Wyss Makes the Breakaway and Drucker Sprints to Third on Final Day in Turkey14. October 2018, Istanbul (TUR) — Road Team
Danilo Wyss was active at the front of the race on stage six of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, making the breakaway in his final race with BMC Racing Team, before Jempy Drucker sprinted to third place in a chaotic finale in Istanbul.
After six stages, Nicholas Roche finished in tenth place overall and a strong showing from BMC Racing Team saw the team win the team classification.
A fast start and battle to make the breakaway on the final stage, featuring 164km of flat terrain with the exception of a category three climb, meant it took more than 50 kilometers for a breakaway to form before Wyss, Louis Vervaeke (Team Sunweb), and Preben Van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) went clear.
The leading trio was eventually joined by five more riders to form an eight-rider breakaway with a three-minute advantage inside the final 80 kilometers.
With a predicted bunch sprint on the cards, the sprinters’ teams started to pull the breakaway back and reduced their advantage to just over one minute with 50 kilometers remaining.
As the breakaway emerged from the Eurasia Tunnel, their advantage was down to 35 seconds and with less than 20 kilometers to go, the peloton was determined to bring them back and set that stage for a bunch sprint.
The breakaway split, leaving Wyss and three riders left in front while behind, Wyss’ BMC Racing Team teammates began to make their way to the front of the bunch.
Wyss and his fellow breakaway riders managed to hold the peloton off until six kilometers to go as they raced through the heart of Istanbul, at which point the bunch regrouped and the sprinters’ teams battled for position.
Approaching the flamme rouge, Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) launched a surprise attack and quickly established a large gap which put the peloton on the back foot, scrambling to bring Bennett back inside the final kilometer.
Bennett held on to take the win in the chaotic final, involving a crash in the final corner, and was followed by eventual race winner Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias) and Drucker across the line, five seconds behind.
Tom Bohli crossed the line in seventh place, while Roche finished in the bunch to maintain tenth overall, 10 seconds behind Prades.
Solid performances from Frankiny and Bookwalter throughout the week saw them finish in 11th and 12th respectively on the General Classification which secured the team classification win for BMC Racing Team in the team’s final European race of the season.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“We had a big fight to make the breakaway at the beginning with more than 50 kilometers of attacks and we all tried to go in the breakaway. In the end, it was quite a good move. We were originally three riders, and then five more joined. We had a small chance to stay away. The sprinters’ teams were controlling us quite well but I think Astana Pro Team would have liked us to stay away because of the General Classification. In the end, we tried to stay away as long as possible.”
“It’s a strange feeling to end the BMC Racing Team chapter after 11 years. I had a great time with the team and a great experience so there is a bit of emotion.”
“It was like every day, with a really chaotic final kilometer, a big mess. I tried to find my way but I was a bit too far back at the bottom of the last climb and when Bennett went way it was hard to catch him back. I tried to move up but with 500 meters to go, I knew we would be sprinting for second place. I didn’t have the legs to go for second but I think to finish on the podium is also a nice way to finish.”
“It was important for me to have good form here and go into the off season with good feelings and some nice results. This was a nice way to finish my chapter with BMC Racing Team.”
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey
Stage 6 Bursa > Istanbul (164km)
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe), 2. Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias), 3. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team top 3: 3. Jempy Drucker, 7. Tom Bohli, 20. Nicholas Roche