Hamish Bond has missed out on the chance to represent New Zealand at the upcoming track cycling world championships in Poland – and he admits he's not happy about it.
The former Olympic rower has shown record-breaking potential as a track cyclist after setting a national record in the individual pursuit last weekend at the national championships in Cambridge, where he eventually beat 2017 world champion Jordan Kerby in the final.
However, his record time of 4 minutes and 12.436 seconds fell out of Cycling NZ's selection window of January 29, which meant it wasn't able to be considered for the upcoming world championships.
Cycling NZ decided against selecting anyone for the individual pursuit as it gives a priority to Olympic Games events, reports Stuff.
Bond said he was "irked" by Cycling NZ's decision.
"I guess the point that irked me is I think I'm now the second fastest pursuit rider this season and I'm not allowed at the world championships," Bond told Stuff. "No effort was made to get me there. Why have the world champs if you can't get the best people along to compete?
"The opportunity to win a prestigious jersey like Bradley Wiggins and some of the greats ... an athlete's life is finite and I guess mine is more finite than some so you don't pass up those opportunities lightly, and that was the crux of my disappointment."
Bond said he understood why Cycling NZ would prioritise Olympic events, given their limited resources, which is why he says he offered to pay his own way to the world champs.
"I pushed my claim there and thought there was some opportunities but it was detailed to me that it's not an Olympic event, which was obvious, and given there was finite resources there weren't going to be any resources put into that, which I understand. I guess at that point I offered to pay my own way, but for various reasons it was not taken up," Bond said.
"It would have given me a chance to have some experience in that environment. Although I've obviously been to lots of big competitions there's lots of nuances about how different environments play out and how teams operate so I saw it as beneficial.
"The chance to win a rainbow jersey — it's not the one I was initially after in terms of wanting to compete in the time trial — but a world championship is a world championship and in terms of individual pursuit some of the greats of cycling have targeted that and made their names there.
"Although it's not an Olympic event anymore it was the blue ribbon event of endurance cycling and still attracts a fair bit of respect."
Cycling NZ's high performance director Martin Barras told Stuff Bond will still be in contention of a spot for next year's Olympics.