The Hammer Series will return in 2019 in the same format and with the same teams as last year, with the introduction of a 'captain' for each team.
The series was established in 2017 by Velon, an association of 11 WorldTour teams, as a contrast to the traditional format of road racing. It's a team competition that takes place over three events, the first involving a climbing element, the second a sprint element, and the third a team time trial pursuit to crown the winner.
The 2019 Hammer Series calendar mirrors that of 2018. The first round will take place in Stavanger, Norway from May 24-26, the second round will be in Limburg, the Netherlands, from June 7-9, and the series will conclude in Hong Kong from October 12-13. In Hong Kong, the sprint round and the TTT 'chase' take place on the same day.
The 2019 Hammer Series will also feature the same 14 teams as last year. The 11 Velon teams from the WorldTour are joined by Professional Continental Outfits Delko Marseille Provence, Israel Cycling Academy, and Nippo-Vini Fantini.
The organisers announced that a new feature in 2019 will see each team nominate a captain, though it is unclear how this will affect the racing. "The captains will be their team's figurehead, always a big part of any team sport and something cycling's 'Road Captains' will bring to the fore in Hammer races," read a statement, explaining that the identities of the captains will be revealed nearer the time.
After winning in both Stavanger and Hong Kong, Mitchelton-Scott were crowned overall series champions last year. The inaugural Hammer Series took place in 2017 and only featured one round, in Limburg, won by Team Sky.
Hammer Series teams
Delko Marseille Provence
EF Education First Pro Cycling
Israel Cycling Academy
Nippo - Vini Fantini - Faizane
Team Jumbo - Visma
UAE Team Emirates