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Japanese time trial champion Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack)
RadioShack's Japanese rider to stay for road race
Fumiyuki Beppu (Team RadioShack) is the new Japanese time trial champion. He covered the 30km course in 37:39 to claim his second national title, after 2006, when he won both the time trial and road races.
At the race held in Ogata Village (Akita Prefecture), second place went to Junya Sano (Team D'Angelo & Antenucci – Nippo), 19 seconds down. Third was Ryota Nishizono (Shimano Racing Team), who was 53 seconds back.
Beppu's most recent race was the Giro d'Italia. In 2009, he and Yukiya Arashiro became the first Japanese riders to finish the Tour de France. The 28-year-old will now remain in Japan to ride the national road race on June 26.
"For me it was good to come back to Japan after an already long cycling season in Europe. This victory is for my family who have missed me in the last months,” he said in a team press release. “We are always in contact with each other by phone and internet.”
“For me it was so hard to not be here when our country was dealing with the earthquake and tsunami."
To help his fellow Japanese who are still dealing coping with the aftermath of the March catastrophe, Beppu introduced a white wristband reading in red, “You are not alone.” many riders wore it during the Giro d'Italia.
"The main aim of the wristband is to show those back in Japan that the wearer is thinking of them; it gives moral support rather than financial support," he said.