Ethan Hayter is confident of adding more wins to his palmarès at the Tour de Romandie, following his first WorldTour victory yesterday in the 5.12km time trial on the prologue of the Swiss stage-race.
He will start stage one's 178km race from La Grande Béroche to Romont today (Wednesday) wearing the leader's green jersey thanks to his time trial performance. Hayter is optimistic this won't be the last of his or Ineos Grenadiers' success at the Tour de Romandie either, as he eyes more wins in Switzerland.
"I had a couple of setbacks at the start of the year, I've taken a break from racing and trained really hard and to come back like this is nice," Hayter said.
“The course suited me well. I thought, I'll give it a crack and it turned out well. The next few days are also good for me. I hope to win more stages and take the general classification with the team.
"G [Geraint Thomas] did a really good TT as well today and it's looking good for the week ahead. We’d like to win as many stages as possible this week as well as the GC, too."
The Ineos Grenadiers rider came in four seconds quicker than second-placed Rohan Dennis, and 10 seconds ahead of teammate Geraint Thomas. This didn't surprise Hayter though, with the 23-year-old suggesting he has the ability to produce strong performances regardless of the field of riders he is against.
"To be honest it's not that much of a surprise," he said. "I knew that I was capable of it on a good day. Last year I was top 10 in the Worlds, and top 10 in Paris-Nice. This is a bit of a step up but I knew that I would be close.”
The British time trial champion has endured a disrupted 2022, with Covid-19 limiting his pre-season training before he took a four-week break from racing over March and April. Missing the Spring Classics certainly isn't something Hayter wanted, but he is now hoping a strong showing in the Tour de Romandie victory will put him in contention to start his first Grand Tour this summer.
“I was never meant to do the Giro, but it kept coming up," he said. "I hope to do my first Grand Tour this year but I don’t know which one it will be yet."
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