Great Britain‘s Ethan Hayter successfully defended his omnium title at the Track World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
The 24-year-old had already scooped the gold medal in the team pursuit alongside Daniel Bigham, Oliver Wood and Ethan Vernon and was aiming to make it back-to-back omnium titles after storming to the crown in 2021.
Hayter’s margin of victory was not as steep this time around, having failed to place first in any of the four events, but a total of 147 was enough for the Ineos Grenadiers rider to make it back-to-back gold medals.
Hayter was down in fourth after the scratch race, but he posted back-to-back second-place finishes in the tempo and elimination races to place himself in a strong position before the points race.
The Tokyo 2020 madison silver medallist once again ended up runner-up in that event to take his total to 147 – 20 points clear of second-placed Benjamin Thomas of France.
Aaron Gate took the opening 40 points on offer in the scratch race to lead the way early doors, but he faded away in the latter stages of the competition and settled for bronze with 118 points.
“It’s amazing, the competition was quite high today, it was quite stressful at times because the points were so close even until 20 laps to go, so it was great to pull it off,” Hayter told British Cycling.
“Honestly I didn’t feel great in the scratch and I was playing catch-up from there, it’s not good to be on the back foot on the track but I made amends from there on.”
HE’S THE CLASS OF THE FIELD!!🌟@Ethan_Hayter is the back-to-back Omnium WORLD CHAMPION! 🌈🌈
Simply incredible 🥇 pic.twitter.com/pOMaJrtv7s
— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) October 15, 2022
Hayter’s world title was not the only medal for Great Britain on day four, as Josie Knight bagged her second podium finish of the Championships with a bronze in the women’s individual pursuit.
The 25-year-old had clinched silver in the team event and posted a time of 3:21.459 in her bronze medal race with Germany’s Mieke Kroger to edge out her counterpart, who clocked 3:22.002.
Prior to winning bronze, Knight had set a new British record time of 3:20.792 in qualifying and was behind until the final 250m against Kroger before surging forward for bronze.
“I can’t believe it, I’m over the moon to be honest. It was a massive PB and national record this morning, to be honest I was dead chuffed with that!” Knight added.
“I’m so ecstatic. It’s felt like the Germans have been pretty unbeatable the last couple of years, and to go out there and to have qualified fourth and then come away with the medal is just fantastic.”
Germany would ultimately take the world title in the women’s madison through Franziska Brausse – bronze medallist in 2020 and silver medallist in 2021 – who beat New Zealand’s Bryony Botha for gold.
There was to be no medal for GB in the women’s madison, though, as Laura Kenny crashed out towards the end of the race, eventually finishing in fifth place with Neah Evans.