Primus Classic: Drucker Finishes on the Podium After Late Attack16. September 2017, Haacht (BEL) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team was in the thick of the action in the closing kilometers of Primus Classic with Jempy Drucker riding as part of a late attack which saw him head onto the podium after securing second place in Haacht.
It was a battle to make the breakaway in Belgium today with over an hour of racing covered before six riders were able to go clear at the front of the race and begin to build up an advantage which, after 55km, of the 199.6km course, with was sitting at 3’40”.
The gap between the breakaway and the rest of the field remained stable until, with 75km to go, the chase heated up with the peloton steadily pulling the leaders back to within one minute as riders began to attack off the front of the bunch, including Loïc Vliegen, Floris Gerts, and Francisco Ventoso.
Heading into the final 50km of the day, a large chase group, which saw Vliegen back on the attack, made contact with the five remaining leaders and soon their advantage had risen to around 30 seconds. However, the peloton didn’t let the group get too far up the road, and as the gap fell to just a handful of seconds, fresh attacks saw Drucker bridge across to the group which was now made up of around 15 riders.
With 20km to go, and the final climb of the day complete, the leading group was holding onto an advantage of more than 30 seconds and soon after, Drucker attacked alongside Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors). The duo looked strong as they began to put daylight between themselves and the rest of the group which was eventually swept up by the peloton just one kilometer later.
Trentin made his ultimately winning move with just over 2km to go and was able to ride solo at the front of the race to take the day’s honors. Meanwhile, Drucker continued to chase hard going under the flamme rouge before he was able to hold off the charging peloton on the home straight to secure second on the day.
Quotes from the Finish Line
"The last 60km almost were full gas with a lot of attacks. Before the race, we said that we wanted to try and go with the moves and make the race hard because I feel better when the race is more difficult. It suits me better. We then had a move with Loïc Vliegen, and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) was in there and so, on the next climb when there were more attacks, I said to myself that I had to be up there to make sure that we had another guy in the group. Luckily I was able to make it across and I felt strong in the final. It was no mystery that Trentin was one of the strongest guys so I tried to be around him and stay close so I could react when he moved. In the end, it went pretty well and we went away together with 5km to go. On a small bridge, he attacked me and I felt like I was running a bit low on fuel so I couldn't close the gap. He played it smart today and he deserved to win also."
"I was already feeling good in Canada but now, I must say, that at these last couple of races, I have felt even better so it is nice to get the opportunity from the team to go for the win. Today I once again showed that I can be up there with the top guys. This is obviously not the same level as we will see next week but it gives me a lot of confidence and it is always good to be able to ride the final and I think I showed that I was one of the strongest here."
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
"I am very happy with how we raced as a team today, and I think that second is a good result for Jempy Drucker here. This morning we discussed as a team that the best option for us would be to have a hard race as there was a lot of top sprinters in the field. From the start, we followed the moves but then the breakaway went away, and Quick-Step Floors was controlling the race. When we reached the hilly part of the race, we started to attack, and we had someone in every move, and in the end, it was Loïc Vliegen and Jempy who were in the right one that was able to go clear."
"We saw that Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) was very strong when he attacked and that Jempy was also in good shape when he was able to follow his initial move, but in the end, the last attack was just too much. Jempy tried everything and gave it 100% so I think that we can be happy with this result. The team as a whole was great today, and everyone was moving well. We had crashes involving Bram Welten and Francisco Ventoso but thankfully without any consequences. Overall, we can leave Primus Classic happy with our race."
One-day race: Brakel > Haacht, 199.6km
Top 3: 1. Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing Team) 3. André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 2. Jempy Drucker 14. Floris Gerts 19. Martin Elmiger