A clean sweep for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Hammer Hong Kong to secure the overall Hammer Series titleSun 14 Oct 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT have continued to dominate in the Hammer Series winning the Hammer Sprint event today at the Hammer Hong Kong presented by Sun Hung Kai Properties to give them the overall 2018 Hammer Series title victory.
The overall win comes after a fierce battle with Quick-Step Floors, but wins at Hammer Stavanger and Hammer Hong Kong and second place at Hammer Limburg gave the Australian outfit the victory by 47 points.
Hong Kong Sprint battle
Mitchelton-SCOTT started off slowly not scoring any points and slipping down the leaderboard early on in the Sprint event.
But, biding their time until the fifth lap, the tables turned as Roger Kluge attacked away from the peloton and crossed the line first to take valuable double points. Luka Mezgec and Matteo Trentin also scored in the same lap, catapulting the team back up to the top of the leaderboard.
Cameron Meyer continued their momentum, attacking away from the group on the approach to the line for the sixth time to take top points again with Mezgec also scoring. After missing out on the next lap, not scoring any points, Quick-Step Floors jumped back up to the top of the leaderboard which created a fierce battle between the two dominant teams.
The short lap of 4.3km with a tough motorway bridge to climb each lap saw the peloton finally shatter into two, with a small group clipping away on the final lap but with Trentin present and sprinting to take more double points on the final lap.
Initially Quick-Step Floors were awarded the Hammer Sprint victory, however two of their riders were disqualified by the commissaires after rejoining the race incorrectly following punctures, and Mitchelton-SCOTT were given top spot.
Mitchelton-SCOTT started the five lap chase in first position with a 20second advantage over Quick-Step Floors after their win in the Hammer Sprint and riding smartly, the team paced themselves around the tough five laps.
At one point, Quick-Step Floors reduced the gap down to 13seconds but never got closer and by the time they crossed the finish line, Mitchelton-SCOTT had a clear 18seconds ahead to secure the Hammer Series title.
Inaugural Hammer Series Champions
It wasn’t by chance the team sealed the Hammer victory after their consistent performances throughout the whole series, winning the Hammer Chase, Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint events in Stavanger, followed by the Hammer Sprint victory in Limburg and today a clean sweep of wins at the Hammer Hong Kong.
“It was a really hard race, the points race and then straight away the chase so we didn’t have too much time to recover but it is pretty nice and I actually really like it.
"That is the good thing about the Hammer Series, we can race in the city, we made a circuit in one of the biggest city’s in the world so I think people really enjoyed the show that we put on today.”
“It is a really good way to round out the season. It is an important event for us, it is big in the world of cycling. For us to win the series is really important and to finish it off in such a big city like Hong Kong is really good.
“I am pretty wrecked, we didn’t have much rest between the Hammer Sprint and the Hammer Chase so it is a hard format. It is exciting race and I think the fans enjoy it and the riders really get in to it.
"There’s a lot going on in the race, it is really tough but I think there is a future for this style of racing and I really like it.”
Hammer Sprint results:
1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 996.2 pts
2. Quick-Step Floors 968.7 pts
3. Bora-Hansgrohe 587.8 its
Hammer Chase results:
1. Team Sunweb 27:07
2. Quick-Step Floors +0:09
3. Mitchelton-SCOTT +0:11
Hammer Hong Kong final standings:
1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 100 pts
2. Quick-Step Floors 81 pts
3. Team Sunweb 66 pts
Overall 2018 Hammer Series standings:
1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 281.0 pts
2. Quick-Step Floors 234.1 pts
3. Team Sunweb 152.7 pts