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Ethan Hayter continues ‘amazing’ season with omnium world title defense

Ineos Grendiers riders return to track spotlight as Ganna, Bigham, Hayter dominate the boards.

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Ethan Hayter fended off Benjamin Thomas to defend his omnium world title and keep Ineos Grenadiers riders in the spotlight of cycling’s international velodrome Saturday.

The Brit defended his advantage in the points race closer of the multi-event omnium to top the podium over Frenchman Thomas and Kiwi rider Aaron Gate in this 2022 UCI world championships.

Hayter’s omnium jersey defense in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome is the latest success in a season that scored him six road victories, a grand tour debut, and team pursuit world glory with his British teammates.

“It’s been an amazing season for me,” he said. “Tomorrow [Sunday] I do the madison with Ollie Wood. Tomorrow’s the last day of my season and hopefully I can finish on a high with him.”

Hayter finished fourth, second and second in the scratch, tempo and elimination races Saturday before holding off a surging points race performance from Thomas, clinching overall victory by 20 points.

Last year, Hayter dominated the worlds omnium with two victories and a 56-point margin over New Zealander Gate.

“There was more pressure coming into it this year and defending the title. The field here is super strong so it came down to the last few laps and I managed to get the edge,” Hayter said Saturday.

“I think being relaxed is my style. I tend to maybe sit back at times and relax, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. But i worked my way through the day and won in the end.”

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Hayter’s omnium world title is the latest track triumph for Ineos Grenadiers riders as the British squad’s deep reserve of multi-discipline talent continues to dominate this week of indoor racing.

Filippo Ganna crushed the UCI hour record in Grenchen last weekend before he set a new pursuit world record when he won championship gold for Italy on Friday.

Ganna’s hour record mastermind and Ineos Grenadiers performance engineer Dan Bigham had teamed up with Hayter for British team pursuit glory over Ganna and his Italian teammates just the day before.