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by Shane Stokes
June 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Avermaet wins stage two of Skoda Tour of Luxembourg, Drucker holds race lead; Resurgent Betancur ensures Movistar comes out best on day one of Hammer Series Limburg; Prologue winner Le Bon takes stage one of the Boucles de la Mayenne; Despite quiet season, Froome confident ahead of Dauphiné; Former race winner Talansky spearheads Cannondale-Drapac in Critérium du Dauphiné; Martin the designated leader of Quick Step Floors team at the Critérium du Dauphiné; Cannondale-Drapac team plays down talk title sponsor is leaving; Laws speaks about living, and riding, with cancer; Critérium du Dauphiné set to race Alpe d’Huez from a new direction; Blythe says he was forced to apologise to dangerous driver; Ultracycling legend Mike Hall’s ashes being transported on poignant final journey; Lucy Kennedy awarded twelfth Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship; Wanda Sport’s Ironman further expands cycling involvement with purchase of Competitor Group Holdings; Video: JLT Condor Pro Cycling Team; Video: onboard graphics from the Hammer Series
One day after Jempy Drucker took stage one plus the race lead for the BMC Racing Team, another from the American WorldTour squad has clocked up success at the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg. Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet emerged best on Friday’s second stage and, after his strong runner-up slot in Wednesday’s prologue, moves closer to the race lead.
“It’s always good to come back to racing with a victory,” the 2017 Paris-Roubaix winner said. “My spring was amazing, and I’m happy that I’ve started back again with some good results. Winning is always difficult, so every victory I can take, I’m happy with.”
Van Avermaet said he initially held back during the stage as Drucker was ahead in a group. Once that was brought back, Van Avermaet said that he decided to go for the sprint. “I went from pretty far but I was able to keep it. And, then I saw that Jempy Drucker was also second in the end.” Drucker finished just behind his teammate, with Alexander Kamp (Team Veloconcept) third.
Early on Van Avermaet picked up two bonus seconds, moving from third to second overall. Three riders then went clear but although these built a lead of over three and a half minutes, they were caught inside 50 kilometres to go. Six others then tried and remained clear until eight kilometres to go.
Drucker is now one second ahead of Van Avermaet and 13 up on Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise). “It’s always nice to have the yellow jersey on home soil in Luxembourg, so I really enjoyed my day,” he said. “The team did a great job. We had a nice day, we defended yellow, and Greg Van Avermaet is now sitting second on the GC, so we are in a good position.”