After dominating the opening Hammer Climb on Friday, Mitchelton-Scott won once again in the Hammer Sprint. Daryl Impey's efforts in an early break, combined with Lucas Hamilton once again getting out front in the closing stages of the race, saw the Australian squad in control of Hammer Stavanger all day.
The team's 1084 points saw them beat Team Sunweb (984), Sky (800) and BMC (623) on the day, and means that they head into the final stage - the Hammer Chase - as the leadoff team, thirty sec-onds ahead of Team Sunweb. The remainder of group one - teams that can challenge for overall victory on Sunday - are Team Sky, BMC, LottoNL-Jumbo, Quick Step Floors, and Nippo-Vini Fantini.
The Hammer Sprint, day two of Hammer Stavanger, was held over an 92km circuit, featuring ten laps of a 9.2km course. A mid-lap climb, 800 metres long with an average of 4.9 per cent, was the only major obstacle awaiting the riders
During the opening laps multiple groups attempted to get away, with Edward Theuns (Team Sun-web) leading one over the first sprint of the day. UAE-Team Emirates' star man, European champion Alexander Kristoff sprinted to maximum points on the second lap of the day, but the peloton dragged things back each time.
Lap three saw a move stick properly as Mitchelton-Scott sent Daryl Impey up the road, alongside Stefan Küng of BMC. The South African duly took the double points on offer on that lap as the duo established a 30-second gap to the peloton.
The pair traded the points over the next two laps before being caught by a charging peloton after the fifth sprint of the day. At the halfway stage, Mitchelton-Scott were in control, with their 500 points putting them above Sunweb on 372, BMC on 358 and Sky on 292.
An eight-man group mostly consisting of non-sprinters got away on lap six, with Søren Kragh Ander-sen (Team Sunweb) scooping up the double points on the same lap. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) and Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) were among the big names out front, 20 seconds ahead of the pel-oton.
Roger Kluge (Mitchelton-Scott) was lead-out by teammate Lucas Hamilton to take the points on lap seven, and then took second on lap eight behind Andersen. The penultimate lap saw a number of attacks from the break, as Terpstra attempted to get away multiple times with his team only lying fifth in the day's standings.
Hamilton succeeded, clipping away to take the points on lap nine, and then staying away for much of the closing lap as the peloton absorbed the break. He was finally caught 800 metres from the line as a messy run-in led to Kristoff facing off against Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb). However, the final metres saw Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) edge it on the line to bump his team up to third on the day.
"We knew we had to get some kind of advantage over the sprinters," said Impey after the race. "So we went for the long shot and grabbed some valuable points there so it was worth it."
"It was good to come good at the end and contribute to the points in the team," added Hamilton. "In the final we had Roger [Kluge] and I'm not going to win a sprint in a group like that so it was good to have him there to collect some points."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mitchelton - Scott||1057.6|
|4||BMC Racing Team||623.4|
|5||Quick - Step Floors||476.2|
|6||UAE Team Emirates||419.7|
|7||Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini||373.9|
|8||Team Lotto NL - Jumbo||358.3|
|10||Trek - Segafredo||241.6|
|11||EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale||193.3|
|12||Israel Cycling Academy||180.9|
|13||Aqua Blue Sport||45.8|
|14||Caja Rural - Seguros RGA||0.0|
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