Ethan and Leo Hayter double up on national time trial gold - but Covid keeps family at home

Ethan scored yet another victory as Leo showcased his promise

Ethan Hayter wins the 2021 British National Time Trial
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An Olympic medal and nine pro victories for one, and an U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège title for the other - the Hayters have had many special days during the 2021 cycling season.

The photos that adorn the family mantlepiece must surely be in constant change, and October 14 will provide another keeper: both Ethan and Leo standing side-by-side in their red, white and blue stripes as national time trial champions. Ethan as the elite victor, and Leo as the U23 winner. Two brothers, two gold medals. 

If only the family were there to witness a proud day. "I was one of the favourites coming into this," Ethan said after his crushing win, "but he [Leo] wasn't so it was a nice way to start the day. 

"It's a big shame the family can't be here as dad [Tim] has got Covid. He's alright, but he's stuck at home. It's a bit of a shame for them as somehow we both won today. But I'm sure they'll celebrate it."

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Leo's victory margin of 53 seconds is the biggest ever in the U23 men's race - and so fast was he that older brother Ethan, three years his senior, had to dig hard to improve on the average speed.

"I don't think the time checks were that obvious in the car and I didn't get much," Ethan explained, "but I knew after two laps I was 10 seconds up on my brother's time. It was enough for him to win, but I didn't know how quick everyone else would be. But I knew I was going alright."

Ethan finished second at the recent Tour of Britain and has emerged as one of the professional peloton's strongest riders on punchy stages, rivalling the likes of Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Julian Alaphilippe.

That automatically makes him the favourite for Sunday's road race in Lincoln, while he is also racing Friday's national circuit championships. Could an unprecedented hat-trick be on the cards?

He was coy on his chances. "I'll see what happens," he said. "It's getting towards the end of the year and I've only got a few weeks left of racing - I'm looking forward to the end.

"I've got the World Champs on the track the week after so another week of intense racing. After the Madison next Sunday it's the holidays."

The Hayters deserve a celebratory get-together for it's been quiet the year. 

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