Hammer Series, the ground-breaking pro cycling series, today officially announces its expansion into Asia with a new partnership with Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon – the biggest road cycling event in Hong Kong.
Hammer Hong Kong, presented by Sun Hung Kai Properties, will take place on October 14. The race will be staged as part of the festival of cycling that is the Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon.
As part of the Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon, Hammer Hong Kong will see the biggest and best UCI WorldTour cycling teams compete for glory in a special, one-off race day on the streets of the iconic territory.
Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, said: “The Hong Kong Tourism Board is delighted to bring the Hammer Series to Hong Kong, in partnership with Velon.
“The Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon has grown from strength to strength since its first edition four years ago and has continued to expand and draw more top-notch cyclists from around the world.
“This partnership is a natural move for the HKTB to upgrade the UCI Asia Tour Class 1.1 road race into a world-class spectacle and is in line with our continued efforts to enhance every element of our diverse range of mega events which contribute to Hong Kong’s status as the events capital of Asia.”
Adam Kwok, Executive Director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, said: “Sun Hung Kai Properties is proud to be the title sponsor for the Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon for its fourth consecutive year.
“We passionately believe in our ‘sports for charity’ effort and in promoting cycling at all levels to fans in Hong Kong, China and rest of the world.
"With this year's introduction of Hammer Hong Kong presented by Sun Hung Kai Properties, an unprecedented number of WorldTour teams will be visiting and competing in Hong Kong for the first time and I'm sure fans locally and worldwide will have a whole lot to cheer about.”
Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon, said: “We’re delighted to bring the Hammer Series to Hong Kong for a spectacular finish to the 2018 series.
"We couldn’t ask for better partners than the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Sun Hung Kai Properties to bring a fantastic race alive for the fans in Hong Kong and internationally. The teams are all really up for a big finish.”
Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports at Infront, said: "We are excited to see the Hammer Series evolve after the first successful season by adding a third race in Hong Kong to the 2018 calendar.
"Cycling is a key sport in Infront’s long-term strategy as well as an important pillar of the wider Wanda Sports business, as highlighted by events such as the recent Tour of Guangxi.
"This partnership with Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon, which brings Hammer Series to China, will enable us to further develop Asian cycling and to promote this new exciting format on a global basis."
Key Hammer Series 2018 info
First event, Hammer Stavanger, May 25-27
Second event, Hammer Limburg, June 1-3
Third, special one-off race, Hammer Hong Kong, October 14
Hammer Hong Kong race format and teams line-up to come
Following an exciting inaugural event in 2017, which was watched by more than three million cycling fans on social media channels alone, the Hammer Series is back for the 2018 season with three thrilling global races.
Each Hammer Series race provides intense competition in an innovative team-v-team format designed for digital and broadcast viewing. Unlike traditional stage-based races in which individual riders take to the podium, the Hammer Series pits teams of five riders against each other over extremely testing courses to determine the best team.
The exact format of this special, one-off race day in Hong Kong will be revealed in the coming weeks and will offer a high octane, “All Out” finish to the Hammer racing for 2018.
Mitchelton-SCOTT General Manager Shayne Bannan said: “The extension of the Hammer Series to Hong Kong is an exciting prospect for us on a number of levels.
“We are obviously invested in Velon and the future we see the Hammer Series playing in cycling, but we are also heavily involved in the region, particularly with our Chinese-registered UCI Continental team Mitchelton-BikeExchange."
“We recognised the huge amount of potential in Hong Kong and China a number of years ago now and we are excited by the growth we are already seeing in not only riders, but also in support and infrastructure. This collaboration will only enhance this movement.
“The combination of these interests make Hammer Hong Kong an important late season target for us."
Mitchelton-SCOTT rider Sam Bewley said: “Aside from the racing, one of the big things you notice when racing in Hong Kong is the engagement with the fans.
“It’s great to see thousands of people on their bikes for the community event and the kids' enthusiasm for the clinics we held there last year. Introducing the Hammer Series, which is aimed at bringing cycling to the people, is the perfect fit."
UAE Team Emirates Team Manager Carlo Sarroni said: "In the past two years, our sports group participated in the Criterium in Hong Kong and we appreciated the constant increasing quality level of the organisation and of the cycling competitiveness.
“Hong Kong has everything to become an important appointment in the world cycling calendar and the Hammer Series leg will be the best way to make a huge step towards this goal. We obtained victories in the past two years in Hong Kong, we'd love to win in the Hammer Series.”