Quick-Step Floors win Hammer Limburg
A spectacular team effort netted the squad's 37th victory of the season on World Bicycle Day.
Kasper Asgreen, Philippe Gilbert, Alvaro Hodeg, Yves Lampaert and Enric Mas produced a perfect performance on the 37.2km-long Hammer Chase, the final race of the Hammer Limburg, where our team – who relied also on Davide Martinelli and Jhonatan Narvaez throughout the weekend – reigned supreme, taking this season's tally to an astonishing 37 wins across ten different countries.
Thanks to a solid display on both the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb, where our team's consistency was repaid with two podiums (third and second, respectively), Quick-Step Floors were the first squad from the Finalist Group to start the team time trial – a discipline we have enjoyed much success in, winning three World Championships – and the quintet rode flawlessly and smoothly on Sunday afternoon, powering around the course, trading pulls at the front and ensuring the gap over the next squad didn't go at any point under the 50-second mark.
With two kilometers to go, it became clear Quick-Step Floors would take the overall glory at the second edition of Hammer Limburg and as soon as they passed under the flamme rouge, our riders started celebrating and congratulating each other on the beautiful overall win, before eventually stopping the clock in 40:17, more than half a minute clear of Mitchelton-Scott and LottoNL-Jumbo, who rounded out the podium.
"Winning the Hammer Limburg feels nice, because this is a spectacular concept, with three really intense days. Today's plan was to start safely and bring all five riders across the line on the same time, so we began by setting a steady pace before speeding up", Philippe Gilbert said as he prepared to go on the podium with his teammates to collect the trophy. "We did a great job on the previous days, being at the front every time and covering all the moves, and we knew that today we were in pole position to take the honors, so getting the job done at the end of the day makes us happy and gives us confidence for the next races."
The Hammer Series will conclude in Hong Kong, on October 14th, when Quick-Step Floors will be in the mix with a solid shot at winning the season-long general classification.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images