Deceuninck - Quick-Step triumph in Hammer Sprint

An accomplished ride by Belgian outfit Deceuninck - Quick-Step claimed victory in the Hammer Sprint at Hammer Stavanger, with Team Sunweb second and Mitchelton-SCOTT third.

Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC Team) and Michal Golas (Team INEOS) escaped together in the second half of the race, but heavy scoring by Deceuninck - Quick-Step throughout saw them home with 794 points to Sunweb’s 738. Mitchelton-SCOTT scored 620.

After a flat-out start, Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) took maximum points on Lap 1 with the bunch still together. Davide Martinelli (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) was second and Brenton Jones (Delko Marseille Provence) was third.

A five-man break formed on Lap 2, with Marc Hirschi launching a strong sprint to win it. Eduoardo Affini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) was second and Torkil Veyhe (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) third. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal) were the other two riders in the break and mopped up the points accordingly.

That move was reeled in, before Christophe Pfingsten (BORA-hansgrohe) and Evenepoel attacked together on Lap 3, with the BORA-hansgrohe man taking maximum points.

Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) took third behind Evenepoel, and the attacks continued on Lap 4, with some of the best sprinters being dropped by a large escape group.

Local favourite Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) stormed to maximum points on Lap 4 with Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) second and Ben Swift (Team INEOS) third.

The action was relentless - as always at Hammer Series - with Deceuninck - Quick-Step and Team Sunweb duking it out at the top of the leaderboard.

Team Sunweb soon hit the top thanks to Soren Kragh Andersen winning Lap 5 - Marc Hirschi following him home with a crucial 18.5pts for ninth. Chris Lawless (Team INEOS) was second and Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) third. At the halfway stage, Team Sunweb led by 14 points and it was all to race for.

CCC Team had a quiet start but an impressive sprint win by Lukasz Wisniowski took double points on Lap 6, sending them from 15th to sixth in one go.

Petr Vakoc's second place, meanwhile, put Deceuninck - Quick-Step back at the top, while the impressive Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) was third.

Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) took the win on Lap 7, holding off Tom Scully (EF Education First) and Pascal Eenkhorn (Team Jumbo Visma).

With groups now all over the road, Polish duo Wisniowski and Michal Golas (Team INEOS) attacked together, building a healthy lead, and they secured first and second respectively on Lap 8.

They embarked on a two-man team time trial and built a gap of around 20” before the Lap 9 sprint, which Golas won although they did not contest, but kept working well together. Deceuninck - Quick-Step still led the standings by 66 points with a lap to go.

After working brilliantly together, Golas and Wisniowski had clearly agreed that it was every man for himself on the double-points Lap 10. Golas got the jump on his friend, but Wisniowski responded and eventually powered over the finish line to take 200.

Sprint results.jpg

Vakoc said: “It was amazing, we got a lot of points in the first part of the race, then we had to keep an eye on the teams close to us. It was a super hard race, maybe harder than yesterday, but we’re so happy that we won.

“It feels amazing to be back. Now for the second part of the season I have goals to fight for results. I am super happy that I am back at my former level and it’s great to win a race with the team.”

Evenepoel said: “The race was harder than yesterday, but we did a great job, we won!”

It all means that Team Jumbo-Visma are in control ahead of Sunday’s Hammer Chase with a total of 1494 points after the first two days of racing. Team Sunweb are second, on 1357 points, while Mitchelton-SCOTT have 1341 in third place.

Coming up next at Hammer Stavanger 2019:

Sunday, May 26, 15:50 – 18:05 CET:

The big finale comes with the Hammer Chase, a team time trial pursuit taking place over three laps on a 16.3 km scenic circuit around Stavanger. It includes all the major landmarks and has a longer passage alongside Hafrsfjord, showing off the iconic Swords in Rock monument. The first team to cross the finish line will win Hammer Stavanger.

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