As momentum builds for the inaugural Hammer Series event, seven teams have announced key riders to compete in Hammer Sportzone Limburg, billed as the first in a ground-breaking series of races that will bring a new dimension to the sport of pro cycling. The 16 teams racing at the three-day event in Holland starting on Friday 2 June 2017 will select a squad of seven, with five riders taking part each day. The Hammer Climb, Hammer Sprint and Hammer Chase will test the all-round strength of every squad.
The Hammer Series is the result of a partnership between Infront Sports & Media and Velon, the business venture that is aimed at bringing the sport of cycling closer to the fans. Last year, Velon, the company behind eleven UCI World Tour Teams, entered into a 10-year partnership with Infront Sports & Media, the leading international sports marketing company integrated with IRONMAN as part of Wanda Sports.
Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling Team
The Belgian outfit has announced a formidable team including Fernando Gaviria, Philippe Gilbert and Zden?k Štybar. Belgian champion Gilbert said “For once it’s the whole team and not an individual rider who will be recognised at Hammer Series. That’s really interesting for the riders, and it will be for the fans too. With the Hammer Climb, Hammer Sprint and Hammer Chase, every type of rider will be important at Hammer Series. It’s a step forward for cycling, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens and we are really excited to be part of the event.”
Lotto Soudal has announced two key riders: André Greipel – one of the world’s finest sprinters who triumphed in Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday – and another Giro stage winner, Tim Wellens. Like the other teams, Lotto Soudal adapted their selection to the specific needs of the event – sprinting, climbing and a team pursuit.
Tom Dumoulin, a stage winner at all three Grand Tours, and his fellow Dutch all-rounder Wilco Kelderman will be out aiming to deliver a win in their home country.
ORICA-SCOTT has selected the Australian trio of criterium champion Caleb Ewan, Luke Durbridge and 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman. After a string of strong results at the Tour de Romandie, Alexander Edmondson has been named in the team, adding speed from his time on the track, along with his Aussie compatriot Mitch Docker. The line-up is completed by Roger Kluge (Germany) and Sam Bewley (New Zealand).
BMC Racing Team
BMC Racing Team’s seven-rider roster will be led by time-trial specialists Stefan Küng (Switzerland) and Manuel Quinziato (Italy).
Cannondale-Drapac has announced an impressive line-up including the Belgian Sep Vanmarcke and Dutchman Tom-Jelte Slagter, winner of the 2013 Tour Down Under, and his compatriot Wouter Wippert, the specialist sprinter who will be key in the Hammer Sprint.
Cannondale-Drapac Sports Director Tom Southam said “For a DS it is quite refreshing to be challenged with having to work a whole new game out and then get the riders’ heads around it, too. It’ll be really interesting to see this thing on the ground. Having the ability to change riders is great but there will have to be some constants. For me these will be the invaluable guys who can ride a good TTT. Those guys you can put in breaks and put other teams under pressure. In a sense these riders will be more valuable than the pure sprinters or climbers.”
UAE Team Emirates
UAE Team Emirates has named a team which will include their sprinter and Giro d’Italia stage winner Andrea Guardini, who will be joined by fellow Italian Filippo Ganna, an individual pursuit gold medal winner at the World Championships in London 2016, silver medal winner in the individual pursuit at the World Championships in Hong Kong 2017 and under 23 Italian champion for TT in 2016.
The Hammer Series format is designed to give the best teams in the world a unique platform to prove who is the best – giving equal credit to all riders involved because they all contribute to the team’s points tally and the performance in the ultimate Hammer Chase challenge. The confirmed WorldTour and Pro-Continental teams competing to be crowned overall winners are:
• Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
• BMC Racing Team
• Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
• Movistar Team
• Quick-Step Floors
• Team Lotto NL-Jumbo
• Team Sky
• Team Sunweb
• UAE Team Emirates
• Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
• Israel Cycling Academy
• Nippo-Vini Fantini
• Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij