Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | Hammer Sprint – a Spectacle for the Viewers
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Hammer Sprint – a Spectacle for the Viewers

  |   Press

Saturday 3rd June – Second race of The Hammer Series was a fast and dynamic spectacle. BAHRAIN MERIDA Team performed well, but not fast enough to take double points in the last lap, so we ended up on the 8th place.

Today’s Hammer Sprint was held in the city of Sittard-Geleen, starting and finishing at Sportzone Limburg. The crowd gathered already in the morning for the Youth Races and the Pro Teams started to battle at 3 p.m. on a flat and fast 12.4km circuit, surrounded by beautiful landscape. The fans watched eagerly from the stands to see who wins the points, especially since the results changed after each lap. The data received from yesterday’s Hammer Climb showed it to be one of the hardest races in recent cycling history. The power produced by those in the front group in particular has rarely been seen in the sport. Normalised power of the fastest two riders yesterday for the whole race of 2h 2min was 396W and 425W, this is between 15-20% more effort than what is normally required to ride in the front group in the last 2h of Paris-Roubaix, which is known as the hardest race in cycling.

The exact statistic of today’s race will be available tomorrow, but riders today rode 99,2km with avg. speed 47km/h, with some very dangerous curves, as our rider Manuele Boaro confirmed after the race.

Ivan G. Cortina also commented: “It was a short and hard stage. The whole day was full gas. My expectation for today was to stay in front with Bonifazio as much as possible. In the last part of the race there was some chaos in the break-away. I tried to stay there. I don’t know how many points I took today but I hope a lot for the team.”

Sprinter Niccolò Bonifazio added: »It was a hard race. Every lap was challenging, because we were all in the line the whole time of the race. We constantly had to work hard. Unfortunately we didn’t take double points in the last lap so we lost two places at the end of the race.”

Sports director, Vladimir Miholjević, commented after the race: “Team tactics and small groups of only 5 riders made the race impossible to control, so the whole race became one constant attack. During the race the situation changed more than hundred times, we had 8 sprints where riders could collect points and that made the race even more dynamic and hard to control. We were on 6th position until the last sprint, where there was a chance to get double points. Unfortunately we fell out from the top 10 riders and didn’t achieve any points. Because of that we finished 8th today, but due to yesterday’s bad classification, that is not enough to be in the top 8 in tomorrow’s Chase start order.”