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2012 Tour of Japan stage 6: Tokyo

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.

2012 Tour of Japan stage 5: Izu

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.

2012 Tour of Japan stage 4: Fujisan

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.

Inside Guide: Giant in China, 20 years on

2012 marks a major milestone for Giant; two decades have passed since the Taiwanese brand first forayed onto the mainland. Following a tour of Giant’s impressive new factory in Kunshan, Cycling iQ sat down with Giant China’s GM of domestic marketing, Kevin Zhu, to get a status update on the company’s progress in China.

2012 Tour of Japan recon: Fujisan

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

2012 Tour of Japan stage 3: Minami-Shinshu

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.

2012 Tour of Japan stage 2: Mino

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.

Inside Guide: Giant China’s new Kunshan factory

From its roots as a Taiwanese Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in 1972, Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd broke ground in China 20 years later, when it opened its first manufacturing facility in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, on October 8, 1992.

2012 Tour of Japan stage 1: Sakai ITT

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.

2012 Tour of Japan preview

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.