Hayman sees racing career extending beyond current contract

Australian looks beyond Tour of Qatar to the Classics

Although Matthew Hayman is entering the final year of his current deal with Orica-GreenEdge he has no plans on retiring any time soon and at the age of 36, hopes to carry on racing for the foreseeable future.

Hayman is currently racing at the Tour of Qatar and has been in two significant breaks in the first five days. On Thursday’s stage 5 he slipped clear with four other riders and even held the overall lead on the road until the move was shut down in the closing kilometres.

"I missed the first split today so I was a bit hard on myself. It's been hectic here and as I'm getting a bit older, less enjoyable but it all came back and I decided to follow the move," he told Cyclingnews at the finish.

"When we had three minutes I thought they might play the game a little bit behind but I thought I'd have a go."

Hayman made his 2015 race debut at the Tour Down Under but it is the Classics where he has forged his reputation as one of the most respected and experienced riders.

"It's a hard race here, a different race but it suits the Classics because of all the accelerations and that's what you need for those races. You've got to be a part of it otherwise you're going to be in the last group."

Once he returns to Europe, Hayman is likely to line up at Tirreno and Milan-San Remo before pitching up in Belgium for another campaign on the cobbles. Without a genuine contender for those races until the start of the Ardennes, Hayman will have a relatively free role, guiding some of the squad's youngsters but also mixing it with the front runners.

"I'll try for a bit of everything really but Roubaix is a race that's pretty special to me, so it's something that I'll focus on but we've got some good guys here, young guys. We don't have true leader like a Boonen or a Cancellara so we'll take it week by week because so much can happen too," he told Cyclingnews.

"I know all those races pretty well so I like to school some of the younger guys but also race with the front group as well. Hopefully I can be up there and hopefully the form comes on at the right moment, which will help."

Having moved to Orica-GreenEdge from Team Sky two years ago some expected his current two-year deal to be his last at the highest level. However, the Australian is looking to extend his time in the pro-ranks but on a sensible, even if modest basis.

When asked how many Roubaix races he had left in his legs, he responded, "I don't know really, maybe two or three but I've not made that decision yet. This is going to be my last two-year contract and I've always had them but as I see it, at my age, you've got to take it year by year, because this isn't something you should be doing when you don't want to be here.

"You can't be in a race like today if you're not interested in being a professional rider. When that day comes I don't want to be locked into a two-year contract but I still love it and I'm still enjoying it so at the moment I'll keep going until that day comes."

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