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by Shane Stokes
May 5, 2017
Pozdnyakov wins stage two of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Tvetcov, Neben take opening time trial at Redlands Bicycle Classic; Bardiani riders Pirazzi and Ruffoni test positive on eve of Giro d’Italia; Quintana: ‘I don’t know if it’s possible to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year’; Thomas: ‘Myself and Landa are not the favourites’; Pinot hoping to shine but says final buildup hasn’t been ideal; Jungels deflects pressure but is ready for Giro; Gaviria names goals for first Grand Tour; Van Damme still waiting to declare intentions about UCI presidency; Tour organisers and others push against Le Pen in French presidential election; Cannondale-Drapac announces team for Hammer Series; Video: Science of Cycling – how to be an elite cyclist; Video: Giro course recap; Video: Climber sprint
This week has seen both confirmation of the teams for the first Hammer Series race and also the first announcement of some lineups for the new event. The Cannondale-Drapac team has named seven riders, with five of these competition on any one day. Teams can swop out riders over the three day period.
The septet is Patrick Bevin, Will Clarke, Lawson Craddock, Tom Scully, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Sep Vanmarcke, and Wouter Wippert.
Organised by the sports marketing company Infront Sports and Media plus Velon, the new Hammer Series was announced on May 1. Under the format, days one and two will be based on a points system, and will be called the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb. The order of these can be alternated, depending on the host organiser’s preference.
The third day will be in the format of a team time trial although, as the Hammer Chase name suggests, teams will be pursuing each other in a form of handicap system.
“I think its a really positive step,” states Cannondale-Drapac DS Tom Southam. “It’s not often that you get the chance to re-imagine something, and the Hammer Series is an attempt to do that with the sport. There has been a lot of thought put in to creating the action in races that can often appear to be (and often really be) missing. The series has created races that demand constant attention and that can be really refreshing.”