Jempy Drucker Sprints to Third on Opening Day of Racing in Turkey9. October 2018, Konya (TUR) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey campaign got off to a good start with Jempy Drucker sprinting to third on stage one after a hectic finale.
A fast start to the 148.4-kilometer course saw five riders go clear early but, the peloton, led by the sprinters’ teams, was keen to keep control of the race and, as a result, the breakaway’s advantage was never allowed to extend beyond two minutes.
At the summit of the day’s second categorized climb, with just over 40 kilometers to go, the main bunch had pulled the leaders back to within 1’30” and the catch was eventually made 27 kilometers later after the gentle downhill run back into Konya.
BMC Racing Team, working for Drucker, started to move up to the front of the peloton with around 20 kilometers to go and held their place when the battle for position began after the leaders were swept up.
The pace continued to intensify in the final kilometers of the day and Drucker was able to maintain his strong position in the bunch before making his way up into the first ten positions with ease approaching the flamme rouge.
Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) launched his sprint early, just after the final sweeping corner that led onto the finishing straight, but an impressive burst of acceleration from Drucker saw him start to pull away slightly from the rest of the contenders behind the eventual stage winner.
Drucker looked strong as he continued to power towards the finish on the opening day of racing before stepping onto the podium in third place after being narrowly beaten on the line by Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe).
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“I wanted to be in a good position pretty early going into the final of the stage because the race itself wasn’t too hard so a lot of guys were fresh and trying to do the sprint. I was able to do that, which was good, and on the last turn, I knew I had to be in front. I was there but I probably took the wrong line as I went on the outside.”
“When I saw that Quick-Step Floors had made a gap for Richeze, I came from behind and decided to put all my cards on the table and try to catch him. I knew that it was either do that or wait to sprint for second place so, I decided to try to win and if that didn’t happen then I would see what I could do but at least I wouldn’t regret not trying.”
“This is a good start to the race for me. I’m here to go for the sprints and I showed today that I can be up there. Of course, this technical final suited me but we will continue to take the race day by day and take the opportunities that become available to us and play our cards well.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“We started the race without any stress and we were able to take it relatively easy in the main bunch with the big sprinters’ teams controlling the peloton. Then, as we started to get closer to the finish, the guys did an excellent job to help Jempy get into position before he finished in third place.”
“There were a couple of wide corners in the closing kilometers and even though it was dry, the roads are pretty slippery, so we knew that the first corner with two kilometers to go was already important and Jempy was able to survive the first selection after that and that helped put him in a good position. We knew it would be a hectic finish so, the guys were ready for that and they did a good job.”
“Today was a good start to the race for us and if we can deliver something like this, or better, every day then that would be perfect.”
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey
One-day race: Konya > Konya, 148.4km
Top 3: 1. Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) 3. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing Team
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Jempy Drucker 19. Tom Bohli 44. Patrick Bevin