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To go there without any lead-out man to support me in the sprints, filling the spot for someone who would serve for reaching team’s main objective better, it makes no sense,” Andrea Guardini pointed out.

Photo: Sirotti

ANDREA GUARDINI

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ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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TOUR OF TURKEY

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15.04.2014 @ 10:48 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

A bad luck chases young Andrea Guardini this season. The Italian sprinter, despite the crash, managed to claim two stage wins and finish runner-up to Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEDGE) in points classification at the Tour de Langkawi, but his performances in the cobbled classics were marred by ongoing injuries. Now, the 24-year old Astana rider hopes to eventually fully recover before heading to the Tour of Turkey in less than two weeks, fully accepting team’s decision not to include him into their Giro d’Italia roster.

 

Following his promising Tour de Langkawi appearance, Guardini badly suffered in the spring classics not finishing both Milano-Sanremo and E3 Harelbeke and claiming highly unsatisfying 95th spot at the Gent-Wavelgem. The 24-year old sprinter showed his fighting spirit again at the Driedaagse De Panne short third stage, outsprinted only by in-form Sacha Modolo, but despite that admitted that he was suffering from numerous health problems last couple of weeks.

 

“Let’s say I’m struggling a little,” Guardini admitted.

 

“A wound in my foot sustained in the crash in Malaysia is finally scared-up, but a pain in the knee – reminiscence of another adventure in Belgium, is still present. Unfortunately, by Friday evening I experienced an inflammation of the teeth and as a result my face is very swollen. Today I was finally able to visit a dentist and I started to take an antibiotic. I think I will be able to resume training in 3-4 days.”

 

At the age of 24, Guardini received an opportunity to ride his first Milano-Sanremo and despite suffering badly in difficult weather conditions which eventually forced him to pull out of the race, he relished this experience.

 

“It did not go very well due to freezing cold rain, let’s just say that I would have preferred a better day in terms of weather conditions for a race which it so demanding itself. It was an important experience, however, and now I understand what does it mean to ride for 7 hours,” Guardini told Tuttobiciweb.

 

“It’s an unique race, I would hope this route to be used in the future”

 

Even though it is usually essential for Italian riders to participate at the Giro d’Italia, Guardini fully understands team’s decision to send him to the Tour of Turkey instead, building the roster for the season’s first grand tour exclusively to support their GC ambitions.

 

“Unfortunately, no” Guardini answered when asked about his participation in the Giro, “My calendar currently includes the Tour of Turkey, in which I hope to do well. I have a good chances in the stages for the sprinters, so I will give my maximum even if everything seems to turn against me lately.”

 

“Obviously, it’s a shame not to participate in the Giro, but I understand and accept the needs of the team, which targets the overall classification. To go there without any lead-out man to support me in the sprints, filling the spot for someone who would serve for reaching team’s main objective better, it makes no sense,” 24-year old Italian thoughtfully noted.

 

Guardini’s current contract with Astana expires with the end of this season, so the Italian sprinter hopes to finally overcome all the health problems and post some respectable results before deciding his future in the professional peloton.

 

“Yes, I certainly hope to be finally done with illnesses and crashes to be able to resume training with some continuity. When it [rest periods] happens so often it is difficult to maintain a right condition. I want to be ready for any race in which the team will decide to line me up and take away some personal satisfaction,” Guardini concluded.

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