Istarted working with Ethan when he started working with the Academy two years ago. Straight away we could see the stuff he had done when he was a junior: he broke world records on the track. We could see pretty quickly that he had the physiological nuts and bolts to be a bloody good bike rider. When he started, he was a bit of a nightmare, a bit obsessed with the marginal gains. His energy was in the wrong places. The Academy really worked for him though. He was dealt a massive card with Tokyo being delayed, which gave him a leg up into that squad. He has matured massively in the last couple of years, and he’s a totally different person with a bright future ahead. I have likened him before to Marcel Kittel - he is a really similar bike rider. He has a big peak power, so he can sprint fast, but he can also knock a good time trial together. Really similar actually, and they even look similar on the bike. He definitely has something big ahead of him.
He got fast-tracked into the podium squad, and they were setting up things for Tokyo, but we kept in contact and gave him things to do in the meantime. Ethan was already thinking about the road worlds before Tokyo, and how we could get him in the best position and shape for that. We took a bit of a gamble in sticking him into L’Avenir, but I think it was one we needed to take and it paid off. He was bloody good, even in the hard stages.