By Miwako Sasaki
15th edition of the Japan Cup will be held today, Sunday, in Utsonomiya, Japan. 13 teams, of 65 riders will start the race; one team short after the Thailand National Team cancelled. The race will use the Utsonomiya forest park circuit (where the 1990 Worlds were contested); 10 loops of 14.1 km and then a final of 10.3 km. The circuit is punctuated with hills and will be tough.
Dominated by Italians, winning nine out of 14 editions, the Japan Cup often is called "Italian Cup".
2005 winner Damiano Cunego will not race but the following teams, with solid lineups, wills start: Lampre-Fondital, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Bouygues Telecom, Discovery Channel, Skil-Shimano, Hirose Miyata-Subaru, Aisan Racing Team, Team Vang Cycling, Team Matrix-Powertag, China National Team, Thailand National Team, Hong Kong China National Team, Chinese Taipei National Team, and the Japanese National Team.