Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeInterviewsEthan Hayter - "I'd love to ride Paris-Roubaix this year"

Ethan Hayter – “I’d love to ride Paris-Roubaix this year”


When we interviewed Ethan Hayter back in March 2018 he had recently been a member of the victorious GB squad in the World Team Pursuit Championship on the Apeldoorn Velodrome in The Netherlands at just 19 years-of-age. 

He told us then; ‘And of course there are the Tokyo Olympics by which time I’ll be 21 years-old and looking to join a World Tour team.

We all know what happened to the Olympics, but ‘job done’ on the World Tour place – and no ‘easing in’ to it for Mr. Ethan Hayter; big race podiums in short order and now his first win, in the UCI 1.1 Giro dell’Appennino.

Ethan Hayter shows how important his first pro win in the Giro dell’Appennino is to him. Photo©Bettini

The promise was there early, with wins in the 2016 junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and GP Serge Baguet plus a European junior Team Pursuit title.

The following season he took medals in every discipline in which he competed at the British track championships – Pursuit, Team Pursuit, Points, Omnium, Scratch and Madison, winning the latter two.

He also moved up to the u23 European Team Pursuit title that year.

Season 2018 saw the European u23 and Elite Omnium titles go his way as well as two medals in the Commonwealth Games in the Team Pursuit and Points Race.

To underline his versatility there were top eight finishes in both the u23 Time Trial and Road Worlds before a spell as a stagiaire with Team Sky

Last season saw a win in the Paris-Arras stage race, the prologue and a stage in the Baby Giro, a stage in l’Avenir and the British u23 road title.

On the track there were more British, European and World honours – with Team Pursuit silver and Omnium bronze in the latter.

This season saw him sign with Ineos and the podium came early with second in the non-too-flat Memorial Pantani and that was despite a crash in the 1.Pro Milano-Torino his second race, the first being the Gran Trittico Lombardo.

Ethan Hayter. Photo©Team Ineos

Then came ‘lockdown’ and his first race back was the European Championships in Plouay, won by Giacomo Nizzolo; Hayter finished a crash-blighted 98th but next up was the Pantani and the podium.

Since then there’s been a second and fifth place on stages of the Coppi e Bartali, third in the Giro della Toscana, ninth in the Coppa Sabatini before his landmark win in the Giro dell’Apenninno.

We kicked off by asking how he found the transition from u23 to Elite racing?

“I rode as a stagiaire with Sky but it’s strange now because when I was a u23 and when the Sky or Ineos bus arrived we’d all be a bit in awe of it but now I’m actually aboard it.

“But as I say, I rode stagiaire with Sky at the end of 2018 so knew what to expect, albeit the Trittico was hard because it was my first road race since the Tour de l’Avenir.”

What are the biggest differences you noticed when stepping up?

“Apart from the standard of the races it’s that there are more staff than riders at race; on the u23 team there are a lot less personnel and you have to fend for yourself more – but that’s as it should be, you have to be able to stand on your own two feet.”

Ethan Hayter
Ethan Hayter (c) relishing pro racing in Italy. Photo©supplied

Your crash in Milano-Torino was a bad one?

“I broke my back in three places so had to take a lot of rest as a result.

“During lockdown initially I couldn’t do much because of my back and I had tendonitis too.

“Lockdown was OK, I live with Matt Walls and Fred Wright in Manchester so once my injuries cleared up I was able to get out with them.

“Fortunately I don’t have a tendency to put weight on so that wasn’t an issue.”

So you just fly in and out to races?

“Yes, we’re in South Manchester so it’s only 10 or 15 minutes from the airport; the team takes care of all the logistics.

“I have a road and time trial bike at home so don’t have to worry about transporting bike back and forward, my suit case is pretty empty, I don’t even have to take a helmet.”

Who coaches you now, is that all down to the team?

“Conor Taylor at Ineos is my coach, he works in conjunction with the BC coaches; but I haven’t been able to do as much gym work as I would like because of the lockdown.”

Ethan Hayter
With several good results lately, Ethan Hayter is no stranger to the pro podium. Photo©Sirotti

Second in the Memorial Pantani?

“Yes, I surprised myself, I was back in the second group but got back up – the Astana rider, Fabio Felline got the better of me in the sprint.”

Coppi e Bartali went well for you too.

“I was second to the Jumbo Visma rider, Olav Kooij on Stage One; then we were second in the TTT to Deceuninck, that was a good result because our line-up was more a team of climbers rather than rouleurs.

“Then on stage three I was fifth but I sat up and dropped a couple of places after leading Jhonathan Narvaez out to the win – that set him up for the eventual overall win.” 

Third in Toscana?

“That was down to a sprint with Gaviria winning from Robert Stannard (the Mitchelton Scott rider) – who I beat into third to win  in the Appennino.” 

Ethan Hayter
Ethan Hayter has won in his first year. Photo©Sirotti

What comes after the Worlds? [Hayter was not originally down to ride at Imola but with Matt Holmes withdrawing he gets the ride, ed.]

