Guardini wins heat-shortened opening stage of Abu Dhabi Tour

Andrea Guardini (Astana) won the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, after it was shortened due to the heat. Guardini was forced to jump around a slowing Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) but still had the legs to beat Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) Sagan’s teammate Daniele Bennati.

The stage had been reduced by 14.5km after the high temperatures made for a slow day of racing, and the peloton had just one corner to manage in the final 500 metres after more than 50 kilometres of straight roads. Sagan wound up the sprint, working as a lead-out man for Bennati rather than his own ambitions.

Bennati flicked out to the right from Sagan’s wheel moments before Guardini did the same down the left, holding the others off to claim his third win of the season.

The heat beat down on the riders at the start in Qasr Al Sarab resort in the desert. Three riders wouldn’t make it that far though as Jacopo Guarnier (Katusha) was forced to quit due to illness, while Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare) also failed to start as a result of a training crash. Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka) didn’t even make it to Abu Dhabi, with visa problems putting paid to any hopes he had.

A headwind and the relentless temperatures made for a very slow start to the day. Six men did brave the heat and broke free of the peloton. Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka), William Clarke (Drapac), Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai), Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) and Michael Thompson (WIGGINS) were the hardy souls.

They managed to build a lead of over four minutes but the heat took its toll. Thompson was the first to crack, looking a little worse for wear. Clarke and Bazzana were next, but not until Clarke took the first intermediate sprint. They continued to drop like metaphorical flies until only Mancebo remained. There was some good news for the riders as the organisers agreed to remove the final 14.5-kilometre loop due to the slow pace and the heat.

Mancebo maintained a good advantage of around two minutes but when Lampre-Merida took to the front that was demolished pretty quickly. His teammate Rafaa Chtioui sensed that Mancebo’s day was done and struck out with less than 30 kilometres to go. Chtioui asked his teammate to follow, as he breezed past him, but Mancebo had nothing left.

There was a small sense of panic as Chtioui’s lead went up to two minutes but the peloton quickly regrouped and brought him back just outside the flamme rouge. Sagan led the sprint but it was Guardini that came out victorious.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team4:21:11
2Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 1 - Cell 2
3Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 2 - Cell 2
4Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Edwin Avila (Col) ColombiaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Elia Viviani (Ita) Team SkyRow 6 - Cell 2
8Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18Row 8 - Cell 2
10Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 9 - Cell 2
11Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 10 - Cell 2
12Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Federico Zurlo (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 12 - Cell 2
14Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 13 - Cell 2
15John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 14 - Cell 2
16Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Soufiane Haddi (Mar) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN - QhubekaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Dominik Nerz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18Row 20 - Cell 2
22Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Sebastián Molano (Col) ColombiaRow 22 - Cell 2
24Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 23 - Cell 2
25Theo Bos (Ned) MTN - QhubekaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 25 - Cell 2
27Wouter Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 26 - Cell 2
28Christopher Latham (GBr) Team WigginsRow 27 - Cell 2
29Hussein Ahmed Abdulla Jaber (UAE) UAERow 28 - Cell 2
30Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18Row 29 - Cell 2
31Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdgeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Leopold Konig (Cze) Team SkyRow 31 - Cell 2
33Carlos Mario Ramirez (Col) ColombiaRow 32 - Cell 2
34Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18Row 35 - Cell 2
37Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18Row 36 - Cell 2
38Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Brendan Canty (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - QhubekaRow 40 - Cell 2
42Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 42 - Cell 2
44Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 46 - Cell 2
48Carlos Quintero (Col) ColombiaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Daniel Martinez (Col) ColombiaRow 48 - Cell 2
50Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Ben Swift (GBr) Team SkyRow 51 - Cell 2
53Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 52 - Cell 2
54Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 53 - Cell 2
55Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdgeRow 54 - Cell 2
56Alex Cano (Col) ColombiaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Sebastian Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 59 - Cell 2
61Mohammed Abdulrahim Al Majid (UAE) UAERow 60 - Cell 2
62Mohammed Alblooshi (UAE) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 62 - Cell 2
64Daniel Pearson (GBr) Team WigginsRow 63 - Cell 2
65Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - QhubekaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 66 - Cell 2
68Iain Paton (GBr) Team WigginsRow 67 - Cell 2
69Michael Thompson (GBr) Team WigginsRow 68 - Cell 2
70Rafaâ Chtioui (Tun) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 70 - Cell 2
72Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 71 - Cell 2
73Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team KatushaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Gang Xu (Chn) Lampre-MeridaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Ali Ibrahim Abdulla Ammar (UAE) UAERow 74 - Cell 2
76Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Daniel Patten (GBr) Team WigginsRow 77 - Cell 2
79Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 78 - Cell 2
80Luc Hall (GBr) Team WigginsRow 79 - Cell 2
81Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 80 - Cell 2
82Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:17
83Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:21
84Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18Row 84 - Cell 2
86Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:33
87Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:36
88Mansour Thani (UAE) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team0:00:42
89Mario Costa (Por) Lampre-MeridaRow 88 - Cell 2
90Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 89 - Cell 2
91Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdgeRow 90 - Cell 2
92Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 91 - Cell 2
93Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 92 - Cell 2
94Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 93 - Cell 2
95Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 95 - Cell 2
97Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdgeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 97 - Cell 2
99Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team SkyRow 98 - Cell 2
100Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 99 - Cell 2
101Soudir Shir Mohamad Talal (UAE) UAERow 100 - Cell 2
102Sodir Shir Mohamad Khayyam (UAE) UAERow 101 - Cell 2
103William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 102 - Cell 2
DNSYoucef Reguigui (Alg) MTN - QhubekaRow 103 - Cell 2
DNSJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team KatushaRow 104 - Cell 2
DNSTanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFTravis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFYousef Ahmed Abdulla Ahmed (UAE) UAERow 107 - Cell 2