Doors team.

Bond recruited professional cyclists Michael Torckler and Josh Haggerty for the 851.2km adventure across seven stages and a prologue. He supplemented the pair's expertise with the best pedallers he could find in the national rowing ranks, including brother Alistair, James Lassche and Alex Bardoul.


From there, he ticked off a list of logistical chores after defending his Olympic pair title with Eric Murray in Rio. The tasks included organising sponsorship, flights, accommodation, nutrition, vehicle transport and support personnel.

Oh, and he's shrugged off 10kgs to turn an optimal rowing frame into a lithe figure capable of dancing on the pedals up Bluff Hill.

Bond received support from tour organiser Bruce Ross, and Paul Clark, the manager of the victorious Zookeepers Cycle Surgery team Bond joined on his maiden 2009 tour.

"I've done 10 times the preparation I did for that race and have cut down to 80kgs," Bond said. "I got rid of most of it a month after the Games, and whittled away the remaining 2-3kg over the last few weeks.

"I had to keep up my nutrition, because I needed to fuel my training so I didn't lose any power.

"We're aiming to mix it up and be noticed, rather than hanging on and taking part. We have no preconceived ideas of what should or shouldn't be. Time will tell when you're faced with the difficulties of a peloton and the sun, wind, rain and cold."

Bond says there's a crucial difference between competing on prescribed lanes of water and the free-for-all of the road.

"In road cycling, you intimately affect each other's races. In rowing, you go looking for work because, as part of a crew, you don't want to let your team-mates down. In a bike race, you're looking to hide from work or, to put it more subtly, you reserve energy before picking your moments.


"I've suffered in training for more than 10 years at the elite sporting level so I'm not afraid of that side of things. In [cycling] races, sometimes I just want to feel the burn, whereas I should be trying get in behind someone and keep my head down."

As part of his preparation, Bond has consulted Dan Plews, Rowing New Zealand's physiologist who comes from a background in British triathlon.

"I feel like I'm transferring a lot of my rowing strength to the bike, and I'm starting to feel confident. I've had four races in the last month or so, and all have gone well. I got a podium finish last week in a sprint against [international track cyclist] Regan Gough.

"This is about proving something to myself. I feel as though I'm one of the best rowers, but doing things like this tests whether you're one of the best athletes. You generally have to be a one-trick pony to be successful in high performance sport, but I'm always intrigued [about other sports] and have never had the opportunity to give cycling my full attention for a sustained period.

"There's plenty of opportunity on the tour, including a [13km] individual time trial. I may be a massive fish out of water, or I might challenge."

Bond envisages being back in a rowing boat at some point, but that's on hold for now.

"In some ways, what I do is dependent on what the older guys [such as Eric Murray and Mahe Drysdale] decide on doing in the next couple of months. I'm focusing on cycling until the lie of the land becomes clearer. The Tokyo Olympics are a long way away. There's no point rushing these decisions."