Rob Hayles has revealed to Cycling Weekly that he will take on a new role as rider/manager at the Scottish Endura team in 2010.
Hayles will leave Halfords and break his links with British Cycling, to join the expanding Endura project that also intends to develop Scottish riders for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Hayles will be 37 in January but like Lance Armstrong, he has no intention of retiring just yet.
“Being given the opportunity to be a rider-manager is something different but it’s kind of a natural evolution,” Hayles told Cycling Weekly after stage six of the Tour of Britain on Thursday.
“It’s not just racing, it’s something new to learn. That’s exciting. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve been involved in the Federation set-up for 20 years but I’ll be stepping away from it. It’s probably a little bit out of my comfort zone but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a moment of change in my life.”
Several riders have been rumoured to be joining Endura for 2010 but with the British peloton in a state of flux and the future of the Halfords team unclear, no names have yet been confirmed.
“I don’t know the full details of the team yet. I hope it will be one of the stronger teams, with some different riders,” Hayles told Cycling Weekly.
“It’ll be a growing thing, moving on from this year, with perhaps even more riders the year after. It’s great that Endura want to step it up. It’s a smaller company that is really hands on. It’s going back to what I’m used to.”
Hayles has struggled to be competitive in major road races this year. He says it is because he had lost motivation after being let go from the Great Britain track squad.
“I struggled this year because I basically lost my reason to ride a bike, which was the team pursuit and Madison. That’s why I’ve always ridden on the road, even way back with Cofidis. Even last year, when I had a fantastic season on the road, it was because I wanted to go to the Beijing Olympic Games and ride on the track.”
“There were new guys coming through on the track squad but I still thought I had something to give. But the decision was made for me. I would probably have never made it myself and so it was really hard this year.”
The Endura team will be a Scottish team. Hayles is from the south of England but insists he has enough Scottish heritage for the job.
“My granddad was Scottish and my son is called Fergus, so we’re nearly there. I’ve also got a bit of ginger in me.”