UCI Road World Championships kick off with time-trial fourth place for Ethan Hayter

UCI Road World Championships kick off with time-trial fourth place for Ethan Hayter

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Ethan Hayter took a valiant fourth place in the elite men’s time trial on the first day of the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.

Entering the race soon after a recent bout of Covid-19, Hayter started well, clocking the third fastest time at the first checkpoint. He continued well along the 34.2km course, riding smoothly and confidently until an unfortunate mechanical saw him drop his chain changing gear up the climb towards the end of the first lap saw, forcing him switch bikes, and losing precious seconds.

Despite the mechanical Hayter crossed the finish line in a time of 40:42.73, earning him a creditable fourth place finish, 30 seconds behind Belgium's Remco Evenepoel in third.

Speaking after the race, on what is his 24th birthday, Hayter reflected:

“I’m slightly disappointed. It would’ve been nice to try for the podium [without the mechanical], 40 seconds is a lot to win, but it could’ve been close.

“There wasn’t really any pressure, no one had me down as a favourite, it was a big opportunity but fortunately the world champs are every year!”

Norway’s Tobias Foss stormed to the world title in a time of 40:02.78, with Stefan Kung second.

Ethan will compete again in the elite men’s road race on Sunday 25 September, starting at 01:15 BST, alongside teammates Luke Rowe, Jake Stewart, Ben Swift, Connor Swift, Ben Tulett, Ben Turner and Fred Wright.

You can watch the elite road races live on BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, online and the BBC Sport app, or catch the highlights on BBC2 from 14:30-15:45 BST.

The championships continues tomorrow as Ethan's brother Leo competes in the under-23 men’s time trial.