The 2019 Hammer Series kicked off in Norway last week with three days of thrilling racing in Stavanger and notched up more than two million views of live and on demand video in the process.
The three racing days in Norway were streamed live on the Hammer Series’s social media channels and broadcast to more than 140 countries so that fans everywhere could see the non-stop action.
Starring 16 of the best teams in the world, viewers saw the riders go all-out in what Trek-Segafredo’s Ryan Mullen described as: “The hardest race in the world. Ever” on his Twitter account after he finished the opening Hammer Climb discipline.
The Irishman’s statement was backed up by numerous riders in the peloton, all agreeing that there is no rest during a Hammer Series race.
“It’s full gas from the start. Every lap you go absolutely nuts as if it was a sprint finish”, said Hammer debutant Robert Stannard of Mitchelton-SCOTT.
One of the main protagonists of the Hammer Climb, Sam Bennett of BORA-hansgrohe, explained: “It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I couldn’t eat or drink anything until the last two laps and I started cramping. I’m just dead now.”
The Hammer Sprint was won by Deceuninck – Quick-Step after a stellar performance by Petr Vakoc, who thrived in the unique Hammer format.
“I love this kind of racing. Usually, when we do the traditional four-five hours races, there are long periods of time where nothing happens. It can be really boring. This is much more exciting. You go flat out all the time. It’s so hard but it’s also a lot fun to be racing like this”, the Czech rider explained at the finish.
For the fans on site, the Hammer Series also provided a rare opportunity to see the riders multiple times.
“The Hammer races are really fun to ride. It’s completely different to the other races we do. We are so much closer to the fans and they get to see us every single lap the whole day”, BORA-hansgrohe’s Christoph Pfingsten said.
The Scandinavian team, Riwal-Readynez, made their Hammer debut in Stavanger and they finished off with an impressive ride in the Hammer Chase.
The Hammer Series now moves to Limburg in the Netherlands, taking place between June 7-9. Hong Kong will again be the setting for the series climax in October.
You can follow all the live action, on-bike images and behind the scenes videos on the Hammer Series website and our social media channels. To read more about Hammer Limburg, click here.