Drucker Finishes Sixth in London After Fast and Furious Finale30. July 2017, London (GBR) — Road Team
Jempy Drucker secured a top ten result at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic today after a close finish saw the breakaway caught just one kilometer from the line before a hectic bunch sprint played out on the Mall.
It was a battle to make the breakaway in London with attack after attack flying off the front of the peloton as soon as the flag dropped.
It wasn’t until the race had covered more than 30km, of the 183km course, that five riders were able to escape the grasp of the peloton but, it would take almost another 10km for the pace of the bunch to ease and allow the leaders’ advantage to tip over the one-minute mark.
With 145km still to race, the gap grew quickly, reaching over four minutes before we saw a reaction from the peloton behind as they brought the advantage of the breakaway under control.
There were just three riders left in front by the time they reached the hilly middle section of the race, which included all five of the day’s categorized climbs, and their lead was hovering around 3’45”.
The gap began to fall steadily with the change in gradient and heading over the top of the Ranmore climb for the first time, with 90km remaining, less than one minute separated the leaders from the main bunch as five riders tried to jump across.
This huge injection of pace at the front of the peloton saw the riders in single file as the gap to the early leaders fell quickly before they were swept up with 81km to go and new attacks began to fly off the front of the race.
Going over the top of the Ranmore climb for the second time, Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Daryl Impey (ORICA-Scott) and Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky) had distanced themselves from the peloton which was split up entirely behind them.
Stefan Küng was sat in a strong chasing group trying to bridge the gap to the leaders before eventually the rest of the bunch came back, and the peloton was together again as they reached hairpin bends of Box Hill with 55km to go.
The advantage of the two remaining leaders, Trentin and Impey, was sitting at less than 20 seconds when Jasper Stuyven (Trek - Segafredo) jumped across and with this added horsepower, the group’s advantage extended to over 30 seconds heading into the final 25km of the race.
With the peloton regrouped and an organized chase resumed, the gap began to fall, and with 10km to go, it was hovering at around the 20-second mark, but the two remaining riders continued to push on and were able to make it to the flamme rouge before being caught by the bunch.
The battle for position began as the riders, building up speed with every turn of the pedals, swung around the final corner and under Admiralty Arch with Drucker was well-positioned when he launched his sprint with 300m to go.
However with a big group left to battle for position, it was a hectic finale, and Drucker eventually crossed the sixth behind the day's winner, Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha - Alpecin).
Quotes from the Finish Line
“There was never really a moment of calm today. It was always full gas. I was happy when we passed Box Hill as I wasn’t feeling super good all day and at that point, I was able to recover a little bit. The pace was really fast all day and the riders out in front, in the end, were super strong and they almost managed to stay away. I was a bit on my own at the finish, and I didn’t want to get boxed in, so I think I started my sprint a little too early. I went with around 300m to go, but it was a headwind. I tried to sprint as fast as I could but it was not so easy, and I just missed the wheel in the end.”
“The level was definitely higher this year with the UCI WorldTour points on offer and with a lot of guys coming out of the Tour, the level was always going to be higher. This is always a nice race especially in London and the finish. I really like it. You never know how it will play out and I think this year was another exciting day of racing for the fans both on the side of the road and at home.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“We knew that there would be a big chance that the race would come down to a sprint today. Of course, the level this year was much higher than in previous editions of the race, and there were a lot of teams organized to go to the bunch sprint. There was a good move with Stefan Küng in the hilly part of the race, but then it all came back together with a group of around 70 riders. We had five riders in that group, including Jempy, so we waited a while before moving up as we knew we weren’t the favorites going into the sprint. I think sixth is a good result for Jempy in this kind of sprint and I am happy that most of the team could be up there with the main group in the final.”
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
One-day race: London > London, 183km
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha Alpecin) 2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (ORICA-Scott) 3. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 6. Jempy Drucker 23. Stefan Küng 30. Loïc Vliegen