It was his stage for the taking and Taiji Nishitani nailed it. Nippo – De Rosa’s Fortunato Baliani clinched his second Tour of Japan title, while the race’s sole ProTeam, Lampre-Merida, will leave Tokyo almost empty-handed.
Stage wins in the OceaniaTour and AsiaTour have already been tucked away in Nathan Earle’s pocket for 2013, but the Tasmanian can now add a Tour of Japan stage to his palmarès, which gets more impressive, and international in its scope, with every year.
“Improve my time trialling”. Blended inconspicuously into the profile page of Huon Genesys’ Ben Dyball, this simple statement, summarising Dyball’s overarching 2013 objective, today manifested in the 24 year old’s biggest win in his relatively short cycling career. A record fell, and the unexpected way in which the stage unfolded seemed to shock everyone, including … Continue reading
The rays of sun beaming down from the heavens still could not evaporate the mist of forthcoming devastation that enshrouded the peloton. Based on the same stage last year, some riders must have known their fate well before clipping in for the 148 kilometer contest of heart versus ability.
ProTeam Lampre-Merida meticulously closed down a dangerous two-man break in the final kilometres of today’s 160.7km second stage – the racest longest – but their final lead-out was not enough to overcome the strength of Korean sprinter Sung Baek Park, who secured enough bonus seconds to leap into the overall race lead.
Winner of the final stage of last year’s Tour of Japan, Aisan Racing Team’s Taiji Nishitani picked up where he left off, putting his long-range sprinting ability to good use with a strong ITT performance in today’s opening stage of the 2013 Tour of Japan in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.
Newly upgraded to UCI2.1 status for 2013, the 16th edition of the Tour of Japan looks certain to be a cracking race. From 19-26 May, 16 teams, including Italian ProTeam Lampre-Merida, will tackle a challenging 582-kilometre parcours which is not to be underestimated.
A reported 120,000 people were clumped and dotted along the seven kilometer circuit hosting today’s final Tour of Japan stage in Hibiya district, Tokyo. A bunch sprint, won by Aisan Racing Team’s Taiji Nishitani, was the perfect finalé for the gathered crowd, following a week of unpredictable and thrilling racing.
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.