Eneco Tour: Andrea Guardini wins stage one and takes jersey
Last Updated: 11/08/14 6:22pm
Andrea Guardini timed his sprint to perfection to win a wet and wild opening stage of the Eneco Tour.
Guardini had bided his time in the safety of the bunch as a succession of riders crashed around him on the technical run in to Terneuzen, and hauled back a late attack from Tom Doumolin before celebrating his victory over Yohann Gene and Davide Cimolai.
It had looked as though Dumoulin had stolen a march when he jumped clear in the last kilometre, but a block headwind on the finishing straight scuppered his chances and Guardini was perfectly positioned to bag his fifth win of the season.
The result was somewhat surprising given the calibre of sprinters on the start sheet in Holland, but Andre Greipel, Nacer Bouhanni and Tom Boonen all struggled with the strong winds, wet roads and heavy road furniture, and all failed to trouble the top 10 positions.
Those results - coupled with bonus seconds accrued during the stage - saw Guardini take control of the leader’s jersey and open up a four-second advantage over Gene at the top of the standings. Laurens De Vresse sits one second further adrift in third, with the majority of the peloton 10 seconds behind the new leader.
The exposed 181.9km trek around Zeeland had always looked at the mercy of the elements, and so it proved with a procession of riders hitting the deck as they circumnavigated a wet and windy parcours.
De Vreese had been among a three-man breakaway group whose ranks were weakened when Gatis Smukalis came a cropper, and they were swept up in the last 18km as Trek Factory Racing setting a hard pace at the front of the bunch.
Trek also saw Danny van Poppel career out of contention in what proved to be a fractured finish, and several further riders were downed before Guardini romped home for victory.
Stage one result
1 - Andrea Guardini (ITA) - Astana - (4:14:47)
2 - Yohann Gène (FRA) - Europcar - (+0)
3 - Davide Cimolai (ITA) - Lampre - (+0)
4 - Jens Debusschere (BEL) - Lotto - (+0)
5 - Boy van Poppel (NED) - Trek - (+0)
6 - Alexander Porsev (RUS) - Katyusha - (+0)
7 - Tom Dumoulin (NED) - Giant - (+0)
8 - Matteo Trentin (ITA) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step - (+0)
9 - Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) - Belkin - (+0)
10 - Michael Van Staeyen (BEL) - Topsport Vlaanderen - (+0)
1 - Andrea Guardini (ITA) - Astana - (4:14:37)
2 - Yohann Gène (FRA) - Europcar - (+4)
3 - Laurens De Vreese (BEL) - Wanty - (+5)
4 - Davide Cimolai (ITA) - Lampre - (+6)
5 - Lars Boom (NED) - Belkin - (+7)
6 - Alex Dowsett (GBR) - Movistar - (+8)
7 - Philippe Gilbert (BEL) - BMC Racing - (+9)
8 - Jens Debusschere (BEL) - Lotto - (+10)
9 - Boy van Poppel (NED) - Trek - (+10)
10 - Alexander Porsev (RUS) - Katyusha - (+10)