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.”
About Hammer Series
Based on an exciting new team race format, Hammer Series is a revolutionary international professional road cycling series created to find the world’s best team. The Hammer Series is designed to maximise excitement for fans and viewers. The format makes the riding challenge comprehensive, delivering a definitive verdict on the best team. The action is fast, exciting, accessible for both die-hard fans and those less familiar with bike racing. The scoring system ensures the team performance is rewarded, not the individual. Alongside the professional teams races, Hammer Series events will feature a festival of cycling including family mass participation activities, men’s and women’s pro-am challenges, a fan village, cycling expo and entertainment. Infront and Velon have worked together on this innovative concept in consultation with teams and riders to create an exciting fan-based, team-focused event. There has been input from key players in cycle sport – riders, sporting directors, team managers, broadcasters and race organisers – along with insight and innovation from major sports events organisers beyond cycling.
About Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon
Organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon is one of the largest cycling events in Hong Kong. Held annually since 2015, the event attracts thousands of amateur and professional cyclists from around the world to appreciate the unique scenery of Hong Kong on a number of routes that encompass numerous landmarks and major roads. The International Criterium, the highlight of the event, was upgraded to a UCI Asia Tour Class 1.1 road race in 2017, marking the first race of its kind in Hong Kong.
Velon works closely with WorldTour and Pro-Continental Teams, race organisers, broadcasters, online sport destinations and the international cycling media to increase engagement with the world’s biggest and best-known professional cycling races. Its live rider data system shows how much effort riders are expending as they tackle some of the world's toughest courses. Power output, heart rate, speed and cadence are delivered to live television coverage and online to give a glimpse of just what it takes to compete and triumph at the top level of the sport. Velon puts onboard cameras on the handlebars and under the saddles of the riders' racing machines to let you see what they see as they slog it up mountains, rocket down descents and sprint for glory. As co-founder of the Hammer Series Velon works with race organisers, teams and riders to bring race action and unique content from the teams to the fans.
Infront is a leading sports marketing company managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events, including the distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 1,000 staff working from over 40 offices across more than 13 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Group, part of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.
About Sun Hung Kai Properties
Sun Hung Kai Properties is a world-class developer with the track record of producing the finest developments and offering our customers ideal homes, commercial spaces and top-notch service. The developer has been "Building Homes with Heart" for the past four decades making Hong Kong a better place for all. Our "Building Homes with Heart" mission extends to the community by advocating various sports for charity campaigns such as SHKP HK Cyclothon, SHKP Vertical Run for Charity, reading and holistic development, as well as care for the underprivileged. Over the past four decades, the management team has led by example and inspired staff to reach out to those in need and give back to society with their professional knowledge.
About Wanda Sports Group
Wanda Sports Group is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape. Led by President & Vice Chairman Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.