Drucker Sprints to Eighth in Uphill Battle in Vierzon5. March 2018, Vierzon (FRA) — Road Team
Jempy Drucker put his legs to the test in the bunch sprint to the line on stage 2 of Paris-Nice after a long and slow first half of the stage.
With a head wind and expected bunch sprint on the cards, early breakaway attempts were neutralised and after a while, the peloton seemed content to stay together which result in no breakaway until 90km to go, of the 187.5km stage.
The peloton rolled on at a slow speed, averaging just over 32km an hour for the first two hours, before six riders finally went clear.
All six BMC Racing Team riders remained in the bunch and it was clear the group was wary of letting the breakaway go too far down the road, which caused an big injection of pace.
The chase from the peloton saw four of the six riders come back, leaving Tiego Machado (Katusha Alpecin) and Manuele Boaro (Bahrain Merida) in front and the duo was allowed to extend their advantage to almost three minutes inside 50km to go.
The sprinters’ teams assumed control of the race and worked to bring the leading duo back but it wasn’t until 4km from the finish line in Vierzon when the catch was made.
With the help of Simon Gerrans, Drucker was well position coming into the final 5km and was able to jump from wheel to wheel before launching his sprint 300m before the line on the uphill drag.
The hectic sprint saw Drucker boxed in slightly and lose momentum to eventually cross the line in eighth place behind stage winner Dylan Groenewegen.
Dylan Teuns crossed the line in the bunch and remains BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in 26th place, on equal time from the seventh-placed rider on the General Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“The first half of the race was almost like a training ride with a number on the back. I think with 50km to go it heated up a bit when Naesen attacked and then there were more attacks, so from then on it was a pretty good pace. The final was super fast. I had Simon Gerrans with me and we said already before the start of the stage that it was important to be in front with 5km to go. Simon put me in a good position and then it was up to me. I surfed from wheel to wheel and then I saw the 300m to go sign and I started my sprint. I got a bit squeezed in by Andre Greipel and Elia Viviani and I lost a bit of speed there. It was a pity because with an uphill sprint you directly lose three or four positions. I am a bit disappointed because I could finish higher up but that's sprinting.”
“The first half of the race was really boring. Then there was a lot of nervousness in the bunch in the last half of the race so it was also not enjoyable. There was a lot of stress for nothing. We knew that there was big chance of crashes in the last 12km, so it was necessary to be in a good position. Afterwards, I dropped back a little bit, but in the last 2km it was really dangerous with roundabouts and corners.
Stage 2 Orsonville > Vierzon 187.5km
Top 3: 1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), 2. Elia Viviani (Quickstep-Floors), 3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 8. Jempy Drucker, 48. Alessandro De Marchi, 62. Dylan Teuns
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.