Dubai Tour Stage 1: Dillier in the Break, Drucker Sprints to 7th31. January 2017, Dubai (U.A.E) — Road Team
Stage 1 of the Dubai Tour was the first race day of the 2017 season for BMC Racing Team’s eight-rider roster, and saw Silvan Dillier spend the day in the breakaway and Jempy Drucker contest the bunch sprint finish.
A five-rider breakaway, featuring Dillier, went clear in the opening 10km of the 181km stage, and built an advantage of more than four minutes.
With three intermediate sprints and time bonuses on offer, the breakaway worked hard to stay away for all three, during which Dillier picked up four bonus seconds for the General Classification.
The peloton picked up the pace with 40km to go, eventually bring the group back with 10km remaining to set the stage for a sprint showdown.
Drucker battled it out at the front of the bunch and crossed the line in seventh place. Dillier’s bonus seconds see him sit in sixth place on the General Classification, followed by Drucker in tenth, with four stages remaining.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“Everyone was working together well in the breakaway until we got caught. It was mainly because of the bonus sprints and bonus seconds. I got four seconds so it was quite ok. I was hoping for more but it’s not easy. For sure it was also a good idea to stay away as long as possible so you don’t have all the stress of positioning, and we just got caught in the last few kilometers. When you win a stage you get ten seconds so four bonus seconds is not as good, but a top five spot on GC is possible if you can pick up seconds here and there like I did today.”
“The sprint was a bit hectic with the approach and the tunnel going into the U-turn. It was a bit of a mess. You’re always a bit in the dark when you haven’t race yet, you know training is good but racing is different. It’s a good start. It was not my best sprint but I’m in the mix. I think maybe even the Hatta Dam stage may be better for me because it’s more difficult. I prefer when there are more climbs before and the other sprinters are already tired. That’s the way I like to sprint but of course I’m going to try on all of the stages/”
Max Sciandri, Sports Director:
“There were two objectives today. I had four guys, including Silvan Dillier, on the look out for the breakaway from km 0 today with the three intermediate sprints on offer. Silvan was up there and got what he could in the sprints. So that side of the plan was accomplished. The second part of the plan was to get Jempy well-placed in the sprint. I think Daniel Oss and Loic Vliegen did well to put him in a good position. So I’m pretty happy and all of the guys got through the stage safely.”
Stage 4 Dubai > Dubai (181km)
Top 3: Marcel Kittel (Quickstep-Floors), Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto-NL Jumbo), Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 7. Jempy Drucker, 16. Loic Vliegen, 21. Floris Gerts