Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Former top Kiwi cyclist swaps the bike saddle for the couch

Former top Kiwi cyclist swaps the bike saddle for the couch as Commonwealth Games loom

A former top New Zealand cyclist who knows the taste of victory on the sport’s international stage is gearing up as an armchair supporter to cheer on the Kiwi cycling team competing in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

Champion rider Mark Rendell has stocked up the pantry of his Rotorua home with performance-enhancing coffee and chocolate to get him through what will be the long hours during the middle of the night and early mornings watching TV coverage of the games.

Rendell is the last New Zealander to have won a gold medal in cycling at a Commonwealth Games – taking out the top podium spot at the 1994 games in Canada for an exceptional ride in the individual road race, and adding to his tally at the event with a New Zealand team bronze in the team trials discipline.

These days Rendell spends more time pedaling property as a salesperson with real estate agency Bayleys, although he is still actively involved with Rotorua’s mountain biking scene and can be seen riding around the Rotorua lakes district virtually every weekend.

“Cycling is in the blood…. no pun intended,” joked the lean 45-year-old in reference to the sport’s various doping scandals. “It’s a great way to keep fit and has a very social aspect to it.

“We’re incredibly fortunate in Rotorua to be blessed with such varied terrain and routes that allow everything from mountain biking through to long-distances road tours. And the world-class new velodrome is only just up the road in Cambridge for the track riders.”

Mr Rendell predicted some long sessions ahead in front of the TV watching his beloved sport, “although I might try and record some of the racing and watch it over breakfast.”

“I had a bit of practice watching the daily highlights of the Tour de France over the past couple of weeks, so the body and mind are in pretty good shape for the ride ahead, albeit from the couch,” he said.

“There’s some excellent talent among the New Zealand cycling team up in Glasgow, and I’m picking we’ll see multiple New Zealanders taking the podium in several cycling events.”

So who are Rendell’s New Zealand medal picks from the Kiwi cycling contingent appearing at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games…?

“We’ve got a very strong representation in my old event, the road race. And even though it is an ‘individual’ event, watch out for the Kiwi boys to look after each other. There’s every chance we could have two on the podium – take your pick from Jack Bauer, Greg Henderson, Jesse Sergeant, Shane Archbold and Tom Scully. That’s a very strong contingent.

“I’m also expecting great things from Jesse in the individual time trials, and likewise from the boys in the 4000 metre team pursuit event.

“On the track, we’ve got excellent medal prospects on the pedals of both Simon van Velthooven and Eddie Dawkins who are both competing in the keirin and team sprint disciplines.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news