Rob Hayles: Rider Profile

Date of birth: 21/01/73
From: Portsmouth
Team: Retired
Previous teams: Endura (manager, 2010-12), Halfords-Bikehut (2008-2009); Team KLR (2006-2007), Recycling (2005), Persil (2004), Cofidis (2001-2003), Brite Voice (1998), Ambrosio (1996-1997)

Rob Hayles career profile
Rob Hayles has been a prominent rider on the British cycling scene for the best part of two decades. He’s been winning road races, time trials, criteriums and titles on the track since he started riding as an 11-year-old.

He was training with the British track riders who went to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when he was just 18, and although he didn’t travel to those Games, was a stalwart of the British track squad for years. Hayles’ lengthy career makes him one of the most experienced and well-respected riders in the British peloton, and he was a popular winner of the 2008 national road race.

Hayles started as a track rider on the Portsmouth track. His father, the former wrestler Killer Kowalski, was a track sprinter and his father before him also raced bikes.

Hayles first turned pro in 1995, and went on to ride for the Ambrosio team in 1996 and 1997 before moving to the Brite Voice team in 1998. It was around this time that Hayles first applied for lottery funding, which back then was somewhere between £7-11 thousand pounds. He and Chris Newton are the only two surviving riders from that first batch of riders.

After winning a bronze medal in the team pursuit at the Sydney Olympic Games, and then crashing out of the Madison while in the silver medal position, he went against the wishes of British Cycling’s World Class Performance Plan and signed for the French Cofidis squad.

The relationship between Hayles and the team started well enough, but during the 2001 season he and his wife were involved in a serious car crash on the A34 near Oxford. Hayles had a triple fracture of his pelvis and fractured the T12 vertebrae in his back.

The injury wrote-off the rest of his season and he got little sympathy from Cofidis when he did return to racing. The WCPP also started to apply pressure. Coaching staff had not wanted Hayles to move abroad and ride on the road and gave him an ultimatum that saw him ride the Moscow world cup in 2003 to prove he was still interested in the track.

Later that year Hayles was back in the fold and competing in the team pursuit quartet at the world track championships in Stuttgart, Germany (the British team won a silver medal behind the Australians who set a new world record).

In 2004 Hayles was based in Britain again, training with the national squad. He improved his Olympic tally with a silver in the team pursuit and a bronze in the Madison with Bradley Wiggins.

A low point in Hayles’ career came in March 2008 when he failed a UCI health test on the morning of the first day of competition at the track world championships in Manchester.

Hayles was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, but he had missed the worlds and with it any real chance of racing on the track at the Beijing Olympics. He immediately re-focused on the road and rebuilt his season, becoming national road race champion and was the only man to beat Russell Downing in the Premier Calendar races.

In 2010, Hayles took on the role of manager and road captain with the British-based Endura team; a position he continued to fill until retiring in 2012.

Rob Hayles results
Tour Series, round ten, Southend
Tour Series, round five, Blackpool
Clayton Velo Spring Classic

Team pursuit – Manchester world cup (track)
Scratch race, Round two Revolution Series
British road race national championship
Beaumont trophy (Prem Cal)
Tour of Pendle (Prem Cal)

Team pursuit – Commonwealth Games (track)

National circuit race championships
Team pursuit – world championships (track)
Madison – world championships (track)

Silver: Team pursuit – Olympics (track)
Bronze: Madison – Olympics (track)

Bronze: Team pursuit – Olympics (track)
National points race champion (track)
National pursuit champion (track)

National Madison champion (with Jonny Clay) (track)
National points race champion (track)
National pursuit champion (track)

National Madison champion (with Jonny Clay) (track)
National points race champion (track)
National pursuit champion (track)
National10m time trial champion
National 25m time trial champion

National Madison champion (with Russell Williams) (track)
National points race champion (track)
National pursuit champion (track)
Grand Prix of Essex (Prem Cal)
March Hare (Prem Cal)
Girvan (Prem Cal)

National10m time trial champion
National points race champion (track)

National Madison champion (with Russell Williams) (track)

National Madison champion (with Brian Steel) (track)
National kilometre champion
National 10 mile time trial champion

National kilometre champion

Rob Hayles photos
Click on the thumbnails of Rob Hayles below to open a larger image in a new window.

Rob Hayles

Rob Hayles

Rob Hayles

Related links

Cycling Weekly’s Rider Profiles: Index

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