Hayter's talents shine brighter and brighter

Following successful appearances in the 2021 UCI Track Nations Cup, and the Tour de Romandie earlier this year, Ethan Hayter gave his 2022 season a new dimension with his first overall victory in a UCI WorldTour event, the Tour de Pologne. The Londoner aims for higher successes with his Ineos Grenadiers team, where he has recently been joined by his brother Leo.

There was a (not so distant) time when British riders ruled the velodromes and had a far less significant influence on road racing. In the 2000s and mostly 2010s, they rose to the highest summits and conquered rainbow, yellow, pink and red jerseys. It is now time for their heirs to take over, on all types of terrains as illustrated by Tom Pidcock’s multidisciplinary exploits. A year older, Ethan Hayter is another versatile talent hailing from England and currently making waves in a range of different environments.

At only 23 years old, the Londoner has already garnered an impressive collection of jerseys. A British, European and UCI World Champion (as well as an Olympic silver medallist) on the track, he’s also used to swapping his Ineos Grenadiers road kit for the national colours, as a 2-time Elite individual time trial champion, or for the young rider’s white jersey, as a rising force in overall standings.

Most recently, he donned yellow as he won the Tour de Pologne, the second GC victory in his career, his first in the UCI WorldTour. He is the first British winner of the event, which has been competed since 1928, and recently won by local heroes Rafal Majka and Michal Kwiatkowski but also by international stars such as Peter Sagan, Remco Evenepoel, Joao Almeida…

From Romandie to Dauphiné, passing by Canada

“I haven’t done many UCI WorldTour races,” he observed earlier this season in Paris-Nice, as reporters were closely watching the British rising talent. In the Race to the Sun, Hayter claimed two stage top-10 results, in a demanding sprint and in a short ITT.

A couple of months later, he was gaining more experience in the UCI WorldTour… and claimed his first victories at this level as well: the prologue and stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie. It was the opportunity for him to wear green, as the first leader of the race, then orange, as the winner of the points standings.

His cycling odyssey took him to Canada two weeks later. There, he shone with his Omnium rainbow jersey, winning the track endurance event at the Milton round of the UCI Track Nations’ Cup. From there, he headed to Northern Europe and won stage 2 of the Tour of Norway.

Was that sequence exhausting? Most definitely, as Hayter was the first to admit the following week as he took on the Critérium du Dauphiné (3 stage podium finishes), but he still won the Great Britain individual time trial (ITT) national championships and, after a competitive break in July, returned eager for more success.

UCI WorldTour, Grand Tours, UCI Worlds... "The goal is clear"

With new bibs on his back, Hayter didn’t play the winning part he hoped for in the early stages of the Tour de Pologne. Still, his consistent results put him in a strong overall position and the uphill ITT on stage 6 saw him power to the leadership.

“To win a UCI WorldTour stage race is a big achievement and it’s nice to have that in my palmares,” Hayter told reporters after he secured the overall victory the next day in Krakow, ahead of another young talent, Team DSM’s Thymen Arensman (aged 22), of the Netherlands.

Even before the Tour de Pologne, Hayter had his eyes on a first Grand Tour participation with La Vuelta Ciclista a España coming very soon (August 19 - September 11). "There's a lot of guys going for it in the team, and we don't exactly know who's going, but hopefully I'll have a good chance," Hayter told Cyclingnews. "After missing out on the Tour, it'd be quite exciting to do that."

Waiting for the call to Spain, Ethan already received good news from Ineos Grenadiers as the British squad aim to make the most of the Hayter talents. On August 1st, they announced the signing of his younger brother Leo, winner of the Under 23 versions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro d’Italia.

As for Ethan, his contract has recently been extended until the end of the 2024 season with natural ambitions: “The goal is clear - to kick on and win more UCI WorldTour races, have a go at the UCI World Champs and get some Grand Tours under my belt. I believe I am in the best environment to continue winning over the coming seasons.”