Top Five Finish for Drucker at Tour de l’Eurométropole1. October 2017, Tournai (BEL) — Road Team
Jempy Drucker rounded out the top five at Tour de l’Eurométropole in Belgium today after a tough finale on the finishing circuit around Tournai saw him sprinting to the line as part of a select group of riders.
It was a battle to make the breakaway with various attacks, including a move from Nathan Van Hooydonck, flying off the front of the high-speed peloton before, after more than 40km of racing, eight riders were able to go clear and extend an advantage of just over four minutes.
Heading into the hillier second half of the 188.6km course, an increase in pace at the front of the bunch saw the gap fall quickly, and despite gaps forming, the peloton was all together, 2’35” behind the breakaway, as it reached the 100km to go mark.
The pace of the peloton relaxed slightly behind the leaders, and their advantage was allowed to go out to around the six-minute mark at the start of the first of six laps of a 14.7km circuit around Tournai, all of which included an ascent of the Col de la Croix Jubaru.
As the race began the third lap, the chase heated up with the peloton eventually pulling the breakaway to within one minute before the catch was made inside 25km to go as new attacks soon began with riders trying their luck at the front of the bunch.
With 20km to go, Daniel Oss made it into a six-rider front group, and as the bell rang to mark the start of the final lap, the riders were holding onto a narrow ten-second advantage. However, a determined chase ensured that the race brought back together before Silvan Dillier took the opportunity to make his mark on the race and attacked off the front of the peloton.
Once again, it wasn’t meant to be and after further attacks, a large front group of around 20 riders, including Drucker and Martin Elmiger, formed. As they went over the top of the climb for the final time with just 5.5km left to race, it looked clear that victory would come down to a battle between these riders.
Heading under the flamme rouge and onto the home straight, which rose slightly towards the line, the win could have come from anywhere with Drucker well-positioned heading into the closing meters of the race.
It was a late move from Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) that forced the sprint to start early with Daniel McLay (Fortuneo - Oscaro) eventually taking the day’s honors ahead of Kenny Dehaes (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) and Turgis while Drucker crossed the line fifth.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"I felt good today, and as I was a bit disappointed about my World Championships, I really wanted to show something good today. So, on the last climb, I attacked and wanted to force a selection going into the final. There was only a small group left afterward, and Martin Elmiger was with me, and he tried to control the group as much as possible. In the final kilometer, a Cofidis rider jumped away and with 500m to go our group slowed. I decided to give it a go and come from behind with speed, but the sprinters were sitting in my wheel. It's a bit of a pity but I tried so I cant be disappointed."
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
"I think we can be happy with how we raced today. Of course, fifth place is not the result we wanted, but I think we rode well as a team. The finishing circuit was hard with the climb on every lap, and in this morning's meeting we discussed that wanted to be aggressive at this point in the race, especially on the final two laps, so we could try to draw out a select group and protect Jempy Drucker for the final sprint. Our plan went perfectly, and we saw a strong move from Daniel Oss followed by another from Silvan Dillier and Floris Gerts. It worked well, and in the end, we had Jempy and Martin Elmiger in the final group. It was a very good group, and on paper, Jempy was one of the strongest, but then we saw the Cofidis rider go early and no one responded. Jempy tried to come from behind but, although he was strong, he had to go early and eventually that helped the others."
Tour de l’Eurométropole
One-day race: La Louvière > Tournai, 188.6km
Top 3: 1. Daniel McLay (Fortuneo - Oscaro) 2. Kenny Dehaes (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) 3. Anthony Turgis (Cofidis)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 5. Jempy Drucker 19. Martin Elmiger 36. Floris Gerts