Andrea Guardini sprinted to victory in the first stage of the Eneco Tour despite crashing towards the end of the race.
Guardini grabbed the 10 bonus seconds for finishing first but was closely followed by Yohann Gene in second place and Davide Cimolai in third.
The Astana rider made his move 300 metres from the finish where he powered past his rivals after slip streaming some of the riders in front of him. Guardini was involved in a crash though in the last 35km on a day where the wind and rain caused more than one accident on the road.
The strong winds split the peloton causing all sorts of problems and with riders struggling to keep pace with the main field, there were always going to be crashes. Sacha Modolo touched wheels with another rider as he attempted to stay with the peloton causing a pile up which also involved sprinter Matt Goss.
The bad weather also meant that some riders were able to escape the peloton due to the crashes behind him.
But with 17km to go, the breakaway was caught and all the riders came back together for a sprint finish at the end. Many would have had Goss down as their favourite to win the stage and take the leaders jersey but after his earlier fall he did not contest the final sprint.
The Eneco Tour this year started in Holland and many of the riders taking part will be using the seven day stage race to prepare for the Vuelta a Espana or the World Championships.
Stage one was 181.9km from Terneuzen and back but stage two is a tiny bit shorter (177.4km) and goes from Waalwijk to Vlijmen.
The race ends on Sunday 17th leaving some riders just a week before the Vuelta a Espana starts, so this race is important for riders who aren't guaranteed a place in their teams Vuelta squad because they need to impress.
General Classification after Stage One
1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
2. Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
3. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
6. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
8. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
10. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
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