While many pro riders will be adjusting their schedules this year to accommodate the Olympics around their usual road calendar, Brit Ethan Hayter is waiting to begin life in the professional peloton until after the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The 21-year-old signed a three-year contract with Ineos in November but won’t be focusing on road racing until after this summer as he wants to win three gold medals in Japan, a small feat that would lift him up to being the 15th most successful British Olympian of all-time.
“When I’ve got my sheet with my goals on, my top one is three golds,” Hayter tells the Telegraph. “When you see it, you think that’s weird. I’m hoping to go to the Olympics and win three gold medals.
“But the way I see it is you may as well try and do as best you can. I’ve been to the Euros and ridden all three and got three medals and I’ve got quite good performances at the Worlds, too.”
Unbridled confidence and further opportunities for Olympic glory if things don’t go right this time are the benefits of youth, but Hayter, born in London, has the stats to back it up.
“At senior elite events, I’ve been on the podium more times than I haven’t, which is a pretty good record. You may as well try to do as best you can,” he says.
One particular podium appearance, his best result to date he says, was beating Elia Viviani, who won gold in the omnium at Rio 2016 ahead of Mark Cavendish, to become European omnium champion in 2018.
Alongside the scalp of the Italian sprinter, he has received high praise from a compatriot who has already achieved Hayter’s goal of three Olympic golds.
After being part of the team that won team pursuit gold at the Track World Championships in March 2018, Ed Clancy dubbed Ethan Hayter “the next Bradley Wiggins”, which would excite any young British cyclist.
“Obviously I don’t hear it and think, ‘Oh yes, I’ll be the next Bradley Wiggins’,” says Hayter. “But you hear it and the fact that he believes it is possible, is quite exciting and something I’d like to do. If I get three golds then, yes, I am well on the way.”