Tour de France

Victory at last as Tour de France runner-up Tom Dumoulin helps Sunweb win in Hong Kong

The 27-year-old Dutchman finally breaks bridesmaid’s tag in victorious Hammer Series finale on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 October, 2018, 8:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 October, 2018, 10:11am

Tom Dumoulin needed to travel halfway around the world to finally get the victory he deserved as he shone in Sunday’s Hammer Series finale that finished along the Tsim Sha Tsui East promenade.

After finishing runner-up in three major events this year – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and the time trial at the world championships – the top Dutch rider tasted success at last, helping his team Sunweb to victory in the Hammer Chase that included 10 other world tour teams, plus four other continental teams including Hong Kong.

Victory put a smile back on Dumoulin’s face just a fortnight after the 27-year-old Dutchman narrowly missed out on a podium place in the road race at the world championships in Innsbruck, Austria as well.

“I finished my season with the race and it’s a good way to end the season. It’s been a nice day,” said the Dutchman. “We have given a lot of attention to detail during the past few years. In the winter, we worked quite a lot on getting it right. And we have a fast bike and also some strong riders.”

I’ll give the Tour de France my best shot next year, says Sunweb cycling star Tom Dumoulin

The German team completed the five-lap, 21.3-kilometre race along the Harbourfront in 27 minutes and seven seconds. Sunweb finished nine seconds ahead of reigning world team time trial champions Quick Step Floors of Belgium.

Mitchelton Scott, who came to the Hong Kong leg as the overall series leaders after the previous legs in Stavanger and Limburg, were another two seconds adrift in third place.

But the team from Australia, who won the 10-lap Hammer Sprint earlier in the day, were still crowned overall champions for the 2018 Hammer Series. Sunweb moved from fifth to third overall place after their Hong Kong leg victory.

Dumoulin said he is likely to return to the city for the Series if Hong Kong hosts the event again in 2019.

“It’s cool to see the city and race in a big city, although the races were pretty hard with many ups and downs especially along the bridges,” he said.

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

Hong Kong, led by veteran Ko Siu-wai, finished last among the 15 teams, clocking 30 minutes and 53 seconds, but the 2018 Asian Games silver medallist was happy to have raced against some of the world’s best cyclists.

“I suffered from a bout of flu after returning from a training stint in Kunming but I didn’t want to miss this event,” he said. “I only watched these riders on television racing in the Tour de France and other grand tours and I really wanted to test myself against them. They are just too fast, much faster than the riders we have competed against on the Asian tour. I hope to race against them again next year.”

Hammer Hong Kong takes Hong Kong Cyclothon to thrilling heights

The Hammer Series is the highlight of the one-day Hong Kong Cyclothon organised by the Tourism Board. “Both parties have the intention of bringing back the event to Hong Kong next year as the Hammer Series have praised our organisation work,” said a spokesman of the Board.