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Trek-Segafredo win Hammer Sprint, Sky to start Chase in pole position

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Trek-Segafredo won the Hammer Sprint

Trek-Segafredo won the Hammer Sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) signs on

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) signs on (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dennis van Winder (Cycling Academy)

Dennis van Winder (Cycling Academy) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Purple is the colour of the Hammer Series

Purple is the colour of the Hammer Series (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Daniel Oss (BMC)

Daniel Oss (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Elia Viviani (Team Sky)

Elia Viviani (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mitch Docker (Orica-Scott)

Mitch Docker (Orica-Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Danny van Poppel (Team Sky)

Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roger Kluge (Orica-Scott)

Roger Kluge (Orica-Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tyler Williams (Cycling Academy)

Tyler Williams (Cycling Academy) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Albert Timmer (Team Sunweb)

Albert Timmer (Team Sunweb) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Plenty of chatter on the start line

Plenty of chatter on the start line (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zak Dempster (Cycling Academy)

Zak Dempster (Cycling Academy) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors)

Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sunweb celebrating their strong position after the Hammer Sprint

Sunweb celebrating their strong position after the Hammer Sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Trek-Segafredo celebrating a Hammer Sprint victory

Trek-Segafredo celebrating a Hammer Sprint victory (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Trek-Segafredo celebrating their Hammer Sprint win

Trek-Segafredo celebrating their Hammer Sprint win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sunweb sits in pole position after two days at the Hammer Series

Sunweb sits in pole position after two days at the Hammer Series (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zico Waeytens after a strong showing for Sunweb on the second day of the Hammer Series

Zico Waeytens after a strong showing for Sunweb on the second day of the Hammer Series (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mitch Docker after the Hammer Sprint

Mitch Docker after the Hammer Sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Moreno Hofland was third across the line on the final lap of the Hammer Sprint.

Moreno Hofland was third across the line on the final lap of the Hammer Sprint. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sep Vanmarcke won the final lap of the Hammer Sprint

Sep Vanmarcke won the final lap of the Hammer Sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sunweb's Lennard Kämna racing the Hammer Sprint

Sunweb's Lennard Kämna racing the Hammer Sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tao Geoghegan Hart after the Hammer Sprint

Tao Geoghegan Hart after the Hammer Sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Edmondson at the Hammer Series

Alexander Edmondson at the Hammer Series (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gianluca Brambilla racing the Hammer sprint

Gianluca Brambilla racing the Hammer sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Hammer Series peloton comes across the finish line.

The Hammer Series peloton comes across the finish line. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Manuel Quinziato on the second day of Hammer Series racing

Manuel Quinziato on the second day of Hammer Series racing (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Trek-Segafredo earned the biggest points haul on the second day of racing at the Hammer Series after an aggressive battle on the newly-named Tom Dumoulin Limburg Sportzone circuit. Team Sky, following up a strong showing in the Hammer Climb with another solid performance in Saturday's Sprint, will start Sunday's Chase in pole position.

Team Sunweb had initially been declared the top team in the standings for the Chase, but riders are required to finish an event for their points to count, and the German squad's Ramon Sinkeldam pulled out of the Sprint after a crash. The updated leaderboard sees Sky in the lead spot for Sunday, with Sunweb second and Nippo - Vini Fantini third.

Jasper Stuyven, Matthias Brändle, Boy Van Poppel, Greg Daniel and Giacomo Nizzolo comprised Trek's winning line-up, and each pitched in nabbing points throughout the afternoon. Brändle and Stuyven were especially active early and Nizzolo and Van Poppel added to the haul in the later laps.

Cannondale-Drapac's Sep Vanmarcke was the first rider across the finish on the last lap after he attacked with Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini) with two of the 12.5km laps left to cover. He beat the Italian on the final crossing of line and so took the 20 points on offer. Canola hung on to finish second, with Moreno Hofland (Lotto Soudal) holding off the main peloton to take third.

