Takashi Miyazawa has agreed to join Saxo Bank-Sungard for 2012 following a solid campaign in the colours of Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli. The Japanese rider has penned a one-year deal with Bjarne Riis’ team.
National champion in 2010, Miyazawa memorably showcased his jersey as part of the early break at Milan-San Remo this year, little more than a week after Japan was struck by an earthquake and tsunami.
After a strong end of season that him finish fifth at Paris-Brussels and win the Izegem Koerse, the 33-year-old Miyazawa is looking forward to making the step up to WorldTour level.
“This is my first go at a WorldTour team, but I'm not a rookie after years of racing in Europe,” he said. “Of course my main goal for next season is to keep improving and do my very best to contribute to the team, but if I get the chance to win a race, I'll certainly go for it. I also believe I can learn a lot from working with Bjarne Riis and the sport directors.”
It remains to be seen if Riis will respond to Alberto Contador’s request to add another climber to the Saxo Bank roster, but for now he is pleased to bring the punchy Miyazawa into the set-up. “He is an aggressive rider and has solid abilities as a puncheur, so I'm happy to welcome him onboard,” Riis said.
Miyazawa lines up in Sunday's Japan Cup in the colours of the Japanese national team.