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Abu Dhabi Tour 2015 Stage 1

photo credits @ Abu Dhabi Tour/Twitter 

Andrea Guardini claimed the opening stage of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour today, after beating Tom Boonen(Etixx-QuickStep) and Daniele Bennati in a high speed sprint finale. 

Race Highlights

Today’s 174 kilometers route was cut-short by 15 kilometers, after riders complained of extreme heat. 

However, that didn’t stop a six-rider breakaway group containing Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka), William Clarke (Drapac), Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai), Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) and Michael Thompson (WIGGINS), from escaping early on in today’s stage. 

From there, the escapees went on to establish a lead of more than four minutes over the peloton.

Thompson was the first escapee to fall prey to the heat, followed by Clarke and Bazzana, until only a resilient Mancebo remained out front.   

The Skydive Dubai rider continued to maintain a healthy lead of around two minutes over the chase. However, a determined effort from Lampre-Merida back in the peloton, quickly began biting into that advantage.

Sensing that Mancebo was faltering, his teammate Rafaa Chtioui decided to strike out during the final 30 kilometers.

And, shortly thereafter, Chtioui caught up with Mancebo, but the Spanish rider was unable to stay on-board with his teammate.  

Chtioui went on to create a substantial lead of his own, however, as the race entered into the final kilometer, the Tunisian rider was eventually reclaimed by the peloton.

From that point, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) led out the sprint, but it was Guardini who ultimately emerged victorious.

Stage 1 Results
ITA 1 GUARDINI, Andrea (ASTANA) 4:21:11
BEL 2 BOONEN, Tom (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ITA 3 BENNATI, Daniele (TINKOFF – SAXO)
ITA 4 PALINI, Andrea (SKYDIVE DUBAI)
ITA 5 CANOLA, Marco (UNITEDHEALTHCARE)
COL 6 AVILA VANEGAS, Edwin Alcibiades (COLOMBIA)
ITA 7 VIVIANI, Elia (SKY)
ESP 8 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
GER 9 SCHWARZMANN, Michael (BORA-ARGON 18)
SLO 10 MEZGEC, Luka (TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN)

General Classification after Stage 1
ITA 1 GUARDINI, Andrea (ASTANA) 4:21:01
BEL 2 BOONEN, Tom (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 4
ITA 3 BENNATI, Daniele (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 6
ITA 4 PALINI, Andrea (SKYDIVE DUBAI) + 10
ITA 5 CANOLA, Marco (UNITEDHEALTHCARE)
COL 6 AVILA VANEGAS, Edwin Alcibiades (COLOMBIA)
ITA 7 VIVIANI, Elia (SKY)
ESP 8 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
GER 9 SCHWARZMANN, Michael (BORA-ARGON 18)
SLO 10 MEZGEC, Luka (TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN)

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