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Cycling Weekly
Cycling Weekly
Adam Becket

21 things you didn't know about Ethan Hayter

Ethan Hayter

Ethan Hayter is one of British cycling's most promising talents. The 24-year-old has won races on the track and on the road, and has proved himself adept at the kind of punchy finishes that also favour the likes of Wout van Aert and Julian Alaphilippe. He might not have the same presence as his teammate and compatriot Tom Pidcock, but he is still one to watch in the coming years.

Sadly, the Londoner is currently out of action after breaking his collarbone at the Critérium du Dauphiné, meaning it's unlikely he'll defend his national ITT champion title or race the Tour de France next month. However, he'll hopefully be back in time to combine track and road goals at the Glasgow World Championships in August.

He first burst onto the scene in 2018, winning a gold medal at the Track World Championships as part of the team pursuit squad. He also won gold at the European Track Championships in the Omnium that same summer. 

After racing with Team Sky as a trainee in 2018, he joined what is now Ineos Grenadiers full time in 2020, having impressed at under-23 level the year before.  

Since then, he has combined his track and road talents, continuing to perform and win on both.

By the way, if you know Hayter's nickname, or you want to come up with one, do let us know.

Ethan Hayter wins a stage of the Tour of Britain in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Ethan Hayter came into cycling through the Herne Hill Velodrome, the storied venue in south London which was also instrumental in the early careers of Bradley Wiggins, Fred Wright, and Tom Gloag. The velodrome was used as the location of the track events at the 1948 London Olympics.

2. He was top of the year in the bleep test at school, which makes sense, given his aerobic powers now.

3. He joined VC Londres, the club connected to Herne Hill, in 2012, aged 13. The club also supported Wright, Gloag, Joanna Rowsell Shand, and Flora Perkins, among others.

4. His younger brother, Leo, born three years after Ethan, also followed him to Herne Hill and VCL. They are now even on the same WorldTour team, Ineos Grenadiers.

5. Ethan started out borrowing racing bikes from VCL before getting his own. His dad, Tim, told The British Continental in 2021: "In 2013, he decided he wanted to do the Assen Youth Tour, which meant he wanted to get a better bike. That was fine, but then things started escalating a bit. He persuaded my dad to buy him some Fast Forward wheels, so that’s 600 quid, which is quite a lot of money. That was a bit of an investment.”

6. Hayter won one of his first races on a £600 bike. Recounting the story, Mark Patterson, VCL's then chairman, told Cycling Weekly in 2021: "When I have Ethan on a call [with the young members] I always get him to say how he won his first national on a Decathlon £600 bike, beating other people riding £3-4,000 bikes. That’s the sort of message I always try to get people to understand.” 

7. He gave up his A-Level studies (maths, physics and chemistry) to join British Cycling's senior academy in 2016.

Ethan Hayter celebrates taking silver in the Madison at the Olympics in 2021, alongside Matt Walls (Image credit: Getty Images)

8. Hayter won his first British junior track titles in 2015, in the individual pursuit and Madison (along with Wright, there's a theme here). A year later, he stepped up a level to win the Madison at senior level, along with Joe Holt. In 2016, he also defended his junior IP title, and was part of the squad that won the team pursuit at the European Junior Championships.

9. Hayter can't swim, which makes it very unlikely that he will ever dabble in triathlons.

10. The 24-year-old also can't drive. Luckily for Hayter, being a professional cyclist, he can just climb aboard the team bus at the end of a race rather than fussing about driving home.

11. The Londoner is a lifelong Arsenal fan, although he would have missed the club's glory days, more or less, being just five when the club went 38 games unbeaten in 2003-4. He shares this trait with his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart.

12. His go-to pre-race meal is pasta or porridge, depending on when in the day it is, we're guessing.

13. Hayter's first World Championship title came in 2018, when he was part of the team pursuit squad which won gold in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. He repeated this in 2022, winning gold in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

14. He has two solo titles at World Championship level, winning the omnium in 2021 and 2022. In the latter, he beat fellow road cyclists Benjamin Thomas (France/Cofidis) and Aaron Gate (New Zealand/Bolton Equities Black Spoke). He was also European champion in 2018, in the same discipline.

Ethan Hayter time trials in his British national champion's kit (Image credit: Getty Images)

15. On the road, his first big win came in the under-23 road race at the British National Championships in 2019. That same year, he won stages at the Baby Giro d'Italia and the Tour de l'Avenir, the two key development races.

16. Hayter has broken his collarbone three times while racing, at l'Avenir in 2019, and then at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Critérium du Dauphiné in 2023.

17. He has lived with various track and road professionals over the years, including Fred Wright and Matt Walls.

18. In 2022, he flew his parents out for the road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, which meant they could watch his brother Leo finish on the podium in the under-23 time trial.

19. He has only raced one Grand Tour, the 2022 Vuelta a España, at which he spent time in the white jersey for best young rider. Sadly, however, he tested positive for Covid after stage nine and was sent home.

20. Before he seriously got into cycling, Hayter spent time practising Taekwondo. We hope none of these moves are ever needed in the bunch.

21. In his spare time, the 24-year-old enjoys playing on his PlayStation and putting Ikea furniture together. And he's left-handed. Sinister. 

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