Greg Van Avermaet and Simon Gerrans will lead the BMC Racing team at the next Hammer Series three-day event that starts Friday in Limburg, Netherlands. It will be Van Avermaet's first time competing in the series.
The Hammer Series begins with the Climb on June 1, followed by the Sprint on June 2 and the final Chase event on June 3.
"I am looking forward to experiencing the Hammer Series race format for the first time," Van Avermaet said in a team press release.
"From what I've seen, it is going to be an intense three days of racing but hopefully a lot of fun as well. It's a different dynamic going into a race where the aim is to score points as a team and overall, I think we have a good mix of riders lining up so we will be aiming to make the most out of it."
Teams are permitted to field a roster of seven riders, but only five riders are chosen to start in each event. BMC Racing's team will also include Jürgen Roelandts, Miles Scotson, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Loïc Vliegen.
"I think we have a really strong team for Hammer Limburg especially with Greg Van Avermaet and Simon Gerrans for the Hammer Sprint," said the team's director Klaas Lodewyck.
"However, I think everyone should cope well both on this day and on the Hammer Climb. All our riders can handle this and can go full gas on a kermesse style race. Then, for the team time trial, we want to line up in the final group and try to take the opportunity to do as well as possible."
After the first event of the series, Hammer Stavenger, held last weekend in Norway, BMC is sitting in third overall behind the leading team Mitchelton-Scott and runner-squad Sunweb.
BMC Racing roster for Hammer Series Limburg: Simon Gerrans, Jürgen Roelandts, Miles Scotson, Greg Van Avermaet, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Loïc Vliegen.
Quick-Step Floors bring seven to Limburg
Quick-Step Floors bring a tough-to-beat seven-man team to the second round of the Hammer Series in Limburg this weekend. Classics specialists Philippe Gilbert and Yves Lampaert will lead the team, which is only permitted to start five riders per event; Climb, Sprint and Chase held from June 1-3 in Netherlands.
The team will also include Kasper Asgreen, Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui, Davide Martinelli, Enric Mas and Jhonnatan Narvaez.
During the first round in Norway last weekend, Quick-Step Floors were fifth in the Climb and the Sprint, and fourth in the Chase. They will no doubt want to improve on that performance in Limburg.
"Hammer Stavanger confirmed what we saw last year, that in these events you need to be awake and focused at all times as it is full gas from the beginning to the end and losing too many points will cost you seconds you can never earn back," said director Tom Steels in a press release.
"The points system is more important than winning the two first days. The team with the most points starts first in the team chase on Sunday, which is quite a spectacular race. As we saw at the last event, if you lose too many points and hence start far back on Sunday’s race, you will never be able to compete for the overall win.
"We will take the experiences we gained in Norway onto the Hammer Limburg with hopes of being there in the final. It won't be an easy task with so many big names at the start, but we will give our best. Hopefully we will see even greater crowds than in Stavanger, who'll come to celebrate a fantastic weekend of road racing."
Quick-Step Floors roster for Hammer Series Limburg: Kasper Asgreen, Philippe Gilbert, Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui, Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli, Enric Mas and Jhonnatan Narvaez
UAE Team Emirates bring well-rounded team to contest Hammer Series Limburg
UAE Team Emirates will send a team of five riders to the second 2018 Hammer Series event held June 1 to 3 in Limburg, The Netherlands. Przemyslaw Niemiec will focus on the climbing event, Roberto Ferrari will contest the sprint and Oliviero Troia will be their man for the chase.
The three leaders for each event will be supported by Matteo Bono and Vegard Stake Laengen.
The three-day event offers points awarded to the teams based on the riders' results. It begins with the Hammer Climb for climbers, 77km, continues with the Hammer Sprint of 99.2 kilometres and the Hammer Chase, a team pursuit over 49.6 kilometres.
"The particular race requires us to be active in every single moment and take as many points as possible every day so we can build points for the team," explains Bruno Vicino, the team's Sports Director for Limburg.
"We are going to try to do well, focusing on Niemiec in the climb, Ferrari in the sprint and having Troia pushing the group in the team pursuit that ends the event."
UAE Team Emirates roster for Hammer Series Limburg: Matteo Bono, Roberto Ferrari, Vegard Stake Laengen, Przemyslaw Niemiec and Oliviero Troia.
Grosu leads Nippo Vini Fantini in sprint
Eduard Grosu will lead a five-man Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini team in the three-day Hammer Series Limburg held from June 1-3 in Netherlands. The team will also field riders at Tour de Korea and GP Lugano this weekend, while Juan Jose Lobato has been sidelined with injuries.
Grosu is expected to do well in the sprint competition, the second event of the three-day series, with support from Alan Marangoni.
Nicola Bagioli will lead the team in the climbing event, after the first round in Norway, which saw him accumulate points and demonstrate his ability to be competitive in that race.
The team will also include Filippo Zaccanti and Imerio Cima, who will try to be a protagonist especially in the sprint and chase competitions. It is the same five-man team that competed at the opener in Norway last weekend.
"It is a very full period for us, with three different and important races at the same time; Tour de Korea in Asia, GP of Lugano this Sunday and the Hammer Series," noted the team's director Mario Manzoni.
"Unluckily, we had also some important injuries, as Lobato was supposed to be one of our leaders for the Hammer Series.
"The Hammer Series are a format very different from standard races, for this reason in Limburg we will ride with the same line-up of Stavanger that already understood very well the format.
"Leader for the sprints will be Grosu and Marangoni, for the climbing day Bagioli and Zaccanti, with the new name, Imerio Cima, will be of good support, especially in the Hammer Sprint."
Nippo Vini Fantini roster for Hammer Series Limburg: Eduard Grosu, Alan Marangoni, Nicola Bagioli, Filippo Zaccanti and Imerio Cima