Ethan Hayter landed the first WorldTour victory of his career on Tuesday when the Ineos Grenadiers rider won the prologue of the Tour de Romandie.
Hayter, 23, dressed in the British national time trial champion’s jersey, powered around the short 5.12 kilometre course in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 5min 52sec, 4sec faster than Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma), the two-time world time trial champion, while Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) was third at 9sec.
“It’s really nice,” said Ineos Grenadiers rider Hayter, who recovered from Covid earlier this year. “I had a couple of setbacks at the start of the year, I’ve taken a break from racing and trained really hard and to come back like this is nice.
“We thought these next couple of days could be quite good for me as well so we’ll keep trying to win stages and the overall with the rest of the team.”
Geraint Thomas, the defending champion and team-mate of Hayter, was fourth fastest. “It’s great Ethan’s won,” the Tour de France winner said.
“Fourth’s alright, it could have been better. It’s a funny feeling doing a prologue like this after [Liège–Bastogne–Liège] on Sunday. “But I’m happy with it. I gave it everything. We’ll see how this week goes. I’ll try to win the race again.”
A good start at the six-day stage race for Ethan Vernon (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) ensured that three British riders were in the top 10 on general classification after the opening day.
Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech), the four-time Tour de France winner, meanwhile, finished in 119th spot after completing the short course 42sec slower than former team-mate Hayter.
The Tour de Romandie continues on Wednesday with the 178km first stage from La Grande Beroche to Romont and concludes with an uphill individual time trial on Sunday.