By Jonny Long
Ethan Hayter has added to his British national time trial title with the win in the National Circuit Championships.
The Ineos rider beat fellow young British WorldTour riders Harry Tanfield (Qhubeka-Assos) and Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ) into second and third as he crossed the line in Lincoln to take his second national title this week.
Hayter, Tanfield and Askey had been part of a five-man leading group alongside Tanfield's younger brother Charlie as well as Ribble-Weldtite's Charles Page before Hayter sprinted clear to take the win.
"I knew all these guys were super strong, both Tanfields are super strong crit riders, Lewis and Charles are also super strong as well," Hayter said afterwards. "It wasn't really the course to attack solo, you know like if people stopped and you were away you would win, like they showed in the women's race, but people were chasing, it was hard to beat a group of five and I also knew everyone would look at me to chase each move.
"I actually tried to not do too much and stay a bit closer to the bunch so that the guys would keep working and not try to attack themselves. And ideally, it came down to a sprint. There were a few attacks, I was just about in control and just went as hard as I could out of the last proper corner and you leant into this twisty bit and you could win unless someone did something ridiculous or you crashed and I managed to avoid those two things."
💨💨💨#NatRoadChamps pic.twitter.com/Raf4ABO7upOctober 15, 2021
After taking silver in the men's Omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, Hayter has carried his spectacular form into the remainder of the road season, taking the overall victory at the Tour of Norway and a stage win at the Tour of Britain, narrowly missing out on the GC title. That didn't stop him from feeling the nerves at the start line in Lincoln yesterday evening, however.
"I was a little bit nervous at the start in the dark but then we got halfway round in that group of five and I was loving it to be honest," Hayter said. "There were a lot of people shouting my name and stuff which is a bit strange. It's almost like a go-kart track going round some of the corners."
Now, Hayter will head into Sunday's road race as the rider to watch, his form having delivered him both the time trial and circuit titles, now having a chance to complete the trio.
"I think there's a bit of pressure on now and everyone will be looking at me," he admitted. "So it's not going to be easy but we'll play our cards, We've [Ineos] only got three riders but we'll see what we can do."
Meanwhile, Jo Tindley took the women's circuit title, beating Abi Smith and Corinne Side into silver and bronze.
It was a spectacular solo performance from Tindley, leading from the start and the field behind unable to catch her. Her win was made even more special by the fact she hails from Lincoln and used to work behind the bar in the pub that overlooked the finish line.
“If you’re going to do it, you want to do it in front of a home crowd, don’t you? There was quite a lot of drive that kept me going, but it’s not sunk in just yet," Tindley said.
“There are some really good sprinters in the group, and having done some other races this year I knew I couldn’t just handle them, so for me it was either whittling it down and making one big move, or as it happened really early it just lined out and there’s not a lot of rest on this circuit, so I knew I could potentially get away. When the gap happened quite early I had to commit to it, I had no other option.
“I used to work at the pub just here so I know the finish line very well from looking out of the window at it. You always dream it – it’s pretty special.”
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