• Caleb Ewan pictured here at the start of day 2 of the Hammer Series, he later crashed out after three laps in the Hammer Sprint (Getty)Source: Getty
Caleb Ewan abandoned the Hammer Sprint after an early crash but team mate Roger Kluge worked hard to ensure Orica-Scott starts in a competitive position in the Hammer Chase. Trek-Segafredo won the stage but it is Team Sky with the all-important first starting position on the final stage.
Cycling Central

4 Jun 2017 - 7:10 AM  UPDATED 4 Jun 2017 - 7:22 AM

What is the Hammer Series?
It's Velon's take on cycling. Three days of racing with new rules, a new format and more engagement with technology and the cycling public. So, how will it all work?

Ewan left a significant amount of skin on the tarmac but has no serious injuries. 

“Very hectic race today,” Orica-Scott sport director Matt Wilson said. “It was on all day from the start to the finish, the first few laps were especially chaotic.

"Obviously huge bad luck for us to lose Caleb early on, when you lose your main guy for this stage so early it puts you in a bad position, but the team picked up and did a good job.”

BMC's Daniel Oss was also caught up in Ewan's crash. 

Newly crowned Giro d'Italia points classification winner Fernando Gaviria also abandoned just after Ewan's crash, finding the pace a bit too much with a hard grand tour in the legs. 

With two big stars gone, Trek Segafredo moved to the fore during the two hours of constant attacks and counter attacks. Its riders Jasper Stuyven, Boy Van Poppel, Giacomo Nizzolo, Matthias Brändle and Gregory Daniel gathered a total of 70.7 points over eight laps of the 12.4 kilometre circuit.

Stuyven and Brandle worked hard early on, Brandle scooping up the double points on the bonus lap 2. Nizzolo picked up where they left off for the latter half of the race consistently scoring enough points to take the stage victory. 

Kluge's third place on the bonus lap 2 and victory on lap 6 was enough to stop Orica-Scott slip down the standings into the second group of starters for the next stage, the Hammer Chase. 

“It was a really tough race” Kluge said. “Extremely hard and fast racing, the sprinters teams made it very chaotic and it took a lot of concentration and work to maintain a good position."

“Of course it was difficult after we lost Caleb and had to start chasing hard to get something out of the race and make sure we were in the points to give ourselves a chance of competing tomorrow. Thankfully we managed to do that.”

Team Sunweb was declared the overall leading team going into the Hammer Chase but after the podium celebrations Team Sky was awarded the first starting position after officials deducted points awarded to Sunweb's Ramon Sinkeldam who crashed and did not complete all the eight laps of the Sprint. 

The Hammer Chase 

The Hammer Chase is a 44.7 kilometre time trial with a twist. Teams start with an advantage according to their overall standings points and the aim of those following behind is to "chase" and go for the overall victory. The Chase consists of two groups with only the first group allowed to compete for overall victory of the series. 

The winner of the Chase from the first group is the winner of the overall series.

Team Sky starts first with a 32 second advantage over Team Sunweb. Orica-Scott starts sixth in the first group, two minutes and two seconds behind Sky. 

Trek Segafredo's Hammer Sprint victory did nothing to improve their starting position in the Hammer Chase as they start from group 2 which cannot race for overall victory. 

Hammer Chase start order – Group 1 

1. Team Sky
2. Team Sunweb +32”
3. Nippo-Vini Fantini +1’00”
4. Lotto Soudal +1’12”
4. Movistar Team +1’29”
5. Cannondale-Drapac +1’49”
6. ORICA-SCOTT +2’02”
7. Team LottoNL-Jumbo +2’16”

Group 2 start order (starts hour before before group 1 and cannot compete for overall victory): 

1. Trek-Segafredo
2. Quick-Step Floors +39″
3. BMC Racing Team +55″
4. Bahrain-Merida +1’18”
5. Team Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij +1’33”
6. UAE Team Emirates +1’45”
7. Israel Cycling Academy 2’00”
8. Team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 2’15”