Tour de Romandie: Ethan Hayter rockets win in prologue time trial
Ineos Grenadier bests teammate and defending champion Geraint Thomas by a handful of seconds.
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Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) rocketed to the fastest time of the day in the 2022 Tour de Romandie prologue.
Racing on a 5.1km route, part of which was on an airfield near Lausanne, Switzerland, the British national time trial champion bested Tokyo Olympic time trial bronze medalist Rohan Denis (Jumbo-Visma) by four seconds, and Felix Großshartner (Bora–Hansgrohe) by 10 seconds.
This is Hayter’s first WorldTour win.
“It’s really nice. I’ve had a couple of setbacks [in] the start of the year, this year, and taking a bit of a break from racing, trained quite hard, so to come back like this is really nice,” said Hayter.
“Geraint [Thomas] did a real good time trial as well, and it’s looking good for the weekend.
“I just keep trying to win stages, and roll with the rest of the team,” Hayter said.
Commenting about the parcours, Hayter said the race was well-suited to his skills as a criterium and track racer.
“Definitely suited me and I thought I’d give it a crack and what’s worked out well.”
Midway through the start list, Großshartner set the fastest time, and while several riders came close, none could upset the 28-year-old Austrian’s benchmark on the technical course.
The Australian time trial star Denis put in a powerful ride, and overcame the mark set by Großshartner, but his time would not better Hayter’s.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) was the last rider to roll from the start house, and also put in a very fast time, nearly displacing his former teammate Denis from the podium, but ultimately came up a few tenths shy, and finished in fourth.
“I could have been better but yeah, no, it’s okay,” Thomas commented. “It’s a funny feeling a ride like that, especially after Liège on Sunday.”
“It felt OK, to be honest, it’s just full-gas I did, and I tried to corner well, it just felt like I lacked that little bit in the end, but I’m happy with it.
“We’ll see how this week goes obviously. I’m going to try to defend and win the race again but we have a lot of strong guys here and we’ll see on the weekend,” Thomas said after the six-minute effort.
Denis’ teammate, American Sepp Kuss, finished in 77th position, some 31 seconds back off the winner.
Stage 1 Wednesday is a very undulating 178km stage that departs La Grande Beroche and will take on four categorized climbs before the uphill finish in Romont.
Results will be available once stage has completed.