Mitchelton-SCOTT dominate to win the Hammer Climb in Stavanger

Fri 25 May 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT came away with an impressive team victory on today's first day of Hammer Stavanger - the Hammer Climb.

The team dominated the event taking points in each of the ten hill sprints to finish the day with a convincing win and a huge margin over the second placed team, Team Sunweb.

Consistent and dominating performance

Damien Howson started things off for the squad taking points in the first hill sprint followed by Daryl Impey, who took second place on the second sprint.

The team then catapulted themselves into a leading position by taking second and third place with Albasini and Impey respectively on the third sprint, where valuable double points were on offer.

Then the action really began as Tour des Fjords overall winner Michael Albasini found the perfect moment to attack away solo and was able to take top points on the fourth sprint.

With the top ten riders over the line each time all scoring points, Impey jumped into a chasing group and continue to add to the teams tally by taking fifth place on the fourth sprint.

Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) bridged across to Albasini but the Swiss rider continued to dominate and extend the teams lead by winning the fifth, sixth (double points) and seventh hill sprints.

On the eighth sprint, Albasini tired slightly and took second place, but with Lucas Hamilton in the thick of the action behind, also scooping up points from a new chase group and Mitchelton-SCOTT's points score continued to increased.

Albasini and Tolhoek were caught before the ninth sprint but the Swiss rider was still able to take points whilst Hamilton sprinted to second, for double points on the final climb.

The team eventually finished with 1497 points ahead of Sunweb on 644 points.

Michael Albasini

"I was hurting a lot the first two laps until my legs opened then I just found the right moment to ride away and it was actually perfect. I was able to also win some double points so then we were quite comfortable."

“It was a really intense race, I was nearly at the threshold the full time. I’m going home, that’s why I left it all out there today - getting as many points as possible."

Daryl Impey

“It was pretty intense right from the word go. It’s pretty exciting, quite different racing but we were all over it today, which was good for us. I felt like a schoolboy racing all over again.”

Damien Howson

This is my first Hammer Series race so this is pretty exciting and proved how hard it was. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We’ve given ourselves a great start to the series and we’ll see how it goes in the Hammer Sprint.”

Hammer Climb results:

1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 1497
2. Team Sunweb 644
3. LottoNL-Jumbo 623

Photo courtesy of Getty Images