Features Riders

Leo Hayter and Oscar Nilsson-Julien: pen portraits

A brief introduction to Great Britain's junior men's time trial competitors at Yorkshire 2019

Two of the young Brits aiming for medals at the UCI World Road Championships in Yorkshire this week are Oscar Julien-Nilsson and Leo Hayter. Both compete in the junior time trial event today, with Hayter also riding the road race on Thursday. Here’s a brief introduction to them both…

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 20/09/2019 – Cycling – 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Harrogate, Yorkshire, England – Great Britain’s Leo Hayter

Leo Hayter (18, London): time trial & road race

A quick glance at his name and it might be tempting to pigeonhole Leo Hayter – a current member of the Great Britain Cycling Team Junior Academy – as ‘Ethan Hayter‘s younger brother’. But Leo is an incredibly strong and talented rider in his own right. So much so that in years to come he’ll surely forge his own identity as a top cyclist, beyond his sibling’s shadow.

That said, there are certainly mainy similarities between the two, beyond their shared names and genetic disposition to cycling very quickly. Both are members of VC Londres, the South East London cycling club that seems to churn out an inordinate amount of cycling talent. And like his elder sibling, Leo is also a precocious track talent (Ethan says Leo has been faster than him every year at the same age).

On the road, Leo has had a very impressive season. In the spring he showed his talent in the Belgian and Dutch one-day races, picking up 4th at the junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (1.1), before going on 2nd at the Record Bank E3 Harelbeke Juniors (1.1) and then winning the EPZ Omloop van Borsele Juniors (1.1). He also won the Trofee van Vlaanderen Juniors (1.1) in July for good measure.

At home he’s been equally impressive. His consistency throughout the year earned him victory in the British Cycling Junior Men’s Road Series. An overall win in the Fenwick’s Junior Tour of the Mendip, two stage wins in the Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Junior Tour and 5th overall in the Junior Tour of Wales were just some of the results that propelled him to the series win.

He’s joining Team Sunweb’s development team next season, but first he has the small matter of a shot at the junior time trial and road races in the world championships. On his day, he’s more than capable of picking up a result in either race.

Oscar Nilsson – Julien (17, London): time trial

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 20/09/2019 – Cycling – 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Harrogate, Yorkshire, England – Great Britain’s Oscar Nilsson-Julien

Oscar Nilsson – Julien is the youngest member of the men’s British junior squad at the world championships; unlike the other five members of the team, Oscar is a first-year junior. But such is his talent, he was picked to ride the time trial.

This year on the road, he has hit winning form on a number of occasions. A victory in the opening stage of the Junior Tour of Wales – a time trial up The Tumble – was a standout result. He also won the Cadence Junior Road Race and was 2nd overall in the Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Junior Tour.

Like Leo Hayter, he is a member of both VC Londres and the Great Britain Cycling Team Junior Academy. George Jary, our journal contributor and VC Londres alumnus, remarked to us Nilsson-Julien was noticeable right from the off:

“I do remember seeing Oscar when he first started. He wasn’t winning, but he stood out. He was just pedaling differently. Straight back, super smooth cadence. Just pure class.”