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Tour de France

2017 Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin confirmed for Hammer Series finale in Hong Kong

The Dutchman, who was also runner-up to Geraint Thomas at this year’s Tour de France, will take centre stage in the one-day showdown on the Harbourfront

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 7:20pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 10:23pm

Tour de France runner-up and 2017 Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin will captain Team Sunweb for next month’s Hammer Series finale, the showpiece event to the Hong Kong Cyclothon which returns to the city for the fourth year.

The Hammer Series is a team-based road cycling competition that staged previous legs in Norway (Stavanger) and the Netherlands (Limburg) last summer and Team Sunweb are one of 11 UCI Worldtour teams that will contest back-to-back races – the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Chase – along the Harbourfront on October 14.

The Cyclothon, organised by the Tourism Board and sponsored by Sun Hung Kai Properties, will involve about 5,800 cyclists with races ranging from 30km to 50km to leisurely family fun rides.

But all eyes will be on the one-day showdown for the Hammer series crown that will see some of the world’s best riders, including the 27-year-old Dutchman Dumoulin, in action. Dumoulin has been confirmed for the Series finale as top teams from the United States, Germany, Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, Britain and the United Arab Emirates look set to compete.

Dumoulin, who was also runner up at the Giro d’Italia this year, is looking forward to racing in Hong Kong according to hammerseries.com.

“Heading to a new continent in Asia will be a great addition to the Hammer Series,” said Dumoulin, one of the world’s leading time trial specialists. “There are a huge amount of cycling enthusiasts who normally don’t get the chance to watch the WorldTour peloton from close by. It’s another great step to further grow and globalise our sport, and I am curious to see how people on different continents watch and experience cycling. I’m looking forward to some exciting racing.”

Dumoulin, this year’s Tour de France runner-up to Welshman Geraint Thomas, of Team Sky, is expected to command a lot of respect when he takes centre stage in Hong Kong. Just a day ago, he was dethroned as world time trial individual champion in Innsbruck, Austria by man-of-the-moment Rohan Dennis, the Australian rider, who won his first elite world title on Wednesday.

Dennis’ team, BMC Racing Team, are confirmed for the October showdown in Hong Kong but the 28-year-old Aussie, who beat Dumoulin and the rest of the field by an incredible one minute and 21 seconds for the world title, will not be part of the travelling contingent headed to Hong Kong according to organisers. Dennis has completed his season and his wife, Melissa, is expecting a baby soon.

However, the Hong Kong showpiece will also see a handful of renowned cyclists. Also confirmed for Hong Kong is Belgian hero Philippe Gilbert, who will captain the Quick-Step Floors team. The 36-year-old Gilbert was the 2012 individual road race world champion and is returning from a broken kneecap sustained in July’s Tour de France. Gilbert won the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race in 2017.

“Our team is sitting second on the Hammer Series leader board, so we can expect a good fight for overall victory so we have a lot of motivation for this last event in the Series.” said Gilbert.

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), the current European road race champion, comes to Hong Kong off the back of his team’s victory at the Vuelta a España, where they became the first Australian-registered team to win a Grand Tour. Mitchelton-Scott are leading the Hammer series on 181 points ahead of Quick-Step Floors (153) and BMC Racing team (109) going into the Hong Kong finale.