Ethan Hayter is targeting stage victories at the Vuelta a España, as he embarks upon his first ever Grand Tour.
Hayter will join the race fresh from winning on GC at the Tour of Poland, but a GC bid in Spain is out of the question as Poland is a significantly shorter and less mountainous affair than the Vuelta.
When the race gets underway in Utrecht on Friday 19 August, the team will likely call on Richard Carapaz to go for the overall win.
“There's obviously the job of helping the team for the GC - I don't think I'm going to be leading on that front. I'll go for stage opportunities myself, which is quite exciting. I’ll look at opportunities of winning within the race for the team,” Hayter said.
He suggests these opportunities are plentiful, with the time trials certainly a target for the 23-year-old. He is a two-time British time trial champion, and in the eight TTs he has competed in this year, he has finished on the podium on no less than six occasions.
When asked whether the 31.1km stage ten represents an opportunity to secure a victory, Hayter expressed confidence in his ability. “Yeah, definitely - just because it's been something I've been working on. I do a lot of training on my TT bike. Even if I don't do the best ride, just from executing it well, technically, I'm always up there. I've been on the podium in most time trials this year, so it [time trialling] is definitely a strength.
“I'd like to win stages, hopefully. The time trial is a good opportunity - it's 30k, pretty flat with a few kickers at the end. But there's plenty of other opportunities as well that could end up being good."
He will face stiff competition from Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and newly crowned Commonwealth Games TT champion Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma), though.
Regardless, the opening stage is a team time trial over 23.3km in the Netherlands, and represents an early opportunity for Hayter and his Ineos Grenadiers teammates to get off to a flying start.
Triumphing on the first stage of his Grand Tour debut certainly isn't the worst way to begin, that's for sure.
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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