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Ahead of Stavanger, here is how the Hammer Series works

Joe Robinson
22 May 2018

The three-day race returns in Norway next weekend and here's a reminder of how it will be won

The conclusion of the 2018 Giro d'Italia comes next weekend with the Colle delle Finestre-Sestriere, Cervinia and then a processional stage into Rome. It could see the first British winner of the race with current leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). 

If this trio of racing isn't enough for your cycling appetite, next weekend will also see the Hammer Series return for its second year as the unique three-day race starts in Stavanger, Norway this Friday.

Unlike any other race, after three days of racing the Hammer Series will see a whole team take the victory as opposed to an individual rider with it all coming down to the decisive team time trial 'chase' on the last day. 

The first across the line on the final TTT will be declared champions, as Team Sky did holding off Team Sunweb in last year's inaugural event in Limburg, Netherlands.

On the Friday, the race will take on a climbing circuit before heading to a flatter sprinter circuit for the Saturday with team's competing for points on each lap. The team with the most points over the first two days will then start the pursuit first, giving them an advantage.

The format can seem fairly complex – and at times last year it proved slightly hard to follow – however, thankfully, the Hammer Series has produced the short video above explaining the format and what it will take to win. 

Last year produced some pretty exciting racing. An active Team Sky managed to snaffle up the most points over the first two days of competition. They set off 32 seconds before Team Sunweb on the 43.5km course.

With 3.5km remaining, Sunweb caught Sky with both teams coming into the finish for a bunch sprint on time trial bikes, quite the sight.

With better positioning in the final corner, the British team managed to cross the line first through a valiant effort from Tao Geoghegan Hart to keep the Dutch team behind.

Behind the two leading teams, viewers were also treated to the amusing sight of six teams amalgamating on the road in a haphazard battle for third. Orica-Scott (now Mitchelton-Scott) eventually took the bronze jostling Movistar out at the line.

This year, the series has expanded to become a true 'series' with Stavanger, Norway and Hong Kong being added to Limburg.

As previously mentioned, Stavanger kicks off proceedings this weekend before the peloton heads for Dutch soil on 1st June. 

The 2018 series will then conclude on 14th October in Hong Kong. 

With the race being organised by Velon, the media group ran by 10 WorldTour teams, a healthy roster of riders have been attracted to the race.

In Stavanger, Tour of Flanders champion Niki Terpstra will be racing for Quick-Step Floors, who will also be represented by talented young trio James Know, Fabio Jakobsen and Kasper Asgreen.

Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) will also be in attendance with the race taking place in his home town.

The following weekend in Limburg is scheduled to see Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) race although we think this could very much rest on his fortunes at the ongoing Giro.

He could potentially be joining recent Tour de Yorkshire winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing). 

In its attempt to be different, the Hammer Series will also be streamed live on social media for free.

Doing away with the usual broadcasting on satellite television, you will be able to watch all three races via Velon's Facebook and Twitter pages as well as on DailyMotion.

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