Video: Guardini wants stage win in Turkey, satisfied with form before Giro
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Video: Guardini wants stage win in Turkey, satisfied with form before Giro

by Shane Stokes at 3:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia, Video
Frustrating early stages for Italian, but more chances ahead

Andrea GuardiniA rider tipped by some to be the next major Italian sprinter, Andrea Guardini feels he is in good shape heading towards his first Giro d’Italia.

His aim is to pick up at least one stage win this week in the Presidential Tour of Turkey, having clocked up two last year, and he has pinpointed the days of opportunity for him and his team.

Guardini knows that a victory would give him a good psychological edge heading into his first Grand Tour, as well as showing his Farnese Vini Selle Italia team that it can compete against the bigger-name WorldTour squads.

This far the race hasn’t been as good as it could have been for the 22 year old. He was out of the placings in the sprint finishes, although there were reasons for that.

“The first stage I was involved in a crash in the last kilometre,” he explains in the video interview below. “On the second stage, my team worked very good but a bit [too far] before the finish, and so in the last two kilometres it was only me. I took too much wind before the sprint.” He ended up tenth.

Guardini was speaking to VeloNation prior to yesterday’s fourth stage, and correctly predicted that the tough run-in towards the line would prove too much for him to handle. He’s yet to develop the climbing abilities of sprinters such as Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Matt Goss (GreenEdge), who took first and second yesterday.

However, time is on his side and the experience and short-term physical demands of his first Grand Tour should help his ability to handle intermediate stages.

Guardini’s Farnese Vini Selle Italia team is a Pro Continental outfit, and finds itself up against no less than nine WorldTour squads in the race. On several occasions in past races Guardini has appeared isolated, his pre-sprint placing in the bunch hampered by the bigger firepower of other teams.

The feeling is that if he had a stronger and more experienced train, that he would be in a position to win more often.

Still, despite that, he has amassed a strong palmares thus far. Last year, in his first professional season, he clocked up eleven victories, including stages in this Presidential Tour of Turkey (two), the Tour de Langkawi (five), one each in the Tours of Qatar, Portugal and Slovenia, and the Giro di Padania.

This year he snatched six out of the ten stages in the Tour de Langkawi. He’s beat most of the big sprinters in the sport and during his career, and will be watched with interest in the Giro.

Ditto for Saturday and Sunday of the current race, his two preferred finishes.

Watch yesterday's video interview below for Guardini’s assessment of his form, his team and his goal for the Giro d’Italia.


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