2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman is set to retire from professional road racing at the Tour Down Under in January and will move into a ‘Special Projects’ position for Mitchelton-SCOTT for the remainder of the year.
Mitchelton-SCOTT should benefit from Hayman’s experience and knowledge and the 40-year-old has been offered a varying role that will allow him to experience all aspects of the business side of the sport; including mentoring, directing and technical advising, as well as sponsorship and marketing.
Mathew Hayman: “There were times that I did think I could walk away from the sport, but in some ways I think who I am to give away this knowledge without helping someone. Not only will that will help me go from athlete to the normal world, but I think I can help make a different to the careers of some young riders too.
“I probably could have spent more time planning but you are so focused on your career that before you know it, you’re nearing the end.
“Not knowing what is going to suit me and having this opportunity from the team to be able to test the waters on a few different fronts, I am pretty thankful for. That’s not an opportunity everyone gets, and I’m really going to relish being able to try some mentoring, maybe some DS races here and there, and working on the sponsorship side as well.
“The big advantage now is that it is all still fresh. In five or ten years’ time, I will be more removed from the sport. I will still have the knowledge and my experiences but it’s the next 12months when it’ll still be really fresh – it’ll be just weeks or months ago that I was racing myself. While it’s so fresh, I think we need to try and use it.
“If I could use that knowledge and help see someone else achieve something they didn’t think they were capable of, that would be a success for me.”
Shayne Bannan: “We’ve already seen, particularly through his six seasons with us, the leadership qualities of Mat Hayman. Those qualities, along with so many years of experience, don’t disappear when you retire from professional road racing and we see it as a real opportunity to use them to our advantage, particularly with our younger roster.
“Mat has been a selfless contributor and a key figure in our team’s culture and development over the years. We feel lucky to have him continue with us but also proud that we can offer him a transitional opportunity that will allow him to identify a future focus that will best satisfy him over the years to come.”