Andrea Guardini sprinted to victory in a set-piece opening stage of the 2015 Tour of Oman.
By
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

Guardini (Astana) crossed the line first in the mass sprint to claim his first win of the season ahead of Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) and Matteo Pelucchi (IAM).

Guardini will wear the overall leader's red jersey after his victory in the 161km stage from Bayt Al Naman Castle to Al Wutayyah.

Johan van Zyl (MTN-Qhubeka), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18), Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF) and Jef van Meirhaeghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) broke from the peloton after the first four kilometres and rode out to a maximum lead of 5min 15sec.

Konrad claimed the first intermediate sprint while Van Zyl took the second after shaking off his companions in a solo exploit.

Van Meirhaeghe, Konrad and Andreetta were later caught with 68km to go while Van Zyl fell to the peloton with 35km left to race.

The peloton stayed together right to the final sprint where Guardini powered to the finish, claiming his first ever victory in Oman and opening his 2015 account for Astana.

After time bonuses were calculated, Guardini leads Boonen by four seconds with Konrad third overall at five seconds on the basis of his intermediate sprint success.

Wednesday's stage two runs from Al Hazm Castle to Al Bustan over a distance of 195km.



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(MTN-Qhubeka's Johan van Zyl was aggressive from the start - Getty)

Stage 1: 161km, Bayt Al Naman Castle - Al Wutayyah
1 Andrea Guardini (ITA) Astana 3hr 45min 38sec
2 Tom Boonen (BEL) Etixx-QuickStep
3 Matteo Pelucchi (ITA) IAM
4 Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) Giant-Alpecin
5 Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Katusha
6 Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) Cofidis
7 Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff-Saxo
8 Sam Bennett (IRL) Bora-Argon 18
9 Sacha Modolo (ITA) Lampre-Merida
10 Arnaud Demare (FRA) FDJ

General classification
1 Andrea Guardini (ITA) Astana 3hr 45min 28sec
2 Tom Boonen (BEL) Etixx-QuickStep 0:00:04
3 Patrick Konrad (AUT) Bora-Argon 18 0:00:05
4 Matteo Pelucchi (ITA) IAM 0:00:06
5 Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka 0:00:07
6 Simone Andreetta (ITA) Bardiani CSF 0:00:09
7 Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) Giant-Alpecin 0:00:10
8 Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Katusha
9 Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) Cofidis
10 Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff-Saxo