Marc Soler, Alex Dowsett and recent Madrid stage winner Carlos Barbero lead young, powerful squad for the innovative, world-class event kicking off next month in the Netherlands
The Movistar Team will bring a strong lineup to the opening event of the Hammer Series, at Limburg's Sportzone in early June.
The Eusebio Unzué-managed team, on top of the WorldTour ranking for the past four seasons, will feature some of its most prestigious riders in the Netherlands, with former Hour Record holder Alex Dowsett and fastman Carlos Barbero -winner of a stage at last weekend's Vuelta a Madrid and the Volta ao Alentejo GC-, as well as one of the biggest revelation in WT racing so far this season: 23-year-old climber Marc Soler.
The Catalan, a former winner of the Tour de l'Avenir, has had a breakthough spring with his third place overall in the Volta a Catalunya, only beaten by superstars Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador. “It's an innovative concept for us riders, and an attractive one for the fans," Soler explained. "I've never raced such an event like this and I'm so excited to see how this ends up, because I feel we could be paving the way races will work in the future."
As well as the riders mentioned, the Movistar Team's roster for the Hammer Series opener includes multiple Portuguese TT champion and 2015 Vuelta a España stage winner Nelson Oliveira; Paris-Nice overall winner and fifth-place Giro finisher Carlos Betancur; and young hopefuls Nuno Bico and Héctor Carretero.
Eusebio Unzué: “We tried to bring all kinds of specialists to this event. Since it's the very first time racing under such a concept for all of us, you're doubtful about what will work best. In our case, we've tried to bring the best squad we could in such a moment, just after the Giro and building up for the Tour. Still, we think it will be a squad to be kept attention at, with talented members that will surely make for some spectacle at next month's opening Hammer Series round."
Find out about all the team line-ups on the Hammer website: www.hammerseries.com along with how you can take part in the event.