Drucker Sprints to First Grand Tour Stage Win5. September 2016, Peniscola (ESP) — Road Team
Jempy Drucker battled it out in a tricky sprint finish on stage 16 of the Vuelta a Espana to claim his first individual Grand Tour stage win and second individual win of the season.
The 156.4km stage was expected to come down to a bunch sprint and it was in the final 10km that Drucker made his way to the front of the bunch.
Excellent positioning from Danilo Wyss in the final 3km, where numerous roundabouts made for a tricky finale, put Drucker in the perfect position for the sprint.
Drucker came out from Gianni Meersman’s (Etixx-QuickStep) wheel with 100m to go and won by a clear margin over Rudiger Selig (Bora-Argon18) and Nikias Arndt (Team Giant-Alpecin).
Silvan Dillier formed part of a 6-rider breakaway that escaped after just 4km of racing and stayed away until the peloton reeled them in 12km before the line.
Although the group maintained a 3-minute advantage for much of the stage, the sprinters’ teams were motivated to bring them back and set the scene for a bunch sprint in Peniscola.
With no changes to the General Classification going into the final rest day, Samuel Sanchez maintains sixth place overall and BMC Racing Team continue to lead the team classification.
The Winner’s Interview with Jempy Drucker:
How do you feel after winning stage 16?
“I suffered a lot in the last few days, especially the day on Col d’Aubisque, and I always kept believing in the sprint stages. I did a good Vuelta a Burgos and I was confident in my sprints, and was taking my chances. It was all about choosing the good wheels and I had Danilo Wyss who did a perfect job until almost the last kilometer. I was just hoping and hoping to get the good opening and then I started my sprint and it was perfect. It’s cool to have a victory in a Grand Tour and it’s always nice behind your name.”
How did the sprint play out?
“The last 10km, with all of the roundabouts and entering cities, was pretty hectic but I had Danilo Wyss who did a great job in keeping me out of trouble. The final kilometer we had a tail wind so it’s good to go a bit early. I was placing myself a little bit behind to be able to go from behind with speed. It was actually perfect as Gianni Meersman went and I could come in his slipstream and then went over him.”
What do you expect from the last five stages?
“Now we have a rest day and directly the day after it’s a hard stage and there is still the time trial, and Saturday’s stage on the Aitana so I think the Vuelta a Espana is far from over. I think we’re going to still see some action.”
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“It was pretty windy at the start and then I saw that a few guys moved and I also jumped and we immediately had a gap. I think the peloton was quite happy that it wasn’t the crazy start again and for us it was really good as we didn’t have to chase the breakaway back. We never had a really big gap and we knew that it would be hard to finish in front. We tried hard and the fact that Jempy could win at the end is really nice for the team after some good teamwork. I think they did a good job to give him the best support possible and that he could finish it off is perfect.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“It was clear from the beginning that the sprinters’ teams had let the breakaway go but controlled them. We had Silvan Dillier in front so it was quiet and we didn’t have to chase. We also had a chance there, you never know as in the last few days anything has happened. The other teams worked and then we planned a move with Danilo Wyss in the final 3km which was tricky. Danilo brought Jempy in the perfect position and Jempy was strong. I saw the sprint and he was really, really strong and he was the best today, also thanks to the good job of Danilo and the rest of the team. We are very happy.”
“For us it was already perfect. We are leading the team classification, we have Samuel Sanchez in a good position in GC and we had Darwin Atapuma in the red jersey for four days. But of course we wanted to win a stage because the day that you win you are the best, and today we had this. For me this is what we deserve as every day the riders have been trying.”
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 16: Alcaniz > Peniscola (156.4km)
Top 3: 1. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing Team), 2. Rudiger Selig (Bora-Argon18), 3. Nikias Arndt (Team Giant-Alpecin).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 1. Jempy Drucker, 23. Samuel Sanchez, 43. Ben Hermans
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 6. Samuel Sanchez, 15. Ben Hermans, 39. Darwin Atapuma
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.