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"I have progressed and I'm good. Four years ago I dreamed about arriving with the first fifteen in a stage like today. I hoped to win, but in the last kilometers I was a little tired."

Photo: Sirotti

ANDREA GUARDINI

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09.02.2015 @ 18:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Known as a pure sprinter, Andrea Guardini created a major surprise when he managed to stay with the best and finish second in one of the hardest stages ever in the Tour of Qatar.

 

“60km to go with 40 riders and it’s just me and Ruslan [Tleubayev], he said afterwards. "Then with 30k to go we split again and stayed in the first echelon with 14-15 guys."

 

Guardini, Tleubayev and eventually Andrei Grivko worked to stay near the front while a gap of more than 20 minutes opened to those in the final gruppetto on a flat stage in the desert of Qatar.

 

"I have progressed and I'm good," he told Tuttobiciweb. "Four years ago I dreamed about arriving with the first fifteen in a stage like today. I hoped to win, but in the last kilometers I was a little tired.

 

"The sprint? I had to fight a bit with Kristoff to take Terpstra's wheel. Then he anticapted me and made a powerful sprint and it was difficult to get back. Tomorrow I'll do the time trial to recover and then we still have three stages to try to win."

 

Guardini is now fourth overall. Tuesday is a 10km individual time trial, where teammates Lars Boom and Lieuwe Westra are specialists.

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