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Mitchelton-Scott win the Hammer Series 2018

Peter Stuart
14 Oct 2018

Mitchelton-Scott secured the overall title with a win at the final event at the Hammer Hong Kong

Australian team Mitchelton-Scott took the overall title in the 2018 Hammer Series event, with a decisive win at Hammer Hong Kong following a penalty for Quick-Step Floors in the Hammer Sprint event.

Having won the second event of the Series, the Hammer Stavanger, and placed second in Limburg, Mitchelton-Scott entered the event in the overall lead.

They had only a slim lead over Quick-Step Floors, which could have been overturned by a win in the final event, Hammer Hong Kong, for the Belgian team.

In order to be in contention for the top few places in the event, Mitchelton-Scott needed to win a high number of points in the criterium style Sprint stage in order to begin the final team time-trial Chase in pole position. 

The Australian team won the Sprint event outright and preserved their lead in the Chase against a very stiff challenge from Quick-Step Floors to take the overall win.

Sprint and Chase

As the format dictates, teams chase one-another in a final team time-trial event, attempting to bridge time gaps decided by the points accrued in each of the 10 laps of the criterium style Sprint event.

The team to cross the line first in the Chase wins the event.

Mitchelton-Scott fended off a strong attack from Quick-Step Floors, who were initially crowned as winners of the Sprint stage.

A complication occured when commissaires decided that two riders had re-entered the race in the front group against race protocol, and some of Quick Step’s points were docked.

The result was a win for Mitchelton-Scott after some mild recalculation in the overall points. They began the Chase in lead position, and clocked the third fastest time in the event.

Despite being slower on the clock, the team kept the margin tight enough to avoid being overtaken by Quick-Step Floors, who set off behind them.

Team Sunweb clocked the fastest overall time for the Chase event, with a time of 27 minutes 7 seconds – 9 seconds ahead of Quick-Step Floors and 11 ahead of Mitchelton-Scott.

The slim time margins weren’t enough for Sunweb to overturn Quick-Step Floors, or indeed to beat Bora-Hansgrohe, who took third spot at Hammer Hong Kong.

Nevertheless with strong results earlier in the season, Team Sunweb took third place in the overall series.

Further down the field, there were numerous overtakes during the Chase event, and a slight reordering of the finishers that saw Bora-Hansgrohe and Lotto-Soudal both rise through the overall rankings, while still falling short of the podium.

The Hammer Hong Kong was jointly hosted by Hong Kong Tourism Board, and was the first event of its scale in Hong Kong, and was attended by the CEO of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam.

The Hammer Series is an innovative new race series owned collectively by 11 WorldTour Pro Teams. Races can be viewed online and accompanied by power data and other metrics.