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Hammer Series travels to Colombia for 2020

Joe Robinson
14 Jun 2019

Coffee capital of Colombia gets pro bike racing as Hammer Series also launches women's event

The Hammer Series will expand to a fourth date in 2020 when the unique racing format visits Colombia for the first time, and will also hold its first women's Hammer Series event.

Hammer Series Colombia will take place from 7th to 9th February, and will be the opening round of the series, before events in Limburg, Stavanger and Hong Kong later in the year.

The 'coffee cultural landscape' of Pereira, 350km west of the capital Bogota, will host the men's and women's races, which will take place simultaneously. 

Pereira forms part of Colombia's 'coffee triangle' with fellow cities Quindío and Caldas, which will get their own chance to host the Hammer Series in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

The Colombian Sports Ministry, Coldeportes, negotiated with Velon, organiser of the Hammer Series, to bring the new racing format to South America and hope it will help further the world's view of Colombia as a cycling nation.

'The prestige of Colombia as a powerful country of sports is a reference that today we are trying to strengthen through this type of events such as the Hammer Series,' said Director of Coldeportes, Ernesto Lucena.

'It is a perfect opportunity to show our kindness to the world, especially as a destination for cycling races. Due to the Hammer Series, we can say that Colombia is a land of athletes.'

It's a big move that will attract a second major race to the cycling-mad nation of Colombia after the introduction of the Colombia 2.1 stage race in 2018 and will also debut top-level women's racing in the country.

Positioned in February, the race should be able to attract some of the world's best riders considering is should coincide with the existing Colombia 2.1 stage race which takes place later in February.

This year's edition attracted almost every top Colombian rider, including Egan Bernal, Miguel Angel Lopez and Nairo Quintana, while also seeing the likes of Chris Froome and Julian Alaphilippe race.

One rider who has already confirmed he will be racing Hammer Series Colombia is Esteban Chaves. The Mitchelton-Scott rider spoke about what the event should expect from his home nation.

'I’m super excited that Hammer will come to my home country. The Colombian coffee area is one of the most beautiful ones we have. Bringing together cycling and coffee is a fantastic mix. I can’t wait to show off my culture, my people, my country, my food and everything beautiful about this place,' said Chaves.

'I’m sure everybody will be very impressed by the fans here in Colombia. They love cycling and I have no doubts that people will go nuts when the racing begins.'

The introduction of a women's event looks like it also may attract some its top talent with Marianne Vos and Annamiek van Vleuten already having shown their interest in taking part.

Van Vleuten said that this expansion was a good thing for women's cycling and that she had heard 'so many great stories about how good cycling is in Colombia so I’m very excited to hear that we will be able to race there from next year.'

'The Hammer Series is a fantastic event with aggressive style racing, which I really like. I’m very happy that we can race in the Hammer Series especially with live broadcasting and streaming online.'

The Hammer Series follows a unique format of racing across three days with the eventual winner being a team rather than an individual. The first two days will negotiate a flat and a hilly circuit with the final day being a team time trial.

The series is run by the Velon group, a collection of WorldTour and ProContinetal teams. 

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