A breakaway move upsets Mitchelton-SCOTT’s chances in the Hammer Climb at Hammer Limburg

Fri 7 Jun 2019

After their consistent performances in all of the past Hammer Series races, having never finished outside the top three in any event, today Mitchelton-SCOTT found themselves on the back-foot after a breakaway dominated on the first day of racing in Hammer Limburg at the Hammer Climb event.

A early group of 12 riders broke away and swept up the top ten points on offer, lap after lap, with the Australian outfit relentlessly chasing behind to get themselves back into the race and in a point scoring position.

Despite their efforts to fight back, the damage was done early on with the main teams all represented in the lead group with Mitchelton-SCOTT having to settle for 14th position as Deceuninck-Quickstep claimed the overall Hammer Climb victory.

Splits from the start

The race began with a furious pace as expected with the peloton splitting already around the first lap. Mitchelton-SCOTT missed out on scoring any points on the first lap, with just the first ten-riders across the line taking points.

A group of seven-riders attacked away to take the top seven points on the second lap, with Dion Smith fighting behind to cross the line in ninth place to take the first and only set of points for the team, to get them onto the scoreboard.

Dangerous move

More riders bridged across to the front group with Michael Albasini sensing the real danger, knowing at least one Mitchelton-SCOTT rider needed to be in the leading group in order to score any points and be competitive in the race.

Despite a huge effort, which spurred other teams to chase, the Swiss rider wasn’t able to bridge across and the dangerous move as the group increased their advantage and never saw the peloton again.

With the Hammer Sprint and the Hammer Chase events still to come, Hammer Limburg is far from over with the team hoping to redeem themselves tomorrow.

Cameron Meyer - Hammer Captain

"Today was a tough day for the team. Unfortunately we were on the back foot from missing the early move and we tried everything we could to try get back in the race but we didn’t have the legs today.

We probably didn’t expect anything that went so early to stay away so long but that is our mistake so we will try to have a better day tomorrow in the Hammer Sprint.

We have a strong Michael Hepburn and Edoardo Affini to bolster our stocks so we will be super aggressive to give us as best of chance of making the A group for the Hammer Chase."

Dion Smith

"The lap was super hard as expected, the neutral was even uphill so was a nasty start. We had a couple guys that weren’t feeling great today which is understandable being such an intense race and not knowing how you will react.

"Being the first race back for me it was a shock so took a couple of laps to get into it, Cam and myself were just behind the last group that were scoring points but when both groups are on the limit that 10second gap feels like 10minutes.

"Today wasn’t great but we have a strong team for the last two-days, the Hammer Sprint and the Hammer Chase and I’m sure the boys are really motivated now."

Hammer Limburg - Hammer Climb Results:

1. Deceuninck-Quickstep 1067 points
2. CCC Team 722.9 points
3. Bora-Hansgrohe 687.2 points 
14. Mitchelton-SCOTT 18.5 points 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images