NZ Cycle Classic playing role in getting American to Tokyo Olympics alongside his Kiwi wife

This week's New Zealand Cycle Classic could also play a part in the Olympic aspirations of other nations, with the lone American in the race hoping his time here will help get him to Tokyo.

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American Adrian Hegyvary and Scotsman Mark Stewart are making the most of their time down under. Source: 1 Sport

American track cyclist Adrian Hegyvary is a multi-time national champion, who's on team USA's long list for Tokyo, and with wife Rushlee Buchanan already in line to represent New Zealand at the games, getting there is priority number one.

“It's devastating to see what's happening around the world, but selfishly it's been awesome to be here, and we can train and we can race,” Adrian Hegyvary said.

Adrian Hegyvary and his Kiwi cyclist wife Rushlee Buchanan. Source: 1 NEWS

A track cyclist by nature, he's using this week's road race as part of the build-up, alongside the only other overseas rider in the race  -Scottish teammate Mark Stewart

Stewart, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, came here to visit his girlfriend, Kiwi track cyclist Emma Cumming in March last year, before a cancelled flight and various other things kept him in Aotearoa.

“It seems to be hitting home now that it might be a repeat year with things being cancelled rescheduled, so it's hitting home for me now how lucky it is to be here,” he said.

He's managed to pull on a national jersey, although it wasn't his own, representing "team USA" alongside Hegyvary at the New Zealand National Champs.

I think just now the USA are happy to have anyone represent them,” he joked.

If his bona fide American teammate does get selected for team USA, then New Zealand and the Cycle Classic will have played its part in getting him to Tokyo.