Guardini wins Istanbul sprint

Sun, 24 Apr 21:48:00 2011

Italy’s Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri) outsprinted Tyler Farrar to win the opening stage of the Tour of Turkey in Istanbul.

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Guardini burst through at the end of the 114km stage around Turkey's biggest city to record his seventh win of the year after five successes at Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia and one at the Tour of Qatar

Marco Frapporti (Colnago-CSF), Rob Goris (Vérandas Willems), Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank-SunGard), Timon Seubert (NetApp), Arturo Mora (Caja Rural), Robin Chaigneau (Skil-Shimano) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1) formed a lead group of seven riders after 25km.

But they never reached an advantage of more than one minute as Lampre-ISD, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Garmin-Cervélo and later De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia kept a lid on proceedings and the peloton regrouped with 15 kilometres to go to make a bunch gallop inevitable.

Alessandro Petacchi led under the flamme rouge but the Italian veteran lost control and was relegated to last – and penalised of one minute on GC - after hitting French neo pro Nacer Bouhanni from FDJ.

Guardini made no such mistake to finish clear of the American speedster from Garmin with Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) in third.

Guardini, who will wear the turquoise jersey on stage two from Kuşadası to Turgutreis, said: "It was particularly difficult from 1km to go to 400 metres to go, I was a bit behind, so I had to sprint from far away. Luckily I managed to stay ahead. It’s beautiful to win ahead of a great champion like Tyler Farrar who has already won so many races.

"A bit like at the Tour of Qatar, this is an unexpected victory for me. It’s great to win stage one because it gives the leader’s jersey at least for one day. My team finished the Tour of Turkey with this turquoise jersey last year and we start this year’s race the same way."

Eurosport

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