Introducing the Hammer Series - a revolutionary new professional event
By Velon Media Team , 28 Feb 2017

The Hammer Series is coming - a revolutionary new professional road cycling series to crown the world’s best team.

Today, Wednesday 1 March, sees the launch of the Hammer Series, a unique new series of races beginning in 2017 that creates a must-watch, must-attend racing experience for cycling enthusiasts and sports fans.

The inaugural event will take place 1-4 June 2017 at Sportzone Limburg, Sittard-Geleen in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands.

The Hammer Series will push the world’s best cycling teams to the max across the core cycling disciplines to find the ultimate winner. Its format will bring the most exciting elements of team cycling to the broadest possible audience, featuring a ground-breaking team vs team racing format across multiple events throughout the season.

Each event in the series - run in partnership by Infront Sports & Media and Velon - will consist of three high-intensity days of racing in a format that will test the teams to their limit by featuring different types of riding, and is guaranteed to go down to the wire.

Five riders from each team of seven are selected to tackle each day’s discipline with the ultimate goal to cross the finish line first after three punishing days. Each day will feature multiple laps of between 8-10km ensuring wherever fans are on the course they will get the ultimate view of the action.

Hammer Series format

This is a team vs team race where only a team can win. On Day 1 it’s the exciting Hammer Sprint. On Day 2 the riders face the punishing Hammer Climb. The final day is the race decider – the Hammer Chase – where the leading team after the first two days starts first, the other teams are chasing and the ultimate winner of the race is determined by the first team over the line. Time gaps between teams will be based on fixed time gaps per position and bonus time gained during Days 1 and 2.

In true team pursuit style, the team whose fourth rider’s front wheel crosses the line first in the Hammer Chase is the race winner, earning points towards the overall Hammer Series. The overall winner at the end of the Hammer Series earns the ultimate bragging rights as the best team in the world.

Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports, Infront said: “Cycling is a key sport in Infront’s long-term strategy as well as an important pillar of the wider Wanda Sports business. The new race series guarantees comprehensive cycling action, which is appealing, modern and accessible for fans. This will ultimately lead to re-establish the strength of cycling and position it as an appealing product for media, sponsors and fans.”

Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon says: “There are many great races in cycling. The teams felt there was room for a new emphasis, something that distilled the core disciplines of the sport and spoke to its powerful team ethic. One of the riders who worked on the concept called it ‘impact racing’, I think that sums it up.”

The Hammer Series has been designed with excitement for fans and viewers as a top priority. Its format makes the riding challenge comprehensive – to deliver a definitive verdict on which team is best – while ensuring that the action is fast, exciting, accessible and easy to follow for both die-hard road cycling fans, and sports enthusiasts who may be less familiar with road racing. The structure of each challenge and the Hammer Series’ points system ensures that it’s the team’s performance that is tested and rewarded, not the individuals’.

Infront and Velon have worked together on the format for more than a year with significant input from important parties within cycle sport – including riders, sporting directors, team managers, broadcasters and race organisers – along with insight and innovation from major sports events organisers outside cycling.

The Hammer Series race schedule will be developed to fit carefully within the UCI race calendar and starts with the showcase race in early June in the Netherlands, the Hammer Sportzone Limburg. The next Hammer Series races – and their associated franchised partners – are to be announced over the coming months.

In line with the ambitions of Velon to grow the fanbase of cycling and bring all fans closer to the action, Velon Interactive live rider data will be available to fans through the Velon website (www.velon.cc), app and social channels, along with updates on race points and positions in a live league table – so all fans can keep abreast of their teams’ performances.

The data includes power, cadence, heart rate and speed so viewers can see how hard the riders are working on each of the Hammer Series race challenges. On-bike GoPro cameras will feature throughout the series delivering unmissable action footage for fans to get into the heart of the races, and GoPro cameras provide unique behind-the-scenes access to the series and the teams battling to be crowned the best in the world.

See the full Hammer Series format and rules at hammerseries.com

Read top pro riders' reaction to the launch of the Hammer Series

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