Velon has announced that it's signature race, the Hammer Series, will not be run in 2020 due to its ongoing legal fight with the Union Cycliste International (UCI).
By
SBS Cycling Central

8 Mar 2020 - 1:49 PM 

Velon, the organisation comprising 11 of the WorldTour teams that form the core of the professional racing peloton, have been at loggerheads with the UCI over what Velon claims is 'incorrect and unlawful' behaviour from the UCI.

In the midst of an already tumultuous race season, with races being cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, a media release came from Velon confirming it would be cancelling its Hammer events for 2020.

"The governing body of cycling, the UCI, has persistently attacked the Hammer Series - using regulations to remove its title as a Series and preventing new race formats being developed. This discrimination and anti-competitive behaviour caused Velon to file its complaint to the EU Commission in 2019 but the UCI’s attacks on the races and the Series have not stopped.

Recently the UCI prevented Hammer Stavanger from adding a women’s race with full parity of prize money, broadcast and race format to the men's race (while approving and moving other women’s races to overlap on the same weekend). These actions have made it impossible for Velon and its race organiser partners to successfully develop the Hammer Series and its races. As a result of this continued attack, the Velon Board convened and took the decision not to hold the Hammer Series in 2020."

While the Hammer Stavanger event will be replaced by the Tour of Norway - run by the same organisers - but planned events in Colombia and Hong Kong are off the agenda amid the dispute with the UCI.

The Velon Series has been run since the inaugural event, the Hammer Limburg in 2017, with two races being run each season since. 

The Hong Kong event was cancelled last year due to political unrest in the lead-up to the staging of the race.