Trek-Segafredo topped the race points total with 70.7 points. Hofland helped propel Lotto Soudal to second in the team ranking with 61.8 points, while Vanmarcke's strong finale pushed Cannondale-Drapac to third on the day with 59.6 points. Team Sky was fourth with 50.9 points after consistently scoring points during the eight sprints.

The eight-best ranked teams will now compete in Sunday’s final Hammer Chase race over three laps of a 14.5km circuit based on the Sportzone park. While the first two days racing was based on points, the team pursuit style Chase will see teams start off at different time gaps based on the points and bonus seconds they have amassed so far.

After team ranking calculations were done, time bonuses were added and Sinkeldam's abandonment ultimately accounted for, Team Sky rose to the top of the rankings and will start first in the top-tier group on Sunday in the 43.5km Hammer Chase. Team Sunweb is off 32 seconds later, Nippo - Vini Fantini will set out after one minute and Lotto Soudal is fourth off at 1:12. Movistar, who won the opening Hammer Climb, will start fifth at 1:29. Only the top eight teams will compete for overall victory, with the lower ranked 9-16 teams riding the lesser final.

“It was full gas immediately from the start. Every lap felt like the last lap, the double points meant it was always full gas,” Van Poppel said before he and his teammates sprayed the champagne on the podium.

Brändle and Stuyven explained Trek-Segafredo’s tactics.

“We played different tactics today, we had sprinters and time trialists like me, so we went on attack and didn’t wait for sprint. I did a 500m sprint but then I was hanging on,” Brändle said.

“I think we did a really good race as always,” Stuyven added. “We always had one guy in front so it was a big advantage for us, we never had to chase.”

Fast and furious racing

As expected, the Hammer Sprint was fast and furious, with the sprint after each of the eight 12.5km offer vital points. Double points on laps two, five and eight added an extra incentive for teams to target the sprints and score as many points as possible with multiple riders.

The first rider over the line scored 10 points but much like in a points race on the track, attacks often swept up the leading points, with the peloton sweeping up the lesser but still important points for the minor placings.

Vanmarcke made his and Cannondale-Drapac’s intentions clear when he joined a small group and then won the first sprint. Then Trek-Segafredo took over with Jasper Stuyven surging clear. Team Sunweb hit back with Ramon Sinkeldam (Team Sunweb) winning the third sprint but the intense racing sparked lots of suffering and a few crashes.

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) went down with several riders – including Sinkeldam – with 60km to go just as he started to fight for points. The Australian sprinter seemed stunned. He did not seem seriously hurt but was taken away in an ambulance, leaving his four teammates to take over for the sprints.

Stuyven struck again on lap four, beating Canola, while Elia Viviani revived Team Sky’s hopes by winning the fifth sprint. However strength in depth was the key in the sprint for points and both Trek-Segafredo and Team Sunweb were always well-represented as Orica-Scott changed tactics and sent Roger Kluge up the road. He was soon caught and passed by a sizable group that included most teams. However it was too big a group, and Vanmarcke and Canola soon slipped off the front and opened a 20-second lead.

The two worked hard together as the main peloton eventually closed the gap on the chasers to set up a high-speed sprint for the important placings and points. Vanmarcke celebrated hitting the line first but Trek-Segafredo had the numbers in the sprint and so took the team victory.

Results

#TeamResult
1Trek-Segafredo70.7
2Lotto Soudal60.9
3Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team59.6
4Team Sky50.9
5Nippo - Vini Fantini40.4
6Team LottoNL-Jumbo35.4
7Team Sunweb30
8Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team26.5
9Quick-Step Floors24.3
10Orica-Scott23.1
11UAE Team Emirates19.9
12Movistar Team16.7
13BMC Racing Team11
14Team Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij10
15Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6.6
16Israel Cycling Academy5.6

Chase start order
#Team
1Team Sky
2Team Sunweb
3Nippo - Vini Fantini
4Lotto Soudal
5Movistar Team
6Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
7Orica-Scott
8LottoNL-Jumbo

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