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“At the last corner I knew I had to be at the front, and I was. But I looked at Modolo after the turn and 10 meters was all he needed to beat me. I was thinking instead of sprinting," Guardini says

Photo: Sirotti

ANDREA GUARDINI

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ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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CLASSIC BRUGGE-DE PANNE

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03.04.2014 @ 19:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Andrea Guardini got very close to his first win on European soil for almost two years when he sprinted to second in today's opening half-stage of the Driedaagse van De Panne. Clearly faster than stage winner Sacha Modolo in the final sprint, the Italian regretted to having hesitated in the finale.

 

In his first few years as a professional, Andrea Guardini was winning at a regular rate but since joining Astana, he has had a harder time. In fact, he hasn't won a single race on European soil since claiming his biggest victory to date when he beat Mark Cavendish in a direct battle at the 2012 Giro d'Italia.

 

Until now, his only wins in the Astana jersey have been taken in Malaysia at the Tour de Langkawi but today he got very close to breaking the drought. In the opening half-stage of the Driedaagse van De Panne, he finished a very close second behind Sacha Modolo.

 

Usually struggling to keep his position in the sprints, Guardini was excellently supported by Valentin Iglinskiy and Ruslan Tleubayev who brought him into the perfect position for the final turn. History proves that no one will win the sprint in De Panne if he is not at the very front in that corner and so Guardini had a great chance to strike.

 

After the corner, however, he hesitated a bit and allowed Modolo to pass him. Despite getting closer at the end, he ran out of metres and had to settle for a disappointing 2nd.

 

“I followed Kittel up the right-side bike path because at 3k to go somebody crashed and Ruslan had to swerve hard to avoid going down," he said. “At the last corner I knew I had to be at the front, and I was. But I looked at Modolo after the turn and 10 meters was all he needed to beat me. I was thinking instead of sprinting."

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