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After kicking to second in Sunday’s opening stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Hayter confirmed he is on the long list for a starting spot in next month’s Tour.
“I am on the long list,” Hayter said at the finish line. “There is a chance of racing the Tour, but we’ll see how it goes.”
After a breakout 2021 season, when he won 10 races, the 23-year-old is confirming his credentials with a solid 2022 season. He’s won three times so far, including his first WorldTour victories with two wins during the Tour de Romandie.
Even though he’s never raced a grand tour, that consistency is pushing him onto the team’s Tour de France radar.
“A victory would definitely help my chances of making the Tour,” he said.
Also read: Critérium du Dauphiné race preview
Competition will be heated to make the Ineos Grenadiers Tour roster. Riders such as Adam Yates, Daniel Martínez, Geraint Thomas and Michal Kwiatkowski have a lock on starting spots.
Behind them, there are several other riders hoping to secure one of the eight spots, including Dylan van Baarle, Luke Rowe, Filippo Ganna, and Tom Pidcock.
“I haven’t done a lot of racing in the WorldTour, to be honest, because of how he calendar was the past year or so, and on this team it’s so hard to make into the WorldTour starting lineup,” Hayter said. “I really came close [Sunday] and I will have more chances. We will try to do a good GC result and go for more stage wins.”
Also read: Wout van Aert wins stage 1
Ineos Grenadiers piled on during Sunday’s hilly opening stage to gap out sprinters like Dylan Groenewegen to set up Hayter for the win. Only a faster Wout van Aert could deny him the victory.
“Maybe with the slight headwind I could have gone a little bit later, but I didn’t want to hesitate. I think we can be quite happy with how we took the race on and how we committed,” Hayter said. “I just got beat in the finish.
“It’s nice to have the team working for me, all last year and this year, and it means a lot to have them riding for me in such a big race, and I almost paid them back.”
Hayter will start Monday’s second stage in the white jersey of the best young rider.