6 Jan 2017

Bauer, Nielsen win NZ time trial titles

5:53 pm on 6 January 2017

Cyclist Jack Bauer has won the men's 40 kilometre time trial at the elite National Road Championships in Napier.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games road race silver medallist finished in a time of 51 minutes and 54 seconds in what was his first time trial at the National Championships.

Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Bauer was joined on the podium by silver medalist Jason Christie, who crossed the line in 52 minutes 15 seconds, and Olympic gold medal rower Hamish Bond, who came third with a time of 53 minutes and 5 seconds.

It was Bond's first venture into championship cycling, with the two-time men's pairs Olympic champion taking up the sport during a one-year sabbatical from rowing.

Bauer was just three seconds clear of the former under-23 time trial winner Jason Christie after the first of two laps of a demanding course around Church Road Winery.

But the the Commonwealth Games medallist proved too strong on the second loop to win by a clear 21 seconds.

Bauer, who has recently signed on with the Belgian-based Quick-Step Floors professional team, said he couldn't be happier with his performance.

"That was so hard. That course was tough with the climb, and I had forgotten about how dead the New Zealand roads are with the big chip, and added to that the wind was quite strong," Bauer said.

"I am so thrilled to win this national title and to be able to take the national jersey back to Europe for my new team. I had no expectations today as it was more of a 40 kilometre hit-out for my major goal of the road championship on Sunday."

Bond said his third-placing didn't quite meet his high expectations.

Hamish Bond rides to victory in the inaugural Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge.

Hamish Bond cycling during December's Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge. Photo: Icon Sport

"I came here to learn really. I was hoping to do a little better to be honest but I am new to all of this. That took more out of me than I expected, so now I need to recover for the road race on Sunday."

Olympian Jaime Nielsen claimed her third elite women's time trial title, winning the 20 kilometre course by 24 seconds.

Nielson started strong with a a powerful opening 10 kilometres and then held on over the more technical second half of the lap.

She had an advantage of over a minute at the halfway point on fellow Rio Olympic team pursuiter Georgia Williams, but that margin was whittled down to 24 seconds at the finish with the Waikato rider winning in 29 minutes 31 seconds.

Cyclist Jaime Nielsen (middle) tops the podium for the women's time trial at the 2017 National Road Championships.

Cyclist Jaime Nielsen (middle) tops the podium for the women's time trial at the 2017 National Road Championships. Photo: Bruce Jenkins Photography/ Cycling NZ

Williams finished runner-up for a second time in 29 minutes 55, with defending champion Rushlee Buchanan third in 30 minutes 25 seconds.

Neilsen said it was a tough race.

"I was a bit nervous today and there were some changes to the course. I went really hard but felt it in the latter stages of the race," Nielsen said.

"I was targeting this race after Rio and prepared really well for it. It's always an honour to win a national title and I am really pleased."

The men's under-23 honours went to Olympian Regan Gough, while Mikayla Harvey won the women's under-23 race.