Ethan Hayter triumphs against the clock in Tour de Romandie prologue

The 23-year-old claimed his first time trial victory since winning the British national championships last October.

Ethan Hayter in Tour de Romandie prologue 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) thundered to victory in the short but technical individual time trial prologue at the Tour de Romandie. 

The Brit held off the two-time world champion Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma) by four seconds to claim his second victory of the season.

Geraint Thomas, Hayter's team-mate at Ineos Grenadiers, finished fourth on the stage, giving himself an early edge as he looks to retain his Tour de Romandie title. 

Hayter will wear the green leader’s jersey, sponsored by Swiss cheesemakers Le Maréchal, on stage one of the six-day race.

How it happened

The opening individual time trial offered a flat parcours fraught with technical obstacles. With a handful of tricky corners and two hairpin turns, the 5.1km route around the city of Lausanne promised risk taking from those hoping to place highly in the general classification.

By the time the first riders set off down the ramp, the morning's rain had dried out and the sun was beating down on the tarmac. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), one of the early starters, set a strong time to beat of 6-05-96, averaging in excess of 50km/h.

The German didn’t lead the race for long before his time was bettered by Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco). Or so we thought. A closer look at the clock placed the Italian time trial champion in second by a fraction of a millisecond, and Schachmann kept his place in the hot seat.

Felix Grosßchartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), however, left no room for doubt. The Austrian glided through the course, taking three seconds off his teammate’s time and bringing the bar closer to the six-minute mark.

The first rider to clock under six minutes was Hayter. Adorned in the red, white and blue bands of the British national champion jersey, the Ineos Grenadiers rider forced a huge gear along the Lausanne airport runway, gasping for air as he drove down on the pedals. The Brit swung round the final right-hander and over the line to set a blistering time of 5-52-79. 

Rohan Dennis then rolled down the ramp in search of his first victory since joining Jumbo-Visma at the start of the year. The Australian time trial champion flew round the circuit, but fell four seconds short of Hayter’s time and was forced to settle for second.

In the battle for the general classification, it was last year's winner Geraint Thomas who took an early advantage over his rivals. The Welshman finished the prologue in fourth, nine seconds ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) and over 10 seconds ahead of Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën) and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious). 

Results

Tour de Romandie 2022, prologue (ITT): Lausanne to Lausanne (5.1km)

1. Ethan Hayter (Gbr) Ineos Grenadiers, in 5-52-79
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Jumbo-Visma, at 4s
3. Félix Grosschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 10s
4. Geraint Thomas (Gbr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 10s
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 13s
6. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco, at 13s
7. Ethan Vernon (Gbr) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 14s
8. Georg Steinhauser (Ger) EF Education-Easy Post
9. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
10. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, all at s.t.

General classification after prologue

1. Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, in 5-52-79
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Jumbo-Visma, at 4s
3. Félix Grosschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 10s
4. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 10s
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 13s
6. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco, at 13s
7. Ethan Vernon (GBr) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 14s
8. Georg Steinhauser (Ger) EF Education-Easy Post
9. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
10. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, all at s.t.

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