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“He (Sagan) came to the front way too early. And I only have two guys here for the sprint. I was hoping that somebody would come in between us, but obviously everybody just let us do our thing and then Guardini accelerated and at that...

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ABU DHABI TOUR

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08.10.2015 @ 20:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen finished 2nd in the Abu Dhabi Tour opening stage on Thursday, which was shortened to roughly 160km as the local circuit was cut from the stage.

 

Andrea Guardini (Astana) won the sprint, and Boonen crossed ahead of Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo). The peloton made a late catch of solo attacker Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team - Al Ahli Club), who maintained a two minute advantage over the field inside 15km to go. The peloton drastically upped the tempo, bringing the race back together in time for the Madinat Zayed arrival.

 

Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 130km Abu Dhabi Tour Stage two on Friday.

 

“He (Sagan) came to the front way too early. And I only have two guys here for the sprint,” Boonen lamented. “I was hoping that somebody would come in between us, but obviously everybody just let us do our thing and then Guardini accelerated and at that point I was cooked.”

 

“It was impossible, it went too far. At a certain point it was 54 degrees,” he told Belgian journalists when asked about the heat. “It was just impossible to race. On the first small climbs my heart rate was 170-180, so was everybody else's, without really pushing. You can ride in these conditions but you can't race. The guys in the front just fell back one by one.”

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