Mitchelton-Scott have increased their lead in the Hammer Series overall ranking after two rounds. The Australian outfit dominated the first event held in Norway and then finished second to Quick-Step Floors upon the conclusion of round two in Limburg on Sunday.
Mitchelton-Scott currently leads the series with 181 points while Quick-Step Floors are in second with 153 and BMC Racing in third with 108.
The team won all three events at Hammer Stavanger held at the end of May in Norway, where they won that title ahead of teams Sunweb and BMC.
The team weren't as dominant in Limburg, however, as Bahrain-Merida won the opener Climb ahead of Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step Floors, while Mitchelton-Scott placed 10th.
They bounced back to win the second stage, Sprint, ahead of Quick-Step Floors and LottoNL-Jumbo, and then again won the third stage, Chase, ahead of BMC and Sky.
The two victories were not enough to overtake stage 1 Climb winners Quick-Step Floors for the overall title in Limburg, but it was enough to keep them in the lead of the series ahead of the final round in Hong Kong.
"The race was a lot better this year, the team worked really really well it was a super fast course. In the end trying to pull time out of people at 55kph was hard," said Luke Durbridge after the Chase.
"We went out really hard like our plan was and we pulled nearly 30seconds out of Quickstep-Floors straight away on the first lap and then we just maintained the same until the end.
"We are really happy to win the Hammer Chase and also continuing our overall lead in the Hammer Series. The team were awesome, the boys were super strong and I am super proud of how everyone road today and now we can look forward to trying to win the Hammer Series in Hong Kong."
The third and final event will be held in Hong Kong on October 14.
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Hammer Series ranking after round two in Limburg
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|3||BMC Racing Team||109|
|10||Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini||28|
|12||EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale||15|
|13||UAE Team Emirates||15|
|14||Aqua Blue Sport|
|15||Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|