June 01, 2017 (Sittard-Geleen, Netherlands) – The inaugural Hammer Series event is set to take place from June 1-4 at Hammer Sportzone Limburg in and around the host city of Sittard-Geleen, Netherlands. The new Hammer Series features a multi-discipline team race format which places more weight on team results, rather than individual wins.
The series, which is promoted by Velon cycling, a collaboration and business venture between 10 of the current WorldTour teams, is intended to deliver exciting rider action, data, and footage for fans. Recent Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin is set to compete for Team Sunweb in front of his native Dutch fans.
Each Hammer Series race will consist of three challenges spread over three days of racing, including the Hammer Climb, the Hammer Sprint and the Hammer Chase. In each event, teams will collect points which will ultimately determine a winner.
A total of 16 WorldTour and Pro Continental teams are set to take part in the inaugural Hammer Sportzone Limburg. Teams will consist of seven riders, of which only five will compete in any given event.
In the Hammer Climb, riders will race on a circuit for roughly two hours, with the top 10 to cross the line at the end of each lap being awarded points. Similarly, the Hammer Sprint will see teams race on a flat circuit with the top 10 riders to cross the line at the end of each lap collecting points for their team.
The final event, the Hammer Chase, is a team pursuit on time trial bikes. Teams of five riders will compete over a course between 40km and 50km, depending on the event location, and will finish when their fourth rider has crossed the finish line. Teams will start based on their total points earned from the previous two days of racing, with time gaps gained during the Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint also being factored in to determine the start order. The leading team will go first, with the last team going last. All teams must stay in their own formation, with no drafting off other teams. The first squad over the finish line wins the Hammer Series.
WorldTour teams competing in the Hammer Sportzone Limburg include Team Bahrain Merida, BMC Racing Team, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, ORICA-SCOTT, Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates. The four Pro-Continental teams are Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Israel Cycling Academy, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Team Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij. Benjamin Perry (Israel Cycling Academy) is the only Canadian set to start on June 1st.
Day 1: Hammer Climb
Day 2: Hammer Sprint
Day 3: Hammer Chase