Italian sprinter Andrea Guardini beats Tom Boonen on stage one of the Abu Dhabi Tour, which was shortened due to high temperatures

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Italian Andrea Guardini (Astana) won the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour on Thursday, which was shortened due to high temperatures.

Guardini wove his way through his sprint rivals in the bunch finish to take the victory by a bike length. Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) came in for second, just ahead of Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) in third.

Guardini’s victory puts him in the driving seat in the general classification, and he becomes the first rider to ever wear the Abu Dhabi Tour leader’s jersey.

Race organisers made a decision to cut the 14.5-kilometre finishing loop due to the baking hot conditions, with temperatures going over 45°C. As the riders sweltered, their speed dropped and there were also concerns that the evening stage would finish in the dark.

>>> Abu Dhabi Tour opening stage shortened due to extreme heat

Abu Dhabi Tour - Stage 1

Hot, dry conditions greeted the peloton on the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour

Francesco Mancebo (SkyDive Dubai) was the final rider left from an original six-rider break that also comprised Britain’s Mike Thompson (Team Wiggins), Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), William Clarke (Drapac), Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare). Mancebo was swept up with just a kilometre to go as the sprinters’ teams wound up the pace.

The 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour continues on Friday with stage two from Yas Marina Circuit to Yas Mall over 129km. The flat profile suggests another day for the sprinters.

>>> Abu Dhabi Tour 2015: What you need to know

Peter Sagan on stage 1 of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour

Peter Sagan on stage 1 of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour

Result

Abu Dhabi Tour 2015: Stage one, Qasr al Sarab to Madinat Zayed, 174km
1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana at 4-21-11
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. Andrea Palini (Ita) SkyDive Dubai
5. Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
6. Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia
7. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
8. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar
9. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
10. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin all same time

Overall classification after stage one
1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana at 4-21-11
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo

  • dourscot

    Guardini has to wake up once a year at least.