We are extremely proud to be invited to join a selective club of the world-leading pro teams to take part in a new and revolutionary series of races held in Holland.
Israel cycling academy will send a 7 men squad to Limburg to race in the “Hammer series” - 3 races that will take place on 3 consecutive days and will challenge the teams in the 3 major categories of road cycling: CLIMB, SPRINT and TIME TRIAL.
“It is an exciting and in many ways - a first step to make racing even more attractive to wider audiences” said ICA manager Ran Margaliot. “To be the only one of four Pro continental teams
to get an invitation to this unique and unprecedented event is a great compliment to the team but also a responsibility: we Have to make sure to perform and justify the trust”.
The first Hammer series ever will be held in the Limburg Sportzone Complex in June 1-4. The 16 teams invited including 12 leading world tour teams will race in the “Hammer sprint”, “Hammer climb” and the “Hammer chase. Each race will be held on a 8-10 km circuit to enable the public to see the action - nonstop and up close. Each race will be relatively short - not more than two hours and will be held in the evenings to get a bigger TV audiences.
But maybe the most interesting part of what may become a new direction for the pro racing scene - will be the fact this will be a team oriented race, which means: NO individual winner. Instead, the series will focus on the strength of the TEAM. The best TEAM in the overall three races will be declared by the VELON GROUP who organizes it - as “THE WORLD BEST TEAM”.
Israel Cycling Academy Head sports director Kjell Carlstrom selecte 7 riders to the series and will choose 5 of them to each race by their ability to confront the different challenges of each of the races. It was definitely be a difficult task to name the chosen riders, admitted Carlstrom. Carlstrom named Our two veterans, Dutch Dennis Van Winden and Australian Zak Dempster as the team’s leading riders to the series. He has chosen our Estonian Champion Mihkel Raim - fresh from his sprint win in the 1st stage win in Tour of Azerbaijan to head the Sprint race squad.
He sees the last race - “The hammer chase” as the most difficult of them all: “We will have to use guys that are strong and resistant to such brutal effort on TT bikes,” he said. In addition to those three, He decided to take to the series Israeli Champion Guy Sagiv, New Zealander Hamish
Schreurs, American Tyler Williams and Canadian Benjamin Perry.
Israel Cycling Academy therefore will be the most international team in the race as well the youngest with five Neo Pros.
Maybe the most excited rider coming to the Hammer series is Dennis Van Winden who will have the opportunity to race in his homeland for the first time since joining Academy. “Since
It is a new event, all teams will come with the same plans and tactics so we will have be creativeand work as a team so we can succeed.