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by Shane Stokes
June 2, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Drucker takes home soil victory on stage 1 of Skoda Tour of Luxembourg, grabs race lead; Froome says Giro d’Italia ride means Quintana is not a major rival for Tour; Bahrain-Merida bikes stolen prior to Hammer Series race; Chaves returning to racing at Critérium du Dauphiné, Yates to lead Orica-Scott team; Dowset on Hammer Series: ‘Tactically, everything we know becomes secondary. This is new territory’; Hayman: ‘Teams are going to have to be thinking on their feet’; Team Sky unveils new kit for 2017 Tour de France; Gaviria and the other best stage-winning Grand Tour debuts; Fortuneo – Vital Concept sponsors set to split prior to Tour de France; Young British time triallist Joe Guy killed in collision with van; Video: Robbie McEwen previews the inaugural Hammer Series race; Video: Inside HED Cycling; Video: Ten – The BC Bike Race Movie; Video: Tour Series 2017 – Round 9, Durham
Team Movistar rider Alex Dowsett has hailed what he says is a reinvention of road cycling under the new Hammer Series format, saying that the new races will be a ‘massive spectacle’.
“As a bike rider it’s super-interesting because for all of my career I’ve been working as a team for an individual. The only event where it’s this sort of concept is the team pursuit on the track, where it is a team win,” he said on the eve of the inaugural event. “Tactically, everything we know becomes secondary. This is new territory for all of us. It’s going to be really interesting.”
The series was announced in March and will comprise separate races run over three consecutive days. Days one and two will be based on a points system, and will be called the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb. 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.
“Cycling is steeped in history and we should never lose that, but this is great because it’s also reinventing it,” said Dowsett. “We have seen in the last few years that short stages can really be some of the most exciting to watch, and obviously with the stages being so short here, I think it’s going to be some real hard racing from the word go.
“It will be a massive spectacle. For us, as well, it’s great to race in front of big crowds. We get a buzz off the fans and the fans seeing us much more regularly, it’s a lot better – everyone wins.”