Sure, Friday’s stage up Fujisan was steep, but today’s 146.4 kilometer course was thirteen times longer with three times more elevation gain. Tour of Japan’s fifth stage took place in ”a bicycle theme park sequestered in 1.68 million square meters of natural surroundings”, otherwise known as Izu’s Japan Cycle Sports Center.
37-year old Fortunato Baliani invested forty minutes and twenty three seconds of his life and got 18 seconds back. Though other riders got better relative returns in today’s 11.4 kilometer mass-start hill climb up Fujisan, the wily Italian moved closer to the biggest prize.
Whether it’s circuit races in industrial zones, or sterile city-to-city stages, some of the racing in this season’s AsiaTour has lacked a certain optical energy. This has been most evident when a parcours is the product of staid political influence. So it’s great when a stage race breaks from the mold with a little bit of … Continue reading
Can a 150 meter climb be a decisive element of a 148 kilometer stage? Surely not! What if those 148 kilometers were the aggregate of a 12.2km circuit completed 12 times, with that same climb featuring on every lap? That might hurt.
Former Giro d’Italia stage runner-up Maximiliano Richeze presented Team Nippo its first Tour of Japan stage win from a clean bunch sprint in Mino city (Gifu Prefecture) today, following the calculated capture of a plucky local duo who gave their utmost to run away with the spoils.
2012 Tour Down Under stage winner Will Clarke has given his Champion System Pro Cycling team a much-needed victory in its home region, winning today’s Tour of Japan prologue in Sakai. Better yet, teammate Cameron Wurf placed second, cementing the Chinese team’s favourite status on merit of its second-division cachet.
Following visits to Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Korea and Iran, the 2012 UCI AsiaTour finally lands in Japan; one of Asia’s true cycling culture centers. Having missed 2011 due to Japan’s natural disasters, Tour of Japan is back for its 15th edition.
A splendidly frivolous week of riding in New Zealand earlier this month means this week’s edition of Twintel covers the last fortnight of Cycling iQ Twitter highlights. In this installment: AsiaTour contrasts, Chinese bicycle market data, Giant Bicycles hits revenue wall in NZ, composites supplier Toray goes back to Uni and a cool new gig … Continue reading
As professional road cycling continues to spread its global wings, it has been fascinating to witness the number of Asian, Australian and Kiwi cyclists breaking into the top echelon of professional road cycling; sometimes via quite long and convoluted pathways. Today, Cycling iQ looks at where “home” is for Asia’s top riders.
Within Yukiya Arashiro’s modest palmarès is the great achievement of becoming the first Japanese cyclist, alongside compatriot Fumiyuku Beppu in 2009, to finish the Tour de France. It’s possible the completion of that final circuit over the iconic Champs-Élysées was a career-defining moment when both men felt most validated amongst their peers.