Roger Hammond’s strong end of season has continued with third overall in the Circuit Franco-Belge, Belgium’s last stage race of the year.
The Cervélo pro finished third in the last bunch sprint won by Saxo Bank’s Juan Jose Haedo, more than enough to secure his third place overall. Hammond had already taken eighth on the first stage last Thursday and second on stage three.
“I’m feeling in good shape, I went well in the World’s and it’s gone pretty well here again,” Hammond told Cycling Weekly on Sunday evening.
“Today [stage four] had a tough finish and there were cross-winds after a climb on the finishing circuit, which got rid of some of the pure sprinters and made it better for me.”
“But my best day was yesterday [Saturday], after two really hard stages of over 200 kilometres.”
“A group of us attacked on the finishing circuit and we got a good gap, which only came down in the last part.” Hammond still got second, though, and moved up to third overall.
The race was won overall by Garmin-Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar, despite puncturing late on the final stage from Mons to Tournai. Farrar made it back into the main group, even if he didn’t take part in the last bunch sprint of the race.
Hammond’s consistent performance in the gruelling four-day Belgian stage race continues his strong second half of the 2009 season, which started with a second place overall in the Tour of Denmark in early August. His last two races of the year are Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours.