Guardini wins in Doha Corniche as Renshaw takes overall

Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) underlined why he is one of Italian cycling’s most prized young talents with a wonderful sprint victory on the final stage of the Tour of Qatar. The neo-professional took the win ahead of his fellow countryman Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), while Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) finished safely in the pack and secured the overall victory.

After dominating the flat stages at January’s Tour de Langkawi, Guardini showed that those five wins were no flash in the pan with an intelligent sprint on Doha’s Al Corniche. The 21-year-old found himself boxed in 300 metres from the line but refused to panic. Instead he bided his time to find space when Theo Bos (Rabobank) moved off the barriers and then unleashed a devastating finishing kick.


Video in association with Flamme Rouge Media

While Bos faded to finish in 3rd, Francesco Chicchi was closing fast all the way to the line on the opposite side of the road, but Guardini’s explosive acceleration 100 metres out was enough to see him get the nod in a tight finish over the man who won this stage twelve months ago. Ironically, Guardini revealed afterwards that it was Chicchi himself who had explained the subtleties of the finishing straight to him.

“300 metres out I was still back in 15th or 20th place, but I remembered that Chicchi told me that he was well back 300 metres out last year too, it’s a strange finish,” Guardini said. “I believed until the end, and little by little the riders in front fell away as there was a head wind and I managed to go on the right hand side.”

Guardini also pointed out that he was conscious to launch his sprint on that side of the road. “The finish was slightly curving to the right, so I had a slightly shorter path by going down the right hand side,” he said.

Neither overall winner Mark Renshaw, nor second-placed Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) made any real impact in what was a chaotic final sprint. After Leopard Trek had marshalled the finishes earlier the week in the hope of piloting Daniele Bennati to victory, Friday’s final stage saw the entire bunch arrive together.

Earlier in the stage, however, Renshaw had managed to pick up a bonus second behind the breakaway on each of the intermediate sprints, meaning that he was content to mark his fellow countryman Haussler in the final in order to wrap up the gold jersey.

“We were really hoping a breakaway would get clear,” Renshaw explained. “But those sprints gave me the confidence for the finish to follow Haussler, which was the tactic.”

Renshaw is nominally Mark Cavendish’s lead-out man at HTC-Highroad, but when handed his opportunity to lead in Qatar, he grabbed it with both hands. “I didn’t expect to be in the position of winning the Tour of Qatar at the start of the week,” he said. “Unfortunately Mark Cavendish had his crash [in the prologue] and the focus shifted to me.”

Early chaos

The final stage of the Tour of Qatar had no sooner begun before it was halted again after a crash at the rear of the peloton saw a number of riders take a tumble. As the crash took place in the neutralised zone, the race was stopped to allow the fallers to retake their place in the bunch. Among those to go down were Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), and the Italian champion, already the victim of two crashes earlier in the week, abandoned soon afterwards.

By the first intermediate sprint, the pair had five minutes over the peloton. Renshaw took the sprint for third and he would repeat the feat on the second sprint in Doha, thus opening his lead over Heinrich Haussler to 8 seconds ahead of the finale.

Van Avermaet and Bagdonas continued to battle gamely up front on the nine laps of the 6km course up and down Doha’s Al Corniche, but with the Garmin-Cervélo-led bunch gradually notching up the pace, the must surely have known that theirs was a futile endeavour. With two laps to go, their lead was down a minute, and they were swallowed up soon afterwards as the peloton sped towards the finish.

The final lap saw the first bona fide bunch sprint of the race as it was the first stage in which the wind hadn’t seriously depleted the peloton. From the chaos, it was Guardini who emerged victorious, while Renshaw had already done more than enough to take a deserved overall win.

