The British rider, who turned 24 on the day on the day of the elite men’s TT, came through the first time check as one of the fastest and he looked in contention for at least a bronze medal before disaster struck and he dropped his chain with 18.5km to go on the course.
Although the Ineos Grenadiers rider received swift service from the Great Britain team mechanics he lost significant time with a bike change. He would eventually finish the 34.2km course 40 seconds down on surprise winner Tobias Foss (Norway) and just 29 seconds off third-place finisher Remco Evenepoel (Belgium).
“I’m slightly disappointed with that but fourth place is still pretty good, isn’t it? I’m slightly disappointed.” Hayter told VeloNews and other publications after his time trial.
Hayter hinted that part of his bike set-up had changed for the race, pointing to his handlebar and brake set-up.
“As I was changing… it’s the Shimano… they don’t make chainring shifters on the new gear so I was trying to change chainring and it wasn’t quite shifting. I pressed it again and it dropped off and there’s no way of getting it back on without the chainring shifters. I had to swap bikes and it was the fastest thing to do at that time. I limited my losses quite well. Changing the bike you lose 20 seconds maybe,” he said.
Hayter added that the loss of time and the bike change broke his rhythm.
“It gets in your head a little bit but you start doing your effort again and because you’re trying so hard it just focuses your effort. It wasn’t ideal. The right handles work differently with the different brakes and different handlebars. It wasn’t ideal but I did alright given the circumstances. Forty seconds is a lot to win but it could have been close. I was out of my rhythm in the corners because these bars are a lot wider and the bike just handles a little bit different with the different brakes. I had to get my head around that,” he said.
“There wasn’t a lot of pressure, no one really had me down as a favorite apart from Luke Plapp. It was an opportunity because some guys were tired. Foss wasn’t a surprise to me but maybe he was to the media but this was an opportunity. I guess fortunately the world championships are every year.”
Disaster 😫 for @ethan_hayter
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) September 18, 2022