Cycling enthusiasts are in for a treat on 14 October 2018, as Hong Kong’s beloved annual Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon, in partnership with the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), gets set to host the Asian leg of the revolutionary international professional Hammer Series for the first time ever.
The Hammer Series 2018, which kicked off in Stavanger, Norway in May and continued in Limburg, Netherlands in June, will have its finale at Hammer Hong Kong, a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour Class 1.1 Road Race, with 11 UCI WorldTour teams (an unprecedented number) converging on Hong Kong’s shores, putting the international spotlight squarely on the city.
The Hammer Series is different from other professional races, as only a team can win, not an individual rider, and Hammer Hong Kong is designed to allow fans to see some of the world’s best teams race up close and personal in two races:
The Hammer Sprint: This is a fast and furious race over a 4.3km circuit in Tsim Sha Tsui, along the picturesque Victoria Harbour. The teams, consisting of five cyclists each, will compete head to head over 10 strenuous laps (43km in total).
The Hammer Chase: The teams will set off in two separate groups, according to the points won in the sprint race. The “runner-up” and “finalist” groups will battle separately over five laps (21.5km in total) along the same course. The team in the “finalist” group whose fourth rider crosses the finish line first wins Hammer Hong Kong.
The team that accumulates the most points in total from Stavanger, Limburg and Hong Kong will be crowned Hammer Series 2018 champion.
“Every day the whole team is working towards winning the series, not just winning a stage,” says elite cyclist Caleb Ewan of team Mitchelton-SCOTT, explaining how the Hammer Series stands out from other international cycling competitions.
Graham Bartlett, Chief Executive of Velon, organiser of the Hammer Series, added, “We’re so excited to bring the Series finale of Hammer to Hong Kong. The teams will be racing all out to win the Series, and Hammer Hong Kong will be a fantastic place to crown the winning team.”
In addition to the professional Hammer Series, amateur cyclists from around the world can put their speed and endurance to the test by participating in the equally exciting 30km or 50km rides. Participants can cycle through the diverse cityscape against Hong Kong’s world-famous skyline, from Tsim Sha Tsui to Tsing Yi, Ma Wan and back to Tsim Sha Tsui.
The 50km riders will also streak through three tunnels and enjoy the fantastic view from three spectacular Hong Kong landmarks: Tsing Ma Bridge, Ting Kau Bridge and Stonecutters Bridge. This breathtaking ride is a “must-do” for cycling lovers and professionals alike.
The fourth edition of Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon and Hammer Hong Kong, presented by Sun Hung Kai Properties, is a not-to-be-missed event on the international cycling calendar. The 30km and 50km rides are open to all passionate cyclists.
Spectators should make sure to find a good vantage point along the race routes to cheer for the cyclists as they speed by!
Straight from the Pros
For amateur cyclists taking part in the exciting 30km or 50km rides, here are some top tips shared by elite riders of UCI WorldTour teams.
How to Pack Like a Pro:
- “I always make sure I take the rear mech off and the pedals. Those are the biggest things to take off.”- Owain Doull, Team Sky
- “My helmet, that always stays with me so I don’t put it in the suitcase, otherwise it breaks.” – Sep Vanmarcke, EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
How to Look Like a Pro:
- “Fresh socks is one. When you look down and you’ve got a fresh pair of socks, it’s always good for the morale.” — Owain Doull, Team Sky
- “Make sure the colours match, so you’re not wearing blue shorts with a red jersey if they don’t match.” — Fabio Jakobsen, Quick-Step Floors