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Can Ethan Hayter make it a British national title hat-trick?

FOIA PORTUGAL MAY 06 Ethan Hayter of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers celebrates at arrival during the 47th Volta Ao Algarve 2021 Stage 2 a 1828km stage from Sagres to Fia 890m VoltAlgarve VAlgarve2021 on May 06 2021 in Fia Portugal Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Ineos Grenadiers’ Ethan Hayter will aim to win his third national title in under a week when he lines up of the men’s road race at the British national championships in Lincoln on Sunday. 

Hayter won both the time trial and the circuit titles earlier this week and heads into the race alongside Ineos Grenadiers teammate and defending champion Ben Swift, and Owain Doull.

The last British road championships were held in 2019, with last year’s event cancelled due to COVID-19. This year’s championships were moved from their usual June slot to this week and a strong line-up is expected for the men’s race with Mark Cavendish also on the start line.

“I’m slightly tired now at the back end of this block of racing but generally the form’s still good. I’ll have a go with Swifty and Owain on Sunday,” Hayter said on the Ineos Grenadiers’ website.

“It’s always one of the very hardest days of the year. There’s not many of us and so we can’t control the race. We’ll just be racing from the front all the time.You just have to go back to how you’d race when you were a junior. It’s that style of flat out racing.”

"It would be a really nice way to end the road season and have that British jersey and a white bike - to represent your country in every race."

Hayter has enjoyed a breakout season at Ineos Grenadiers with the 23-year-old proving to be a consistent winner from March all the way through to October. 

Swift’s future beyond this year has yet to be announced with the veteran yet to reveal if he will remain on the team in 2022 but the 33-year-old is fully focused on the defense of his crown as he looks to end the campaign on a high.

 “It’s been incredible to represent the jersey and every time I pull it on I get a little more motivation. I’ve kind of got used to it now! I definitely want to keep it - even if it can be a pain to keep it clean in the winter. It’s not a bad price to pay though. 

“Winning in 2019 was a massive emotional relief for me. To eventually win the nationals after going so close in the past made it really, really special. I’d rejoined the team that year as well, and that was really important to me, then had a huge crash in the February which was a major setback. To recover and win the nationals was amazing.” 

"Nationals is always one of the hardest races of the year. In terms of power outputs and what’s required for the day, it’s up there with any Grand Tour stage or big one day Classic.

"It’s the only opportunity we get to race on our home roads and it’s one of the only races where we get to really race against each other. We really take it out on each other and give each other a hard time. I’m expecting a big aggressive fight again."