Hayter wins as Dunbar takes Coppi lead

23 Mar 2022

Hayter wins as Dunbar takes Coppi lead

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali - Stage 2 » Riccione › Longiano, 165.9km

Ethan Hayter produced a superb sprint to take victory at Coppi e Bartali on a fantastic day for the Grenadiers.

The Brit led home a 1-3 for the team on stage two, with Ben Tulett scoring third place amid a select group of riders into Longiano. Also present in the group was Eddie Dunbar, with the Irishman moving into the overall race lead.

The result came off the back of a strong team performance, with the Grenadiers taking up the pace-setting duties, with a big late turn from Geraint Thomas helping to thin out the pack, as the team also shut down a number of counter-attacks.


Ethan Hayter

"It’s really nice to get that first win of the year. I started my training quite late and had COVID in January to mix in with that, so I’ve been struggling a little bit in the longer races. Time trials are short efforts so I think you can get away with it a little bit but it meant I knew the form was there.

"Today’s stage was hard - really hard, all day. Alpecin rode hard and then Van der Poel attacked with 100km to go. Everyone panicked and started jumping but we always had guys there in the moves and we were on the front foot.

"We wanted to race aggressively today but as soon as the leader Schmid was dropped we had Eddie in the virtual lead. We decided then it was better just to control the race and G was so, so strong. I had to tell him to slow down at one point!

"Three of us attacked, me, Ben and Eddie, and formed a group of eight over the final climb just before the finish, so we had a little head start. UAE had to work to pull us back and we dropped Van der Poel, so it was perfect.

"There’s still three really hard days to go but we’re first, second and fourth on GC and there’s not many teams with numbers at the front. We have the team to control the race but if we didn’t, the three of us can take turns following moves. It’s perfect. Eddie and Ben are going really well too - well, the whole team here is to be honest. We’re hoping we can do the business."

- Oli Cookson

“A tough day on paper and it was even tougher in the race itself. We were ready for the final circuits that started after 55km and we knew how technical and difficult the roads would be. We used our strength in numbers to our advantage, covering moves on the climbs, and followed the big names when they were trying to push and open the race. Once the existing GC leader Schmid from Quick-Step was dropped, we took control of the race with Geraint to calm things down. G did an incredible ride, riding for over 50km on the front. 

"We managed the other attacks with Eddie and Ben going on the final laps. In the end we knew the final climb suited Ethan with the sprint. The guys managed the whole situation well, covering late moves from UAE, and chapeau to all of them. They rode the race from the front and we were on the front foot all day which is key in this type of stage. We’re in a good position moving forwards but it’s going to be hard work in the coming days. We’ve got a strong team and we’re ready to give it everything.”