Home Race Race Reviews British Time Trial Championships 2022; Ethan Hayter keeps it in the family

British Time Trial Championships 2022; Ethan Hayter keeps it in the family

Photo©Ed Hood


Slight change if you don’t mind?

Can you please hop in with Jake Tipper at 13:50?

It’s a message from Colin Sturgess, Ribble Weldtite DS and former World Professional Pursuit Champion, I’d been looking forward to his chat in the Ribble Weldtite team car but I know better than argue.

I track down a stressed Jake; ‘the black Honda!

I’ve interviewed Jake in the past, he’s a former British Team Pursuit champion and winner of stages in the Tour of Morocco and Qinghai Lake – but today he’s in DS mode. 

I’m trying to remember that last time I followed a rider in a Time Trial – Bradley Wiggins through the grubby back streets of Milano in the Giro’s closing time trial, with Martin at the Tour watching Michael Mørkøv blast those 52km to Chartres or that time we followed Charly Wegelius through the glorious vineyards of Champagne?

No matter, what a nice way to spend a Thursday afternoon, chasing Zeb Kyffin around the beautiful, sun-drenched parcours beside the Solway Firth. 

My buddy Davie Henderson and I were there early to see the u23 race and had plenty time to mooch around and look at the Elite bikes.

Photo©Ed Hood

James Shaw time tests well for a climber and like most, if it’s not a hilly or mountain job, rides a single ring, a BiG one, it’s not so much about giving a mega gear, it’s about enabling you to ride with chain nearer the centre of the cassette to give a better chain line and big rings coupled with over-size derailleur rollers minimise drive train losses.

The bike of Ethan Hayter and Ben Turner relaxing. Photo©Ed Hood

The lovely Pinarello of Ethan Hayter left us in no doubt as to who is the reigning Campione; the huge bike in the background belongs to Ben Turner, that’s him on the left, a young man who stormed into the Classics head first back in the spring. 

Cameron Richardson. Photo©Ed Hood

We had a little time at the start house before my Ribble Rendezvous, first man to face the timekeeper was Scotland’s Cameron Richardson who sat in the start house quietly considering the job to be done.

Photo©Ed Hood

And there was our boy Zeb’s weapon – complete with big ring and super cool Ceramic Speed derailleur rollers.

His clinchers were latex tubed front and tubeless rear. 

Photo©Ed Hood

Jake manoeuvres the black Honda into position, number 333, Zeb heaves the big one round off the start line and we’re away.

It’s a while since I’ve felt this content.

Sad, I know.  

The parcours isn’t technical, just a couple of wiggly bits at the start and finish, a chicane in the middle and a couple of drags – my Ribble eBike would like this circuit. 

Jake doesn’t go over the score with instructions on the radio; ‘keep your head down, stay aero,’ – ‘stay on that smooth section of the tarmac.’  

Zeb is stroking the gear round nicely on a rare day of glorious weather in Scotland.

But what’s that’s this, a car coming up on us?

Photo©Ed Hood

I’m trying not to be picky but can you keep 10 metres behind your rider – that’s about two car lengths,’ the commissaire tells us. 

Ever since INEOS followed Ganna with a car over stuffed with bikes on the roof to improve the ‘bow wave’ effect of the team vehicle, the ‘powers that be’ have clamped down on following riders too closely with the car in time trials. 

Jake backs off – a little.

Photo©Ed Hood

The course is pan-flat now, running parallel to the reed beds along the beautiful Solway Firth.

The road is straight so Jake’s instructions remain the same – keeping aero and finding the smoothest surface.

Photo©Ed Hood

The road snaps up as we come round to complete the first of two 22 kilometre circuits, Zeb is out of the saddle to maintain momentum before the ‘twisty bits’ to the line.

Photo©Ed Hood

We don’t have Alpe d’Huez crowds roadside but there are pockets of spectators around the course enjoying the sun as Zeb stays of the ‘skis’ to negotiate the corners.

Photo©Ed Hood

On lap one the riders go to the left of the impressive Crichton Church whilst on lap two they go right to the line.

QuickStep’s Ethan Vernon contrived to go the wrong way on lap one and whilst he completed his second lap wasn’t classified as a finisher.

Photo©Ed Hood

As we start lap two, Zeb whistles past his four minute man, George Skinner of Primera-TeamJobs; there’s no ‘habbling’ as we used to say in Scotland, where Skinner comes back at him, he’s passed and gone, clean. 

Jake has driven the circuit a few times so on the drags he can advise Zeb about dosing his effort; ‘just another 10 seconds, then get back to race speed, you can recover over the top.’

Photo©Ed Hood

Down by the Solway again and a gentleman with full ZZ Top beard is out taking pictures – radical, Dude!

Photo©Ed Hood

The Solway coast may be beautiful but she’s a dangerous beast, the tide comes in faster than a man can run and the roadside signs remind the unwary of the dangers lurking just off the tarmac.

Photo©Ed Hood

The chicane, and Zeb’s lines are better on this lap, Jake explained to me how it should be done first time round – but as he said, it was a tad long winded to deliver over the radio.

Photo©Ed Hood

We’re into the closing stages and Jake tells Zeb to be careful on those last bends, he’s off the skis and down the gears for the final bends and lumps to the line.

Photo©Ed Hood
Photo©Ed Hood

The final effort to the line – then the ‘hot seat’ Zeb [right] went briefly top of the pile before team mate Ollie Peckover [centre] took over as leader.

Ollie would end the day seventh and Zeb 12th with the man on the left of picture here, Scotland’s Kyle Gordon, who would end the day in 16th spot. 

Dan Bigham. Photo©Ed Hood

Out the car and scurry back to the start house where ‘Aero King’ and British hour record holder, Dan Bigham was launching as second seed.

Ethan Hayter launches. Photo©Ed Hood

Ethan Hayter was impassive as he rolled out of the start house, his first lap time made it seem like it may be a tight race…

That was before he nitro-dumped on lap two taking him 1:14 clear of Dan and 1:31 on James Shaw.

Mark Stewart. Photo©Ed Hood

Reigning Commonwealth Games Points Race champion, Mark Stewart [Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling] was giving that nice Pinarello an outing, he didn’t get the chance to ride it in the Tour of Belgium time test, a bad crash on Stage One saw to that – the doctor did a neat job on the stitches to his leg though and 13th place in this company wasn’t too bad given he’s not at full strength.  

James Shaw. Photo©Ed Hood

James Shaw’s entry speed into the final right hander was scary – but that’s because he’s a World Tour professional and tests strongly for a climber.

Alex Dowsett. Photo©Ed Hood

Alex Dowsett has won this race six times in the past but eighth was the final verdict today – that Father Time character is unforgiving.

Ethan Hayter. Photo©Ed Hood

Hayter appeared what seemed just like moments after Dan Bigham, having started two minutes behind him – and was even quicker than Shaw round the final bend – no stopwatch needed to decide the winner of this race.

Ethan Hayter takes the jersey and title, with Dan Bigham (l) and James Shaw(r) sharing the podium. Photo©Ed Hood

All that remained to do was take the podium pics.

Colin, Jake, Zeb, Dumfries – thank you, as our US cousins might say; ‘I had a blast!’

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