Ethan Hayter enhanced his position as GB’s omnium rider for the 2020 Olympics with a good set of rides and a bronze medal today.
Hayter, the 2018 European omnium champion, is one of four riders vying for the ride. A worlds medal will do his chances no harm, but he came off the track knowing it could have been gold.
He performed consistently in the scratch, tempo and elimination races in Poland to put him in to the joint lead with Campbell Stewart (NZl) going in to the final points race. This however meant he had to watch everyone as the field was tightly grouped behind them.
But it was Stewart, who had marked Hayter closely during the first half of the race, who escaped and gained a lap. “I just didn’t follow him and I should have. I had the legs to do it.” Hayter said. “To be honest I let it get to my head a bit. Normally I’m quite clever, I follow a lot of the right moves, but early on I did way too much. I panicked when a lap went, I didn’t realise that was I was still in the lead after that lap got taken. I’d already panicked and spent too much gas there.”
“You’ve got to watch everyone, really. [Benjamin] Thomas (Fra) had a bad scratch race, he came 20th so he was right down the rankings, took a lap and got himself a silver medal. Anything can happen.”
Elinor Barker was a last minute replacement for Katie Archibald in the women’s Madison, only learning after breakfast that she would be riding. “I don’t want to use it as an excuse because obviously I have ridden a lot of Madisons before and I’m relatively experienced.” Barker, a silver medalist in Hong Kong 2017, said.
“I think it’s just mentally having your head in the game. Katie has been preparing for the Madison with Neah for the last month or so, since we decided selection.”
“They’ve been training on the track, watching videos, formulating a plan. I haven’t really been part of that. And I then got a crash course this morning over breakfast. We watched a year’s worth of videos and I tried to kind of absorb it all.”
The pair eventually finished fourth just missing out on a podium when the Danish duo escaped at the end to take double points and the bronze medal. Gold went to the Netherlands.
Evans was riding in her first world championships following a breakthrough year in 2018. “I had that moment a couple of weeks ago, one of those things flashed up on my Facebook that two years ago I was doing my first competition with British Cycling, the Cali world cup.”
“The week before that I’d retired as a vet. That was one of those moments when you think, ‘ah, a lot has happened in two years.’ But it’s still a steep learning curve.”
Both Jack Carlin and Joe Truman were knocked out of the men’s sprint in the 1/8 finals. The result was particularly tough for Truman who beat Australian Nathan Hart only to be relegated for riding on the blue as they came out of the final turn.
“Joe’s done a lot of work toward today and this was the main event he came to ride so it’s extra disappointing for him.” Sprint coach Justin Grace said.
“He’s going to have to live with that and we’ll take him away and work on training him to ride in a straight line down the straights. A quick look over your shoulder or under your elbow and you can be there.”
With no medals in the men’s sprint events this year there are however no alarm bells ringing in the British camp “It hasn’t been our best week.” Said Grace. “The positives that we can take out of it is that we know where our riders are at, even if we didn’t prove it this week. We’re in the same boat as a lot of other nations.