Drucker Ninth on Opening Stage in California15. May 2016, San Diego, California (USA) — Road Team
The opening stage of the Amgen Tour of California saw BMC Racing Team’s Jempy Drucker battle to ninth place in an inevitable bunch sprint.
The last riders of the day’s early breakaway were caught inside the final three kilometers of the stage before the tug of war began between teams to organise their sprint trains.
Eventually it was World champion, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) who powered to the top of the podium and into the leader’s jersey.
Quotes of the day
Sport director, Jackson Stewart said: “Today was definitely a typical sprinter’s finish. It had a big, wide road into a sweeping right turn then a U-turn and then final was just a big sweeping right so the last kilometer was always curving into the sprint."
“Jempy gave it a good go and we had some of our guys helping him out but with the level of the sprinters here, we knew we could be competitive but we weren’t expecting to do super well. It was great that we were able to be up there and in the mix and we got a good car position for tomorrow so overall we’re happy.”
“It’s always nice to have a good car position when you’re trying to go for the GC. Today we had two mechanicals so our luck there wasn’t that good, so the closer we can be the better especially for a hard stage like tomorrow when we go into the hills a little and the roads are a bit narrower.”
Jempy Drucker said: “As the day went along the better my legs felt and at the beginning of the day we said that I should give it a go in the sprint. The guys did a great job to help me and I feel good after that stage.”
“In the last 2 kilometers I was a bit boxed in and I tried to get an opening but it was not so easy. It was a difficult approach to the line with the head wind and nobody really knew the final straight or finish line so I think it was hard for all the teams to set up a sprint train."
"This is only the first day of the race and it was my first sprint in a long time so I can definitely build up on that. I know I can do better so I am looking forward to having more opportunities.”
Tour of California (UCI 2.HC)
Stage 1: San Diego - San Diego, 175km
Top 3: 1. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) 2. Wouter Wipper (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) 3. Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL - Jumbo)
Top 3 BMC Racing Team:
9. Jempy Drucker
23. Taylor Phinney
24. Brent Bookwalter
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.