ORICA-SCOTT storm to third overall in the Hammer SeriesSun 4 Jun 2017
A strong five-man team time trial from ORICA-SCOTT in the Hammer Chase today saw the Australian outfit speed around the course, leaving four other teams in their wake to take third place overall in the exciting Hammer Series.
Three days of intense and exciting racing saw mixed fortunes for the Australian outfit after a successful first day of competition in the Hammer Climb where Luke Durbridge animated the front of the race and repeatedly scored high in the points.
Day two, the Hammer Sprint was an altogether different animal, again raced over circuits, the early laps saw German lead out man Roger Kluge get ORICA-SCOTT on the scoreboard after the first two laps before an untimely crash for Caleb Ewan pushed the team onto the back foot for an eventual tenth place finish.
Fortunately Giro d’Italia stage winner Ewan did not suffer any serious injury and the solid performances of Kluge, Michael Hepburn, Mitch Docker and Alex Edmondson guaranteed that the team started Sunday’s Hammer Chase in a strong position on the grid.
The team all raised their game for the final event to produce a remarkable ride led by road captain Mathew Hayman and going from a starting position of seventh to finish in third place overall behind series winners Team-Sky.
“I think it’s been a really great event,” said Durbridge at the end. “Coming from a track background I really understand and enjoy this kind of racing, it’s not about the first guy over the line it’s about the team and accumulated points.”
“That makes you calculate more in the actual race, which as a rider makes you think more and forces you to adapt. The concept is good and I think it’s a great new event for cycling.”
The reaction from the whole weekend of racing seemed to be positive on most fronts, including sport director Matt Wilson.
“It was an awesome performance by the team today,” said Wilson. “They really stuck to the plan, obviously it was a very different kind of team time trial with all of those teams out there on the course, but we stuck to what we wanted to do and came very close.”
“For me we were the fastest team on the day, the guys really rode out of their skin in what was a fantastic event. To see two teams coming around that final corner and sprinting it out for the win has probably never been seen before in cycling and it’s got a lot of potential to become a truly great event.”
How it happened:
The third and final day of competition of the inaugural Hammer Series, the Hammer Chase got underway in wet conditions with the field split into two groups of eight teams.
The first group out on the course were the last eight teams in the standings and competing for a stage win only and a slight improvement in the overall classification, whilst the second group out were the top eight and had earned points to go for the overall title of the series.
Quick-Step-Floors set the best time of the first teams with 52minutes 38seconds for the 44kilometre course.
ORICA-SCOTT started well, immediately passing Cannondale-Drapac and moving up two positions after the first lap and into fourth place at the start of the final circuit.
A dramatic closing lap was closely contested over 14.9kilometres with Team-Sunweb and Team-Sky battling for first and second place as ORICA-SCOTT closed in on third.
Sky ran out the overall winners with Sunweb and ORICA-SCOTT passing four teams to take a superb third.
Hammer Series final standings:
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com