CCC Team closed out the opening race of the 2019 Hammer Series with a stage victory, winning the team time trial race to take the top step of the podium at the final day of the three-day stage race in Stavanger, Norway. With the stage win, the team finished fifth overall.
“Our guys rode super well today, said CCC Team sports director Jackson Stewart after the win. “We wanted to pace the long team time trial well and with all the data on the road from the other teams, we quickly realized we could win the Hammer Chase. The guys were really motivated and everyone was having a good day so we just kept focusing on setting the fastest time of the day. It is a really nice feeling to finish this race with a win.”
The unique team format race consisted of three stages: the Hammer Climb, the Hammer Sprint and the Hammer Chase. Polish rider Łukasz Wiśniowski put in a strong ride in the Hammer Sprint, earning 600 points to qualify CCC Team for the Finalist Group in the final stage.
In the Hammer Chase stage, each of the five-man teams starts based on their results in the previous two stages. The CCC squad, consisting of Wiśniowski, Szymon Sajnok, Serge Pauwels, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, started 47 seconds behind Team Jumbo-Visma.
Riding their Trinity Advanced Pro TT bikes with aero pre-production WheelSystems branded #overachieve, and wearing Giant Rivet TT helmets, the team got off to a fast start, setting the second fastest time after the first of three 16.3km laps.
“There was no pressure on us, and since we were the last team to set off there was nobody behind us and we couldn’t afford to go easy at the beginning,” said Wiśniowski.“We managed to catch a few teams and the next ones were within our sight and that motivated us but the strong and well-rounded team was the key today."
The second round of the Hammer Series will take place June 7-9 in Limburg, The Netherlands. The three-race series concludes October 13 in Hong Kong.