Tour des Fjords has set the course for the future and announced today a partnership that will bring a new type of cycling event to Norway in 2018. From next year, Stavanger Region will be hosting the innovative Hammer Series race which features three days of action from the best teams in the world.

The Hammer Series is being developed by Velon, which produces live rider data, videos and social media designed to increase engagement with professional cycling, in partnership with the international sports marketing company, Infront Sports & Media. The first ever Hammer Series event takes place in Limburg in the Netherlands starting on Thursday, June 1, and expands to other selected cities in 2018, one of them being Stavanger, the only Hammer event in the Nordic countries.For 2018 this means that the sixth edition of the known Tour des Fjords stage race will be shortened to three days. It will be immediately followed by Hammer Stavanger, which will be part of the Hammer Series and will also be run by Tour des Fjords AS as an organizer. The partnership with Velon secures an unprecedented high-class field for both events.

Tour des Fjords event director Roy Hegreberg is excited about the new format: “The Hammer Series is something completely new and unique that the fans haven’t seen before.  It is the future of cycling and we are proud to be one of the first ones to jump aboard that train.” Velon’s main idea for Hammer Series is to innovate cycling and develop experiences that connect fans to the sport. “This perfectly fits the strategy we have been following and our vision of making cycling into a big event for everybody.”

Graham Bartlett, CEO Velon, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Stavanger to the Hammer Series. Everything about the area, the excellent race organisation and the strong interest people in Norway have in cycling, makes it a perfect fit for us. We look forward to working closely with Roy and his team and the event’s range of partners to create an exhilarating three days of cycling races.”

For Odd Børge Skjærseth, Chairman of the Board Tour des Fjords AS, Hammer is the next step in Tour des Fjords’ mission of being the leading cycle event in Scandinavia: ”Our goal is to make the race attractive to the world’s very best cyclists, and Hammer Stavanger is providing us with this opportunity. Also with Hammer Stavanger we want to embrace the beautiful landscape and fjords of Norway and create a cycling and nature adventure together with all our numerous partners, sponsors and the enthusiastic people living in this region.”

Tour des Fjords director Hegreberg has already secured the continued support of two current main sponsors for Hammer Stavanger, Santander Consumer Bank Norge og Repsol Norge. Also Region Stavanger, who together with its partners has actively facilitated the dialog with Velon, is excited that Stavanger will be one of the few destinations for the Hammer Series globally.

Elisabeth Saupstad, Director of Tourism for Stavanger Region, says: “Such events are highly valuable for tourism and will put Stavanger Region on the map within the global cycling community and tourist market. Tour des Fjords have earned their role as a respected organizer which now provides the entire tourism sector with an opportunity to develop Stavanger further into a leading cycling destination.”

Director of Tourism at Innovation Norway, Bente Bratland Holm, underlines the importance of active experiences for travelers. “Sports and cultural events are essential for keeping Norway an attractive destination. If we want to make people go from ‘I want to go there some day’ to ‘I want to go there now’, we need exciting key events like Hammer. Tourism must embrace this opportunity.”

Harald Tidemann Hansen, president of the Norwegian Cycling Federation expects Hammer Stavanger to provide a new impulse for the development of cycling in Norway: “Hammer is an exciting newcomer to the cycling world with a new concept putting the teams in the center. We will get to see some intense racing with the world’s best cycling teams. I am convinced this will contribute to creating even more attention and interest in cycling. We are happy that Tour des Fjords is providing us with such an opportunity.”

Oslo-born pro cyclist  Vegard Stake Laengen, who will ride with his UAE Team Emirates at the first Hammer event in Limburg, said: “It’s always nice to have races in my country, now we have few professional ones. It’s even more exciting that this will be a completely new event, Hammer Series will excite for sure the passion of Norwegian fans thanks to its new formula and the new idea of cycling. I rarely race in Norway, so I’d really like to be at the start of this Hammer Series event next year and taking part in a great cycling party.”

About Hammer Series

Hammer is a team-vs.-team race where only one team can win. Each day focuses on a specific cycling discipline where the riders will collect points for their teams: Day 1 features the Hammer Sprint race, on day 2 the riders face the Hammer Climb, and the final day is the decisive Hammer Chase. In Hammer Chase, the leading team after the first two days starts first, the other teams are chasing and the first team over the line will be crowned event champions. Each day will feature multiple laps of 8 to 10 km on a circuit, ensuring that fans always get the ultimate view of the action. Teams will bring a squad of seven riders with five competing each day.

Alongside the professional teams’ races, the Hammer Stavanger will feature a festival of cycling including family mass participation activities, sportive races open to the public, a fan village, cycling expo and Entertainment.

Visit the Hammer Series website for more information.

About Velon

Velon is a company founded with the objective of engaging fans by creating innovative content such as real-time rider data and thrilling GoPro videos. It has ambitious plans to improve how fans interact with races – before, during and afterwards and connecting with fans everywhere.

Velon was founded by 10 WorldTour teams,  Team Lotto-NL Jumbo, Team Sunweb, UAE Team Emirates, Team Sky, BMC Racing Team, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team, Lotto Soudal, ORICA-SCOTT, Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling Team and Trek-Segafredo. Today, the company works closely with many other WorldTour and Pro Continental Teams in the peloton in pursuing its objectives.

Visit the Velon website for more information.

About Infront Sports & Media

Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, is one of the most respected sports marketing companies in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery.

As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with close to 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.

Visit the Infront Sports & Media website for more information. MORE INFORMATION:

Roy Hegreberg, Event Director +47 996 03 143