Hammer Series: Key facts and figures
Action from Hammer Stavanger in May 2018 (Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Fifteen facts and figures you might not have already known about the Hammer Series...

1. There have been three Hammer Series races so far - two at Hammer Limburg and one at Hammer Stavanger. Together, they’ve attracted more than 10million video views.

2. Hammer Series races are short: at 77km, the Hammer Limburg Climb is 214km shorter than the longest one-day race on the 2018 calendar, Milano-Sanremo.

3. Hammer races are energy burners. The high average power outputs result in huge energy expenditure for the races. During Hammer Stavanger and Limburg, the top performers burned up to 2500kcal in two hours – up to 1000kcal more than in a traditional stage over the same time.

4. In Limburg in 2017, the first-ever Hammer Series race was settled in a thrilling final-straight duel between Team Sky and Team Sunweb, two of the most accomplished pro teams on the UCI WorldTour. Team Sky edged it by a few metres.

5. During Hammer Stavanger and Hammer Limburg in 2018, the unique #HammerSeries emoji created by Twitter was used nearly 10,000 times.

6. The highest recorded power output at a Hammer Series race is 1,915 watts - by German Roger Kluge (Mitchelton-SCOTT) in the Hammer Stavanger Sprint, May 2018. That’s enough power to cook your dinner in a microwave oven.

7. Hammer Series is the biggest top-level professional bike race to be streamed live and free across multiple social media platforms around the world. It can be viewed on hammerseries.com, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

8. Giro d’Italia 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin raced Hammer Limburg in his home country of the Netherlands in both 2017 and 2018. In 2017 he travelled direct from his first Grand Tour triumph to play a starring role in the Hammer Climb in Vaals, the curtain-raiser for the first-ever Hammer Series race.

9. Races are faster and there are more attacks. The Hammer Stavanger and Limburg Climbs were ridden at 40-43km/h, while a usual hilly or mountain stage ends up somewhere in the 32-39km/h range. One of the main reasons is the countless attacks which are motivated by the points on offer every lap. Instead of one breakaway at the start, there are several moves every lap. The consequence: non-stop action.

10. Speed amateur comparison: A recreational rider will average 25-30km/h during a training ride and 35km/h in a fast group training session.

11. Hammer Series is unique: the team tactics are like no other race in the world of professional cycling. In the Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint, teams score points every time they cross the start/finish line, so there is excitement for fans (and riders) from start to finish.

12. Hammer Sprint races have a 45-50km/h average speed for the whole race compared to 40-45km/h in other big flat races.

13. Hammer is much more intense and therefore harder than other professional bike races. A normal classic race or hard stage is ridden at about 75-80% intensity on average. The Hammer Climb and Sprint races were done at 90 or even 95% in the case of Hammer Limburg Sprint. The Hammer Chase is an all-out time-trial effort for 45min. 

14. Power amateur comparison: A normal club rider can average 200-250W for two hours at the same intensity. The pros racing Hammer will do 350-400W - a difference of up to 75%. Maarten Wynants (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) reached a mind-blowing normalised power of 425W when he crossed the line in the top five during Hammer Limburg Climb.

15. Races are shorter and the riders give everything during their best efforts. Because of the two-hour race duration, the best riders in the world don’t have to hold back. It’s long enough to be selective but because when the riders go for it, they will use 100% of their capacity instead of holding a few watts back knowing that they still have 100km or more ahead of them. Even the team captains will do attacks beyond 500 or even 600W in the first lap of the race, where they would sit in the slipstream of their teammates in many other races.