The award for home-grown talent bound for the big leagues
A solid ninth place at the U23 Liège-bastogne-liège and an overall win at Ronde de l’isard would have been enough to interest Wordtour teams. But it was a breakthrough performance at the Baby Giro that was the pinnacle of Williams’s year, with a stage win which led to a spell in the leader’s jersey and a fifth place overall finish. With the 22-year-old signing for Bahrain-merida next year, his potential will really be put to the test.
Jess Roberts’s elite national women’s road title was the zenith of a storming first year in the seniors. Attacking to hold off a bunch containing some of the most established names in the peloton, Roberts could barely believe the scale of her achievement. But victory in the Stockton Grand Prix, bronze in the Circuit Championship, a hand in Team Breeze’s national team pursuit win and a brace of U23 European track silver medals serve to underline her extremely promising future.
3 BEN TULETT
Were it not for Tom Pidcock’s stratospheric trajectory through the junior ranks, we might easily be thinking of Ben Tulett as the most exciting male junior since his older brother Dan, who himself isn’t short of silverware. Pidcock or no, with the Tulett brothers proving to be two of the best cyclo-cross riders in the world — not to mention very promising on the road — there are echoes of the Yates brothers about them. A bright future for Ben beckons.
2 CHARLIE TANFIELD
Riding several of the fastest individual pursuit times ever will tend to get you noticed by the national selectors. Having come close to world-record pace (4.12.2) in Minsk in January, he was promptly thrown into Great Britain’s squad for the Worlds where he pulled on the rainbow bands in the team pursuit. Commonwealth games gold followed soon after. His year was marred slightly by turning up late to the World Championship time trial, but such is youth.
1 Ethan hayter
In each of the last four Olympic cycles the British team has produced a ‘flyer’. A young, relatively unknown rider from one of their academy or junior programmes who bursts from obscurity into the senior program and steals the show at the Games with medal-winning performances. In 2008 it was Jason Kenny. In 2012 Laura Trott, and in Rio it was Katie Archibald. Japan 2020 may see the press lauding Ethan Hayter. Last winter rumours circulated in a select part of the British peloton that Hayter was getting bored on the Academy. The training wasn’t testing
him enough. Luckily for him then several senior riders were struck down with illness. Coaches needed more riders for their TP (team pursuit) sessions and Hayter was parachuted in. Riding on better kit (Academy riders don’t get access to the top equipment) Hayter’s times instantly improved and in January he was selected for the senior Worlds. With a pool of eight riders to choose from,selection alone was achievement enough. He then pulled out a remarkable ride, anchoring the British team to their first TP title since 2012, with one of the fastest times recorded by the Brits. Team pursuit line-ups have traditionally used experienced road men to anchor a team. Riders like Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas who have multiple Grand Tours in their legs. In Apeldoorn, 19-year-old Hayter rode the final three laps on the front steadily accelerating all the way to the line. The maturity of the performance was probably more fearlessness, a trait he has shown ever since turning up to ride with Herne Hill-based VC Londres, where he still attends the club run when back in London.
Ian Cook, British Cycling and former VC Londres coach
“He was always quietly confident and would always completely nail himself. He wasn’t worried what other people thought of him, so while he made a lot of mistakes, it never threw him or set him back.”
roberts: stockton GP success
Williams: breakthrough year
Tanfield: already in rainbow
Tullet revels in the rough stuff
Hayter (far right): Olympic hopeful