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Benefiting from his Worlds condition, Boonen came out on top in the crash-marred bunch sprint at the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro; Jans and Arndt were second and third respectively

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03.10.2015 @ 17:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) made good use of his post-Worlds condition when he powered to victory in the bunch sprint at the end of the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. In the crash-marred final dash to the line, he held off Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) to win his second German one-day race of the season.

 

Things didn’t work out for Tom Boonen at the World Championships but his strong attack in the finale proved that he had hit peak form for the battle for the rainbow jersey. Instead of ending his season early, he plans to make good use of his great condition in the final part of the year, with the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour being his final goal.

 

Today he proved that his is ready for the Arabian bunch sprints when he took an important win in one of the biggest German races, Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. After he won the Rund um Köln in the sprint, the win marked his second in the big European country which seems to be a happy hunting ground for the BIG Belgian.

 

Despite its flat course, attackers have often had success in the German one-day race but this year there was never any chance of a surprise. Good weather and Giant-Alpecin, Etixx-QuickStep and Bora-Argon 18 all intent on a bunch sprint finish made it impossible for anyone to create a surprise.

 

The race was dominated by a five-rider break with Florian Nowak (Stuttgart), Robert William Kessler, Mike Terpstra (Roompot), Fabian Schormair and Daniel Westmattelmann (Kuota) who spent almost the entire day ahead of the peloton. Giant-Alpecin did most of the early work to control the group.

 

With 40km to go, the gap was 2.20 and now Giant-Alpecin were getting help from Etixx-QuickStep, Lotto Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo. The added firepower paid off and the gap dropped to 1.09 with 25km to go. However, the escapees still had something left and they had pressed it out to 1.33 a little later even though Nowak was now unable to contribute.

 

The gap again started to come down and when it was just 40 seconds, four riders tried to bridge the gap. However, they never made the junction and were brought back as Bora-Argon 18 were now also contributing to the chase.

 

Nowak was finally dropped from the front group and so four riders were left when they crossed the line to start the first of three laps of the 4.8km finishing circuit. Etixx-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal led the peloton led the peloton across the line just 100m behind the escapees.

 

The junction was made just a few moments later before Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal) tried a solo move. However, he was brought back as they started the final lap.

 

Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) was briefly off the front but was back in the fold with 1.5km to go where a crash split the field. It was Lotto Soudal and Bora-Argon 18 who dominated the lead-out but in the end Boonen came out on top when he beat Roy Jans and Nikias Arndt into the minor podium positions.

 

The race was the final German event of the season. For many riders, it was the final race but Europe still offers racing in Belgium, France and Italy in the coming week.

 

A flat course

The 2015 edition of the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro was held on a 179.9km course that brought the riders from Ibbenbüren to Münster. The first part was lumpy with seven smaller climbs but the last one was located 61.8km from the finish. In the end, the riders did three laps of a flat 4.8km finishing circuit.

 

It was a great sunny day with little wind when the riders gathered for one of the biggest one-day races in Germany and they got the race off to a fast start with lots of attacks. Marco Mathis, Kevin Callebaut, Daniel Westmattelmann, Moritz Backofen, Christian Koch and Georg Loef formed the first serious move that got a 25-second advantage but at the 10km mark, it was back together.

 

Five riders get clear

Florian Nowak (Stuttgart) and Robert William Kessler (Brandenburg) were the next to get a significant advantage as they built a lead of 20 seconds. Mike Terpstra (Roompot) bridged the gap and as the peloton slowed down, the gap quickly went out to a minute.

 

Terpstra beat Nowak and Kessler in the first KOM sprint at a time when the gap was 2 minutes and as the peloton was in no hurry, Fabian Schormair and Daniel Westmattelmann (Kuota) tried to bridge across. Impressively, they made the junction before Terpstra beat Nowak and Schormair in the second KOM sprint where the peloton was 4.45 behind.

 

KOM points for Terpstra

Terpstra beat Schormair and Nowak in the third KOM sprint while Stölting and Giant-Alpecin started to chase in the peloton. They kept the gap between the 4- and 5-minute marks and it was 6 minutes as they got to the feed zone at the 55.8km mark.

 

Terpstra also beat Nowak and Schormair in the fourth KOM sprint where the gap had gone out to 5.15. It was now Etixx-QuickStep joining forces with Giant-Alpecin and they had brought the gap down to 4.30 when Terpstra beat Nowak and Schormair in the fifth KOM sprint after around 70km of racing.

 

More points for Terpstra

At the 85km mark, it was 4.15 and the peloton didn’t slow down despite a crash involving Jonas Tenbrock. Moments later Westmattelmann beat Kessler and Schormair in the first intermediate sprint.

 

Terpstra also beat Nowak and Schormair in the sixth KOM sprint where the peloton accelerated significantly, bringing the gap down to 2 minutes. However, they slowed down in the second feed zone and so it was again 3.15 when Terpstra beat Nowak and Westmattelmann in the final KOM sprint.

 

Matysiak tries to bridge the gap

Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC) tried to bridge the gap solo and got to within 1.50 before he again started to lose ground. In the peloton, it was mainly Giant-Alpecin doing the work and they kept the gap around 2.30 for a while.

 

With less than 50km to go, Matysiak was brought back as the peloton continued its steady pace. Moments later, the chase really got organized and in the end it came down to the expected bunch sprint where Boonen came out on top.

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