As ever, the Tour of Qatar has provided some interesting pointers as to who might be the power players at the classics in April, but it may also have been a very significant step forwards in the careers of two fast finishers, Guardini and Renshaw.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli2:44:06
2Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJRow 3 - Cell 2
5Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - ShimanoRow 4 - Cell 2
6Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team AstanaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Russell Downing (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 7 - Cell 2
9Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 8 - Cell 2
10Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 9 - Cell 2
11Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 10 - Cell 2
12Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard TrekRow 11 - Cell 2
13Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 14 - Cell 2
16Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 15 - Cell 2
17Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 16 - Cell 2
18Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Pro Team AstanaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJRow 21 - Cell 2
23Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 23 - Cell 2
25Maxim De Busschere (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 24 - Cell 2
26Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 25 - Cell 2
27Andrew Fenn (GBr) An Post - Sean KellyRow 26 - Cell 2
28Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 27 - Cell 2
29Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 29 - Cell 2
31Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-HighroadRow 30 - Cell 2
32John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-HighroadRow 32 - Cell 2
34Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 33 - Cell 2
35Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Kevin Claeys (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 35 - Cell 2
37Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 36 - Cell 2
38Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 38 - Cell 2
40Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 40 - Cell 2
42Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 41 - Cell 2
43Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Marco Corti (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 45 - Cell 2
47Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 46 - Cell 2
48Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 48 - Cell 2
50Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 49 - Cell 2
51Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-HighroadRow 50 - Cell 2
52Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-HighroadRow 51 - Cell 2
53Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-HighroadRow 53 - Cell 2
55Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 55 - Cell 2
57Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 57 - Cell 2
59David Gutierrez Gutierrez (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 58 - Cell 2
60Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJRow 60 - Cell 2
62Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek0:00:09
63Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 62 - Cell 2
64Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 64 - Cell 2
66Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-HighroadRow 65 - Cell 2
67Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 66 - Cell 2
68Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 67 - Cell 2
69Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 68 - Cell 2
70Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 69 - Cell 2
71Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Geox-TMCRow 70 - Cell 2
72Diego Caccia (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 71 - Cell 2
73Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 73 - Cell 2
75Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Tanel Kangert (Est) Pro Team Astana0:00:13
77Marko Kump (Slo) Geox-TMCRow 76 - Cell 2
78Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:15
79Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean KellyRow 78 - Cell 2
80Davide Vigano (Ita) Leopard Trek0:00:19
81Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:00:25
82Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 81 - Cell 2
83Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:28
84Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean KellyRow 83 - Cell 2
85Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:00:34
86Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:35
87Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek0:00:39
88Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team0:00:41
89Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 88 - Cell 2
90Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team AstanaRow 89 - Cell 2
91Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 90 - Cell 2
92Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Daniele Ratto (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 92 - Cell 2
94Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Tomas Alberio (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 94 - Cell 2
96Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJRow 95 - Cell 2
97Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJRow 96 - Cell 2
98Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 98 - Cell 2
100Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJRow 99 - Cell 2
101Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
102Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post - Sean KellyRow 101 - Cell 2
103Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:58
104Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:08
105Travis Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:16
106Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek0:01:30
107Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 107 - Cell 2
109Frederique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:02:12
110Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:02:31
112Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team Astana0:02:48
113Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:02:59
114Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling0:04:29
115Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFGiovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 115 - Cell 2
DNSWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJRow 116 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - Al Wukair, 41km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team3pts
2Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Doha Corniche, 84km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly3pts
2Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 3 - Doha Corniche, 126.5km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli15pts
2Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team9Row 2 - Cell 3
4Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team Astana4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Best young rider
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli2:44:06
2Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - ShimanoRow 1 - Cell 2
3Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 3 - Cell 2
5Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 5 - Cell 2
7Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJRow 6 - Cell 2
8Maxim De Busschere (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 7 - Cell 2
9Andrew Fenn (GBr) An Post - Sean KellyRow 8 - Cell 2
10Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 9 - Cell 2
11Kevin Claeys (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 11 - Cell 2
13Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Marco Corti (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 13 - Cell 2
15Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-HighroadRow 14 - Cell 2
16Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-HighroadRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-HighroadRow 16 - Cell 2
18Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:09
19Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 18 - Cell 2
20Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Tanel Kangert (Est) Pro Team Astana0:00:13
22Marko Kump (Slo) Geox-TMCRow 21 - Cell 2
23Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:15
24Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly0:00:28
25Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:35
26Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana0:00:41
27Daniele Ratto (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 26 - Cell 2
28Tomas Alberio (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 27 - Cell 2
29Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 28 - Cell 2
30Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:08
31Travis Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:16
32Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek0:01:30
33Frederique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:02:12
34Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:02:59
35Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:04:29
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katusha Team8:12:18
2Pro Team AstanaRow 1 - Cell 2
3An Post-Sean KellyRow 2 - Cell 2
4Topsport Vlaanderen-MercatorRow 3 - Cell 2
5Sky ProcyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Team Garmin - CerveloRow 5 - Cell 2
7HTC - HighroadRow 6 - Cell 2
8BMC Racing TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9FDJRow 8 - Cell 2
10Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Geox - TMCRow 10 - Cell 2
12Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 11 - Cell 2
13Quick Step Cycling Team0:00:09
14Lampre - ISDRow 13 - Cell 2
15Team Leopard-Trek0:00:18
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Final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad15:31:04
2Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:08
3Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek0:00:17
4Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling0:00:26
5Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:38
6Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:39
7Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:42
8Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad0:01:05
9Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:01:33
10Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:01:35
11Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:40
12Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:01:56
13Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek0:04:39
14Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:04:45
15Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ0:05:20
16Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team0:05:33
17Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:05:36
18Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 17 - Cell 2
19Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team0:06:00
20Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Pro Team Astana0:06:23
21Davide Vigano (Ita) Leopard Trek0:06:30
22Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:07:01
23Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:07:09
24Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana0:08:10
25Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling0:08:28
26Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Katusha Team0:08:42
27Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:09:09
28Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ0:10:26
29Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:11:10
30Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team0:12:35
31Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling0:13:14
32Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek0:13:42
33Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team0:14:09
34Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek0:14:48
35Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team0:16:53
36Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:17:38
37Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling0:18:08
38Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad0:20:21
39Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:20:42
40Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:20:46
41Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team0:20:55
42Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ0:21:33
43Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team0:21:34
44Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:22:19
45Frederique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:23:11