Red, White and Blue: Rob Hayles

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“It was a bog-standard skinsuit with two pockets, but with a decent helmet, narrower bars – it made a massive difference.” Aero pioneer Hayles leads the way in 2008

Photographs: Michael Blann
Rob Hayles



British national champions recall how they won their stripes, the pride in wearing them for the season and the effect it had on the rest of their careers. Podium fines, finish line crashes, curious combines, white shorts and unlikely alliances – these are the stories behind the jerseys.

Rob Hayles (2008)

I had hardly any kit, so when I went into the British Cycling offices and saw a long sleeve training jersey that was supposed to go to Joanna Rowsell, I took it! The sleeves were a bit short… But I did confess to her recently.

The skinsuit came about due to wind tunnel testing. I phoned Chris Boardman over the winter and said I’m going to wear a skinsuit for road races. He said he’d done it one year in the Archer Grand Prix and got laughed at. But he said do it.

It was a bog-standard skinsuit with two pockets. There was no trickery to it in terms of funky panels or anything. But with a decent helmet, narrower bars – it made a massive difference.

Dave Zabriskie wore one, having chatted to Dave Millar. I remember watching Paris-Tours that year and seeing Zabriskie wearing it.

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