“I have the BinckBank Tour which is five stages with a Time Trial included; I’ve heard it’s a bit of a crazy race but I’m looking forward to it and to riding my time trial bike.

“After that I’m not sure but I think I may be in line for the ‘spring classics,’ the thing is that there are so many races crammed in that the team has a triple programme – the day the Giro starts, the BinckBank Tour finishes then the Liege-Bastogne-Liege is next day; then following weekend you have the Amstel, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours.

“Paris-Roubaix is on October 25th and I’d love to ride that.”

And what about your track ambitions?

“The Europeans are in Bulgaria in November, just after the road season ends whilst the Worlds have been moved again to next October so the Olympics will come first – but right now no one knows what’s going to go ahead?”

Indeed not, not all events have the political clout of the Tour de France. With thanks and best wishes to Ethan for the rest of season 2020.

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Ben Swift Retains the British Men’s Road Championship

On a day when we watched hard men like Gran Piemonte winner, Matt Walls and Tro Bro victor, Connor Swift crack before our very eyes it was reigning champion, Ben Swift who extended his tenure in that lovely jersey from 2019 through 2020 and 2021 into at least June 2022.

Milan – Sanremo 2008 – Day 1

The 99th edition of Milan - SanRemo 2008 is the first of the five "monuments" of the professional year, and it's true to say that the Italian race is one of the the highlights of every sprinter's season. The race is one of the legends in cycling, not really because of it's terrain, but rather for it's incredible history, and for the fact that it is the longest classic on the modern day calendar.

Flavio Zappi – Helping His Riders Cope with Covid and Brexit

Flavio Zappi plays down his own career on the bike but in a time and place where it was hard to get a pro contract and then sometimes even harder to achieve contract renewal after one season, if the results weren’t there or your face didn’t fit, he rode numerous seasons at the highest levels of Italian cycle sport.

Micheal Wilson – Aussie Giro Stage Winner in the 80’s

‘Lockdown’ does have benefits. The big advantage for me is that I have time to catch up with riders who it’s long overdue I should speak to. One such rider is Australia’s Micheal Wilson, a winner of Grand Tour stages and Italian races of quality. Micheal was at home in Tasmania with a glass of his own Pinot Grigio to hand – Micheal is still involved in wine production – when I called and asked him to stroll down memory lane with me...

Tim James

Over the weekend we were shocked and saddened to hear that young English rider Tim James had passed, aged just 23 years.

Milan – Sanremo 2008 – Day 2

A hard race ? When the World and Olympic road race champion is blown out the back, his eyes wide, shoulders rocking, sweat dripping from him, stuggling up a climb on the inside ring, when only minutes ago he was blasting it on the 53 - that's a hard race. Milan - San Remo has to be seen to be believed: seven hours, with all the major obstacles in the second half. The new climb at La Manie is brutal and might just have contributed to the "pure" sprinters failure in San Remo.

At Random

A Preview of the 101st Berlin Six Day 2012

The Berlin Six Day reached a golden milestone last January with its 100th edition, and the annual festivities will return to the German Capital for the 101st Berlin Six Day 2012 on Thursday.

Postcards from the Orica GreenEdge Team Car

Our pal Craig Geater works as a mechanic for the Orica GreenEDGE team, and is putting in the hard shifts at the Tour de France. Like everyone involved in the race, he's very busy, but when he has his iPad or phone in hand he's been taking a moment or two to snap some images, and fire them over to us.

Calum Johnston – “I wanted to make my mark in Spain”

The last time we spoke to young Scot, Calum Johnston was after his sterling 12th place in the 2020 ‘Baby’ Giro riding for that ‘Man of Cycling,’ Flavio Zappi’s Holdsworth team. The man is back on his best game; we spoke to him soon after his first win, in the Trofeo San Jose-Iberdola.

Mini Liege (hopefully no 2010 repeat): Stage 1

The first road stage has started! Touted as a mini Liege Bastogne Liege, the course covers many of the same roads as the race known as La Doyenne, one of the single day Classics known as a Monument. The last time these roads were tackled at the Tour was in 2009, easily the worst working day of my Sports Physio career - I was working for the Garmin team at the time.

Knee Warmers, and ProTour Guys in Scotland

Before we talk about Knee Warmers... Matt, our Aussie cobber has clued me in on the Lance gig - he's notching a few K's whilst in here for the U2 gig, before he heads for the Tour of Ireland.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 17; Sarnonico – Vittorio Veneto, 204 km. Stefano Pirazzi Prevails

The other day we had the score down as 2:0 in the Bardiani v. Sky match – well, it’s now 3:0 as the versatile Stefano Pirazzi demonstrated the desire, desperation and grinta you need to be a Giro stage winner. As well as being a former Tirreno and Giro King of the Mountains, he’s been a medallist in the Italian TT Championships. This is his fifth full pro season – initially with Colnago and remaining with the team as it morphed into Bardiani.