News shorts: Boonen back to winning ways, Kittel frustrated with another abandon

Boonen back winning ways at Munsterland Giro

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) continued his strong end to the season with a victory at the Munsterland Giro on Friday, beating Jans Roy (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) and Nikias Arndt (Team Giant - Alpecin) in the sprint finish. The day was marked by a five-man break but it came together with 12 kilometres still remaining.

A master in the Classics, Boonen made the most of the tricky finish to bring him his fifth victory of the season.

"It was a nice race, with a lot of corners and a few cobblestone sections," Boonen said after his win. "So it was a good, technical parcours. We controlled the entire race as a team, with the help of a couple other teams in the peloton. In the final Tony Martin tried to attack, in both the penultimate and last lap of the circuit. However, the peloton caught him. So we prepared for the sprint. The benefit of the circuit was that we saw the finish a few times."

“So when I entered into a right-hand corner inside the final kilometre, I anticipated and entered from the outside, so I could maintain a high level of speed as I exited. I then launched at around 300 meters to go. I went full gas with the speed I maintained through the corner, and I won. It's always a good feeling to win, and it is proof my condition is there. I now go to Abu Dhabi Tour. I hope to do well there, and try to contest a couple sprints. We'll see what can happen."

Kittel frustrated with Munsterland Giro abandon

Marcel Kittel’s disappointing season continued as he failed to finish the Munsterland Giro, a race that he has won twice in the past. It is the fourth consecutive race that Kittel has not been able to make it to the finish line, after climbing off during the GP Ouest France - Plouay, Brussels Cycling Classic and the Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde.

Kittel, who is set to ride his final race with Giant-Alpecin at the Abu Dhabi Tour before leaving the team, took to twitter to vent his frustrations, saying “Once again I didn't finish the race. Trust me I'm not happy with it either but the reason for it is simple: I restarted my build up... this year so many times and I noticed that now, at the end of the season, I simply miss the training & racing kilometers. I was never in a really stable condition. Finishing the season already earlier would have been nice but the team & I decided to race till Abu Dhabi… knowing that I'm maybe not in the best condition to do that. BUT 2016 is already in my head & I'm looking forward 2 make it a great year!”

Kittel’s year has been marred by illness and he looks set to end the season with just one victory to his name at the Tour de Pologne.

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Zabel ends season early

Rick Zabel (BMC) has been forced to call a slightly premature end to his season after colliding with the car door of a Lotto-Soudal car before the third stage of the Tour de l’Eurometrople. As a result of the incident, Zabel suffered a bruised sternum and needed seven stitches to close a cut to his chest.

"My season is over very quickly and unexpectedly. This is not how you want it to end,” Zabel told the team website. "I was maybe riding 15 or 20 kilometres an hour, just cruising to the start, when the sport director of Lotto-Soudal opened the door really fast as I was riding by. I had no time to react or space to avoid it, so I hit the frame of the door real hard with my chest and crashed."

Basso riding again

Ivan Basso continued to enjoy riding his bike three months after being diagnosed with testicular cancer during this year’s Tour de France. Basso joined 2,000 sportif cyclists in Valencia for a 100-kilometre ride to the Faro de Cullera. Prior to the ride, the cyclists all held up a pink piece of cardboard with the phrase Forza Basso on it.

Basso underwent successful treatment for his testicular cancer and was given the all clear late last month. He is due to discuss his future at the Tinkoff-Saxo team very soon, but remains undecided whether he will continue to race professional in 2016.

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