Andrea Guardini equals Cavendish’s debut season record of eleven wins
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Andrea Guardini equals Cavendish’s debut season record of eleven wins

by Shane Stokes at 7:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian sprinter looks set for big future

Andrea GuardiniFour years after Mark Cavendish clocked up a record eleven wins in his debut pro season, that total has been equalled by the 22 year old Italian Andrea Guardini.

The Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli rider reached the number on Saturday when he beat double USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage winner Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Danilo Napolitano (Acqua & Sapone) on stage five of the Giro di Padania.

Like Cavendish, he was 21 at the start of his debut season. His speed plus the number of victories have led to the belief that he could be the next great Italian sprinter, following in the wheeltracks of Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Petacchi.

While it’s probably a little too soon to make comparisons, his palmares from this year suggests a big future is in store.

Guardini clocked up his first five wins in the Tour de Langkawi in January and early February. His next victory was on February 11th when he picked up the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar, beating Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), multiple track sprint world champion Theo Bos (Rabobank) plus the rest of the peloton into Doha.

In April he won stages one and seven in the Presidential Tour of Turkey, bringing his tally to eight, and clocked up another in the Tour of Slovenia in June.

Wins ten and eleven came on stages five of August’s Volta a Portugal and Saturday’s Giro di Padania.

This year he has beaten most of the top sprinters in the sport, with Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo), André Greipel (Omega Pharma – Lotto) and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) all seeing first hand how fast he can be.

Reassuringly, his team is protecting him from doing too much, too soon. He made an agreement with the Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli directeurs that he would go to the Giro d’Italia if he won two stages in the Presidential Tour of Turkey. He did just that, but they all agreed that it might be best to give the race a miss this year.

“I didn’t think that I’d be beating those big names after four months as a professional rider,” he said at the time, referring to Farrar, Greipel, Petacchi and Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano), all of whom competed in Turkey.

“But I know that I still have to improve a lot, so I’ve decided with my directeur sportif not to take part in the Giro d’Italia next week.”

That mature approach should guarantee that he continues to progress over the next couple of years.

Interestingly, another rider has succeeded in beating the totals set by both Cavendish and Guardini in their first seasons. Marcel Kittel (Skil Shimano) has clocked up fourteen victories, including a stage in the Vuelta a España, and he too is a big name for the future.

He’s a year older than both of the other riders were, though, and so in comparing like with like, the Cavendish-Guardini analysis is a valid one.

It is as yet too soon to say if the latter career will follow the same trajectory as the Manx rider. The latter’s 2007 total included three stage wins in ProTour events, something Guardini is yet to do. On the other hand, Cavendish had one of the best sprint trains in cycling backing him up and, as a top-level squad, his team got far more opportunities to ride ProTour races.

Suffice to say, the two have both made big impressions early on. The next season or two will give clearer pointer as to how good Guardini can be, but it’s likely Cavendish has him marked on his card as one to watch in the years ahead.

Farrar, Petacchi and Greipel certainly have.

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Andrea Guardini’s 2011 victories (eleven thus far):

23/01/2011: Tour de Langkawi, Stage 1 : Dataran Lang - Kuah, 2.HC
24/01/2011: Tour de Langkawi, Stage 2 : Kangar - Butterworth, 2.HC
28/01/2011: Tour de Langkawi, Stage 6 : Rawang - Putrajaya, 2.HC
29/01/2011: Tour de Langkawi, Stage 7 : Banting - Tampin, 2.HC
01/02/2011: Tour de Langkawi, Stage 10 : Shah Alam - Kuala Lumpur, 2.HC
11/02/2011: Tour of Qatar, Stage 5 : Sealine Beach Resort - Doha, 2.1
24/04/2011: Presidential Tour of Turkey, Stage 1 : Istanbul - Istanbul, 2.HC
30/04/2011: Presidential Tour of Turkey, Stage 7 : Tekirova - Manavgat, 2.HC
19/06/2011: Tour de Slovénie / Dirka po Sloveniji, Stage 3 : Ptuj - Novo Mesto, 2.1
05/08/2011 : Volta a Portugal, Stage 5 : Oliveira do Hospital – Viseu, 2.1
10/09/2011: Giro di Padania, Stage 5: Rovereto - Montecchio Maggiore, 2.1

Mark Cavendish’s 2007 wins (eleven):

18/04/2007 : Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen , 1.HC
10/05/2007 : 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Stage 3: Saint-Amand les Eaux - Caudry , 2.HC
13/05/2007 : 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Stage 6: Steenvoorde - Dunkerque , 2.HC
22/05/2007: Volta a Catalunya, Stage 2: Salou - Perafort , 2.PT
26/05/2007: Volta a Catalunya, Stage 6: Llivia - Lloret de Mar , 2.PT
23/06/2007: Ster Elektrotoer, Stage 4: Sittard-Geleen - Eindhoven , 2.1
05/08/2007: Post Danmark Rundt / Tour of Denmark, Stage 6: Praesto - Frederiksberg , 2.HC
24/08/2007: Eneco Tour of Benelux, Stage 2: Antwerpen - Knokke-Heist , 2.PT
09/09/2007: Tour of Britain, Prologue: London I.T.T. , 2.1
10/09/2007: Tour of Britain, Stage 1: Reading - Southampton , 2.1
6/10/2007: Circuit Franco-Belge, Stage 3 : Bray-Dunes – Poperinge, 2.1

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