Team Sky dug deep to pull off a thrilling victory as the inaugural Hammer Series event went down to the wire in Limburg.
The overall victory was decided in the very final metres, with Team Sky repassing Team Sunweb ahead of the final corner and coming out on top of an eight-man toe-to-toe sprint.
The quintet of Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Danny van Poppel and Elia Viviani headed into the final team time trial first with an advantage of 32 seconds over Team Sunweb. Settling into a rhythm, that margin was gradually eaten into across the 44.7-kilometre course, with the Dutch outfit making the catch with 3.5km to go.
Sky looked to recover ahead of a final burst of energy. Van Poppel hit the front and ensured the team regained control heading into the final corner. With Viviani and Doull assured sprinters, the pressure was heaped onto Geoghegan Hart as the vital fourth man needed over the line. Despite three Sunweb riders on his tail, the young Brit held firm to prevail in a grandstand finish.
“For sure the lead-outs that I’ve been a part of this year with Elia helped a lot. I’m lost for words at the last kilometre that Van Poppel pulled out. It was unbelievable how fast we overtook them. I was really sprinting from about 600 metres to go and I think everyone was on the limit in the final metres. Thankfully I had a bit more left than those Sunweb guys. It was a good job by the whole team”, said Geoghegan Hart.
— Hammer Series (@HammerSeries) 4 iunie 2017
Hammer Series 2017 final results:
|8||Nippo – Vini Fantini|