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by Shane Stokes
May 9, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Former pro Heras to receive over €700,000 in compensation after EPO ban; Gaviria to face short stint in Maglia Rosa, but celebrates most important moment of career; Fernando Gaviria: cycling’s ‘bottomless pit’ of power; Sam Bennett: ‘I thought I was going to die’; Gaviria, Gilbert, Ewan, Dumoulin and others confirmed for Hammer Sportzone Limburg; A tight jam for Trek-Segafredo’s team bus; Video: Backstage Pass – Giro d’Italia Stage 3 Post Race; Video: 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic Stage 5 Men’s Highlights; Video: FTP test by anaerobic threshold analysis; Video: Heuston Police Department ticketing drivers over passing distance; Video: Rider taken out by crashing drone; Video: Cycling Motivation 2017 “No Judgment”
The Giro d’Italia race leader Fernando Gaviria will join Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race-winning teammate Philippe Gilbert in the upcoming inaugural Hammer Series event, with the duo and QuickStep teammate Zden?k Štybar amongst several big names confirmed on Monday.
Twelve WorldTour teams and four Pro Continental squads will cross swords in the three day event, which begins on June 2. 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. Teams will field five riders each day, taken from a pool of seven. Changes are permitted.
Lotto-Soudal will feature Giro d’Italia stage two winner André Greipel and Tim Wellens, Team Sunweb will include Tom Dumoulin and Wilco Kelderman, Orica-Scott will field Caleb Ewan, Luke Durbridge and 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Matt Hayman, and BMC Racing Team will feature Stefan Küng and Manuel Quinziato.
Others who will take part include Classic specialist Sep Vanmarcke, Tom-Jelte Slagter, and Wouter Wippert (Cannondale-Drapac), plus Andrea Guardini and Filippo Ganna (both UAE Team Emirates).