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by Shane Stokes
September 23, 2017
Cosnefroy wins under 23 world road race championship; Pirrone adds junior road race title to time trial gold; Benfatto wins again at Tour of China II; Degenkolb hospitalized as health issues continue; Hammer series expands in 2018 with Hammer Stavanger; ‘Screw the naysayers’: Chloe Hosking ready to make an impact at Worlds; Deignan: I wanted to be on the startline to end the season on my own terms; Ride with Marianne Vos at the Holden Giro della Donna; Video: Riding a bike blind – Daniel Kish’s echolocation in action
With Norway currently the focus of the international fans and media due to the road world championships, the Tour de Fjords race director Roy Hegreberg unveiled details on Friday of the new Hammer Stavanger event. Running immediately after next year’s Tour of the Fjords, the contest will begin on Friday May 25 and conclude two days later.
“As we saw in Limburg in the Netherlands in June, Hammer Series is a revolution for professional cycling,” said Hegreberg. “We are happy to be among the first to jump aboard that train. The format focuses on teamwork and bringing the action closer to fans.
“Over the next five years Hammer will boost Norwegian cycling and help to develop the sport and economy in the area. Our goal is to make the Stavanger region more attractive to the world’s cyclists, and to develop into the biggest cycling event in Scandinavia.”
Former Tour of Flanders winner Alexander Kristoff comes from Stavanger and intends on competing in the event. “Hammer is an exciting concept,” he said. “I know the roads, all three stages seem to suit me very well and the climbs are not too hard. We will be one of the contenders for victory.” The Hammer Series is developed by Velon and international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media. The first event was held earlier this year in Limburg, with the Hammer Sprint, Hammer Climb and Hammer Chase testing different attributes over three days.
Friday’s announcement also included details of the 2018 Tour des Fjords. It will begin in Lindesnes on May 22 and end in Egersund on May 24. “To win you have to be at your best on all three days,” said Hegreberg. “It puts more riders in contention for victory. The stages get harder from day to day and excitement is guaranteed until the last kilometre.”