After his stunning victory in the U23 Giro d'Italia, Britain's Leo Hayter has signed his first professional contract, joining his older brother Ethan at Ineos Grenadiers.
The 20-year-old joins Ineos Grenadiers as a stagiaire, or trainee, with immediate effect for the rest of this season, before officially turning professional in the WorldTour from the start of 2023.
"I’m super proud and excited to be joining the Ineos Grenadiers this coming year, moving up to the highest level of the sport in a British team I’ve been inspired by since I started competing," Hayter said.
Leo Hayter rode for the Team DSM development squad in 2020 and 2021 won the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège last year before a dispute over when he could turn pro lead him to leave early and join Axeon Hagens Berman for 2022.
Hayter told Cyclingnews recently that he doesn't yet know what type of rider he'll become in the WorldTour, pointing out that he can do a bit of everything but doesn't have the fast finish of his brother.
He won the U23 British time trial title in dominant fashion in June after winning the brutally mountainous queen stage of the U23 Giro, which would point to a future as a Grand Tour contender.
He was only a reserve rider for the Giro after struggling with illness in the first half of the season but ended up winning the queen stage by more than five minutes before sealing the overall title.
There was already plenty of interest from WorldTour teams but the Giro victory put him in a luxurious position when it came to deciding his future. He had already cultivated a strong relationship with Ineos Grenadiers.
"Having participated in some training camps with the team, I already feel really at home here, and now can’t wait to get started," Hayter explained.
Hayter is Ineos' first signing for 2023 and continues their recent trend of investing in youth.
Tom Pidcock, Ethan Hayter, Carlos Rodriguez, Luke Plapp, Ben Tulett, and Magnus Sheffield are all among the highly promising youngsters who've been added in the past couple of years.
Leo Hayter is seen as a key part of the team's future.
"We’ve increased our focus over the last few years on identifying exciting young talent, and our commitment to developing them into world class bike racers," said deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth.
"Leo is one of those highly talented young riders who’s already impressed with his performances at the under-23 Giro. I’m looking forward to him coming on board and seeing him evolve as a rider over the next few years.”
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.