Dan Bigham, Filippo Ganna … Ethan Hayter?
That could be the rundown of recent UCI Hour Record holders at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Team pursuit and omnium track world champion and Ineos Grenadiers road ace Hayter has half an eye on the 56.792-kilometer mark set in freight-train fashion by teammate Ganna earlier this month.
“I saw a few things saying nobody’s ever going to beat Filippo’s record, but I think I can get quite close to it if I try it one day,” Hayter told VeloNews. “Give it a bit of time, maybe wait for some new technology to come out, and I’d like a go.”
- Hayter continues ‘amazing’ season with omnium world title defense
- Ganna crushes hour record in Grenchen
Ineos Grenadiers took a stranglehold on the UCI Hour Record in recent months.
Team engineer and aero expert tested a revolutionary bike and laid the foundation with his record-setting effort in August. Ganna went on to blow Bigham’s recon ride off the boards and unified the discipline by matching Chris Boardman’s “superman” distance just two months later.
Hayter could be the next Ineos Grenadier to unleash an “hour of power.”
“I beat Dan [Bigham] at the nationals in the flat time trial and he broke the record. Obviously, it’s not the same, but I think I could put a bit of time into Dan, and then see where that leaves me with matching Filippo [Ganna],” Hayter said last week. “But then Filippo did beat Dan by quite a lot, so …”
Hayter acknowledged a record effort could be far down the line of his young career as he pursues his WorldTour and track cycling dreams.
A full buy-in from Ineos Grenadiers would also be essential after what was an organization-wide effort to put Ganna into the record books on the boards of Grenchen this month.
“I know how much time and resources the team put into it, and all the little things that get them the extra meters,” Hayter said.
“It would take some discussion with the team and my calendar, and my training. I’ve not really tried much individual stuff. I’d like to try the individual pursuit one time, but it’s not easy when you do the team pursuit, omnium, and madison already [laughs].”
Ineos Grenadiers’ track enclave
Ganna hailed the investment and cooperation Ineos Grenadiers poured into his record-exploding ride. The Italian was so full of superlatives he even hinted any rider with hour record hopes would need to join the Brits in a bid to hit his 56.792km achievement.
Ineos Grenadiers became the host to a stack of track stars in recent seasons.
Hayter, Ganna, Bigham, and Italian speedster Elia Viviani ride on the road with half an eye on Paris’ Olympic velodrome. The team embraces the indoor ambitions of its roster and collaborated with Pinarello, BioRacer, and a host more partners to help Bigham and Ganna ride further than anyone before them this summer.
“I think there just happens to be a little corner of us rather than any specific ‘track culture’ in the team, but there is also the background where they do understand that and give us a bit leeway with our time,” Hayter said.
“The team came from British Cycling with the roots from Rod [Ellingworth] and Dave [Brailsford], and being on the team is great in that there is that support and interest. For example, Dan and Filippo had the record bikes that were made with the team and there was all that R&D that went into it.”
Hayter’s biggest problem in any hour record effort may be that he’s just too good at too many things.
A 2022 season that saw GC victory at Tour of Poland, fourth place in the road worlds time trial, and two track gold medals leaves the 24-year-old with the privileged problem of figuring out what to prioritize – or maybe just trying it all at once.
“The team is quite flexible with giving you time for track, but I think it depends what you’re asking to do. You need to find the right balance,” he said. “If it detracts from your road performances, which it doesn’t need to do, it’s going to be a problem, but otherwise it’s fine. It seems to be working out well for me so far.”