Friday’s win on the opening climbing stage at Hammer Stavanger put Jumbo-Visma in the driver’s seat of the first round of the 2019 Hammer Series and the Dutch WorldTour team co-sponsored by Norwegian software manufacturer, Visma, never took a step back on the overall leader board.

For Jumbo-Visma, the win marks the twenty-third victory of the season.

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“It is the first time that we have won a race from the Hammer Series. That is really great,” said Norwegian Amund Jansen following the team’s fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Hammer Chase, a three-lap, 48.9-kilometre team time trial pursuit.

“For us it all is a new but fun experience. Everyone gave 100 percent and that has resulted in this victory. It is also nice to win in Norway for our Norwegian sponsor Visma. This victory is also for them.”

Jumbo-Visma kicked off the series with a victory on the gruelling Hammer Climb, and was given a 30-second lead over Team Sunweb in the finale. For team sprinter Dylan Groenewegen, the series win helps erase a disappointing day on Saturday’s Hammer Sprint.

“Today was a lot of fun. It was a tough Hammer Chase, but I’m glad we were able to finish it off,” said Groenewegen. “Yesterday didn’t go as expected for me, but this makes up for it. It is also a good preparation for the Tour.”

Despite being the last squad to start in the eight-team finalist group, CCC, who set off 2 minutes 47 seconds behind Jumbo-Visma, set the fastest time on the day — 53 minutes 49 seconds — to finish fifth overall.

“We were focused on this race and we knew that we have a strong team here,” explained Łukasz Wiśniowski, who scored 600 points in the Hammer Sprint won by Quick-Step on Saturday to move CCC into the finalist group. “We started off well and we were able to maintain our pace all the way so, we are happy with how we rode.

“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,” the 27-year-old Polish pro continued. “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.”

Capturing the overall win gives Jumbo-Visma 100 points to open this season’s Hammer Series account, with Sunweb second (81), last year’s race and series winner Mitchelton-Scott third (66), Team Ineos fourth (53) and CCC fifth (43).

The next stop of the unique three-city, team-based racing series founded by pro cycling organisation Velon returns to where it all began in 2017 with Hammer Limburg (June 7-9) before ultimately concluding at Hammer Hong Kong (October 13).

For full stage and race results, click here.

Photo: Karen M. Edwards

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