Disaster strikes UK star with gold medal in sight


British star Ethan Hayter struck disaster when he dropped a chain and had to change bikes while leading the men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.

Just as the Stan Sport commentators were piling praise on the 24-year-old, Hayter came unstuck and let out a frustrated “f—!” as his worst fears were realised.

“Oh no, he’s got problems here! Ethan Hayter, you heard him. You didn’t need a translation for what he thought and now he is pretty angry,” Anthony McCrossan said.

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“This is going to cost him significantly. He’s kind of also lost the head a bit.”

Hayter threw his bike away in disgust and clambered onto a back-up but the damage had been done.

“Devastating there for Ethan Hayter,” former Australian professional Simon Gerrans said.

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“Over that little speed hump, it looks as though his chain had jumped off the chain ring. He’s looked down, tried to move the front derailer to get his chain back onto that big chain ring. Unable to do it and chooses to go for the bike change.

“That is a real pity for Hayter.”

Hayter was wearing a black armband in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and eventually finished fourth on day one of the world championships in Wollongong on Sunday.

Norway’s Tobias Foss was a shock winner in 40:02.78, just 2.95s clear of Switzerland’s Stefan Kung.

Belgium big gun Remco Evenepoel claimed bronze but the race’s other rock stars – Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar and Italy’s Filippo Ganna – could only muster sixth and seventh respectively.

Pogacar is a two-time Tour de France champion while Ganna had won the last two world championships time trials.

Disaster strikes time trial leader

“I’m starting to think that some of these riders are using this time trial – and no disrespect to them – but perhaps as a training run for the road race (next Sunday),” Stan Sport’s Michael Tomalaris said.

A shell-shocked Foss couldn’t believe what he had achieved, saying afterwards that he was a rider who lacked confidence.

“If I was top-10 today I’d be really satisfied,” the 25-year-old said.

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“So to wear the (rainbow) jersey will be really special and I will try to honour it as much as I can. I had really good coaching and prepared well – it was a perfectly executed race.

“You had to be really technical and push through the corners.”

Australia’s Luke Platt finished 12th after compatriot Grace Brown claimed silver in the women’s time trial earlier on Sunday.

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