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by Mark Zalewski
March 2, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gibbons wins Tour de Langkawi, McCabe takes final stage; Van Keirsbulck wins slick Le Samyn; Gutiérrez wins Le Samyn des Dames; Baxhkou finally gets a win at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo; No proof provided to support British Cycling, Team Sky accounts of Wiggins’ mystery package; Innovative Hammer Series of racing unveiled by Velon, Infront and teams; Route de France cancelled as UCI and organisers clash; Sporting goods industry group responds to disc brake controversy; Tour of Flanders wildcard teams announced; Tour of Alberta announces title partner, reduces to four days; Park Tool awards tools to nonprofit groups; Video: 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Ashleigh Moolman Pasio; Behind the scenes: Making of Road Cycling in Switzerland; Cooking with chef Peter Sagan.
Many of the sport’s top teams will go head to head in a new race series launched on Wednesday, with a cluster of WorldTour squads plus several Pro Continental outfits committing to the new Hammer Series. The series was announced in Limburg, the Netherlands, where the first round will take place in early June. Each of those rounds will comprise separate races run over three consecutive days, each designed to showcase a different aspect of the sport.
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.
The first team off will be the leader from the opening two days, with set time gaps separating the squads as per their overall position. The first team across the line will be deemed the winner of the three-day Hammer Series round. Chris Froome’s Team Sky is one of those who have committed to the new races.
“Whenever I win I always say the same thing – it wouldn’t be possible without the team,” the triple Tour de France winner said. “We go to the biggest races with what we think is the strongest team, and what’s great about the Hammer Series is it will really put that to the test.
“It’s something new and a chance for fans to see teams competing directly against each other.”
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