The Hammer Series has canceled its upcoming Hong Kong event due to the ongoing unrest in the region, which has been swept by a wave of anti-government demonstrations and protests.
Velon and Hong Kong Tourism Board, the organizers of Hammer Hong Kong, have decided not to stage the events scheduled for Sunday October 13. The Hong Kong races had been the last of a trio of events making up Hammer Series 2019.
“We’re sorry that the fans won’t get to see the best teams in the world go all-out for overall victory in the Hammer Series in Hong Kong again this year,” said Graham Bartlett, Velon CEO. “We are already in the middle of planning next year’s Hammer Series and we look forward to being back in Hong Kong for the big Hammer Series finale in 2020.”
The news comes hot off the heels of this week’s revelation that Velon filed an anti-competition complaint against the UCI. Velon has alleged that the governing body looked to remove the 2020 Hammer Series from its racing calendar.
With the cancelation of the final event of the 2019 calendar, Jumbo-Visma wil be crowned overall Hammer Series champions for 2019. The Dutch team won Hammer Stavanger in May and placed second at the Limburg event in June.
“It’s a pity Hammer Hong Kong is canceled, but we’re very happy we will be crowned as overall winners,” said Merijn Zeeman, Team Jumbo-Visma sportive director. “The Hammer Series came to life for our team more and more in recent years. It’s good to see that it was the same for other teams.”
Deceuninck-Quick Step took second overall in the series, with Sunweb third.
2020 will see the first year that the Hammer Series expands its schedule to include women’s racing, with a Colombian Hammer event in February planned to host both men’s and women’s races.