With the rich career of his son Jempy Drucker Junior, we had almost forgotten the success of his father, Jempy Drucker, who was a very good cyclo-cross specialist from Luxembourg for a long time.
The strongest runner you’ve ever met?
Jempy Drucker senior: Acacio Da Silva was with juniors. We were on the Dusika Jugend Tour, a big international stage race. The coaches told him to stay calm and wait for a very difficult final, which suited him. The stage was a hundred kilometers long, covering almost three miles, and he was in the lead group with four riders, going and playing for the win. It was really strong.
I wouldn’t say bad, but the rudest was Laurent Wack. I remember the cross in Bambësch. There was a top corner, he was bringing me down every corner of the bike, so on the third lap I caught him on the back tire and he went over his handlebars! (He laughs) He wasn’t bad, yes, but he played tight. Be careful not to write that he was mean, we have been friends for a long time!
Lucien Zeimes (Editor’s note: Five-time national champion from 1970-1972, then 1976 and 1978, died on 1er October 2002). He taught me a lot. We were young. We were enemies, but he never hesitated to give me advice.
Want to see the lost runner again?
Dutchman Noël van der Ley, who I hang out with after every World Cup. He came to win the Contern cyclo-cross (in 1986). I have seen him in international crosses for a long time, but I haven’t seen him in a long time.
Your biggest win?
For me, it was on the road, not at the crossroads. When he became the national amateur champion in Belvaux. I ran with Enzo Mezzapesa and Roland Andre. There was a war between Jos Allegrini and Rene Massard. Allegrini didn’t want Massard to win, and Massard didn’t want Allegrini to win. So I ran with Mezzapesa and Andre, two riders from Gabriel Gatti’s team. In the last lap I was attacked from all sides and I still won the sprint. My joy was immense.
Your greatest achievement?
Still on the road, I think it was the Peugeot Grand Prix at Dommeldange. There was a strong German team and I particularly ran with Lex Nederlof (a Dutch rider who competes in Luxembourg and often competes in the Flèche du Sud). I won in rain and snow. Bad timing…
When Andy Schleck was young at LP Mühlenbach, he was always forgetting his stuff. He came late, without shoes, without a bathing suit. But he still won!
Your biggest regret?
I was young in the Mühlenbach team. I had won all the cross country and I had made the last three meters of the chain jump at the country championships organized by my club and Guy Richards had won. It hurt me.
Your biggest party?
It was during a party after the 1993 World Cup in Corva di Azzano, Italy. Lucien Rischard knew Mario Mariotto, who had a pizzeria right there, and opened it for us, and we duly celebrated. I had a headache for two days after that. Camille Dam (Editor’s note: FSCL’s current president) was in the federation at the time, and he still often talks to me about it.
The craziest runner?
This is a tough question, all runners are crazy! I didn’t race him, but he was at our club LP Mühlenbach for a while. It was Andy Schleck, a junior (laughs). He was always forgetting his things. He came late, without shoes, without a shirt. There was always something, but he still won!
Race you don’t like doing?
In Rumelang, it was in the school category. We went to the heights, to the place where the bicycle cross was organized for a long time. A long climb. It was an elimination race. We climbed seven, eight times to take tenth place!
I was offered to go pro with Paul Herijgers (1994 world champion) in the Saxon team. I was also in contact with a Polish cyclo-cross team
Biggest pet peeve?
I was furious at the Assel cyclo-cross. I was in the lead and on the last lap I had a chain jump. Acacio (Da Silva) came back on me and he was tight on the line. My club president in Muhlenbach was the finish judge and he declared Acacio the winner. There was no photo-finish. Then I got angry.
It was at Galgenberg in Esh, I broke my collarbone. Nothing serious.
Coach who influenced you the most?
Lucien Rischard, the national coach. He set me straight. I finished 16 with hime In 1991, the amateur world championship in Gieten (Netherlands). I lived for work and cycling. I’ve always been a few kilos overweight. But I beat Claude Michel for the first time in Contern.
A failed transfer?
I was offered to go pro with Paul Herijgers (1994 world champion) in the Saxon team. I was also in contact with a Polish cyclo-cross team. Instead, I entered the Luxembourg commune. I preferred cycling for fun. I felt good in Mühlenbach among the amateurs, but I went to Kopstal. Why? I’m always interested (laughs). You had to participate in every training, otherwise there were no bonuses, and in cycling you train alone. I should not have made this transfer!
The day you decided to end your career?
I do not remember. I have always acted with the idea of attack. But my last race was the national championship in Ell (1999) won by Kim Kirche. I charged, Kim pulled me back and I tried to give her one last move. I didn’t want it, I stayed there.
After three years of retirement after a career in Luxembourg City, Jempy Drucker lives with his wife Edith near Schifflange. He has always followed the career of his only son, Jempy junior (stopping at the end of 2021), who is today a national coach in the FSCL.
He remained an avid cyclist. “I rode about fifty kilometers in the morning, last year I traveled about 10,000 kilometers. And in the afternoon we hang out with our grandchildren, Emma and Lenny,” he explains with a big smile before getting on his bike. Because the weather was calm again that day…