There is no rest for the wicked. A week after his Giro d'Italia victory, Tom Dumoulin will be back in action at the Hammer Series as he heads up Sunweb's six-man team for the inaugural running of the event, which will take place in his home region of Limburg.
Dumoulin won his - and the team's - first Grand Tour at the Giro, beating former champion Nairo Quintana by 31 seconds after a strong final time trial. Wilco Kelderman was due to join Dumoulin at the Hammer Series, but he will miss it after crashing heavily at the end of the opening week of the Giro when he collided with a race motorbike.
The Hammer Series was created by the Velon organisation and will consist of three events over three days. The first will be a climbing event near Vaals, while the riders will return to the main race centre, Sittard-Geleen, the following day for the sprint event. The teams will then duke it out in a team pursuit-style race where each team's start time is based on their position in the overall standings, and the first to cross the line will take the victory.
Dumoulin's time trialling skills will likely be put to use in the final chase event, while the team have Zico Waeytens and Max Walscheid for the sprint event. Former junior and under 23 world time trial champion Lennard Kamna is in the line-up, as are Ramon Sinkeldam and Albert Timmer. None of Dumoulin's Giro d'Italia teammates will be in action.
"This is a totally different race than to anything we've done before," said team coach Dirk Reuling. "In the climb race we aim to collect points from the break and for the sprint race we have Max and Zico as our fast guys to collect points. With that we aim to start in a good position for the chase."
The Hammer Series will take place from June 2-4.
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