• Mathew Hayman crosses the finish line ahead of Tom Boonen and Ian Stannard at Paris-Roubaix (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mathew Hayman will adopt a new role at Mitchelton-Scott after he retires from professional cycling at the Tour Down Under next month.
Sophie Smith

6 Dec 2018 - 10:21 AM  UPDATED 6 Dec 2018 - 10:22 AM

Hayman was honoured at a luncheon in Melbourne on Wednesday where it was confirmed he would continue with his current team in a different capacity after the first WorldTour race of the 2019 season. 

What role that is remains to be seen but he has been connected with a sports director position. An official announcement is set to be made soon.

The 40-year-old believes the gig will aid his transition into retirement following a 19-year professional career as a racer across the world.

Hayman is currently undertaking his final pre-season training as a pro, with the Tour Down Under in January set to be his final professional race.

Team general manager Gerry Ryan quipped fledgling Grand Tour team leader Esteban Chaves would ride for the super domestique in his swansong. 

The Australian recalled highlights of his career at the Mummu Cycling luncheon, from winning the Dutch under-23 national championships to his 2016 Paris-Roubaix victory some six weeks after injury. Hayman also touched on his long-awaited Tour de France debut in 2014, which he was forced to abandon during the 10th stage. The former Commonwealth Games champion had once labelled his non-selection for the race with Sky and Rabobank as a “sore point”.

“For four or five hours I grovelled through this stage in the Tour. It was raining, and I had a team car behind me. You know there are two guys watching you for five hours digging your own grave,” he told guests.

“I clicked out and I really regret getting off because I probably should have got to the finish line, but I just couldn’t face it anymore and pulled out of my first Tour de France. Pulling out of any Tour de France is going to be hard but when you’ve waited 15 years to try and get to the Champs Elysees it was pretty tough. It took months to get over.”

Hayman's long-haul from the cobbles to green and gold
Mathew Hayman has jetted from Paris-Roubaix to the Commonwealth Games for what could be his final career appearance representing Australia on Saturday.
Australia's Hayman wins a Paris-Roubaix for the ages
Australia's Mathew Hayman turned back the years and dialled up the experience with a gritty and tactically perfect performance to win a pulsating Paris-Roubaix.

Hayman returned to and completed the race three times after that with incarnations of Mitchelton-Scott.

“Roubaix is great and will be linked to my name forever. [I want to be remembered as] being professional, being a good teammate and being consistent,” he said.

Richie Porte, Cadel Evans, Karsten Kroon and Bradley Wiggins were among riders that featured in video tributes to Hayman at the event hosted at Crown Casino.