By Miwako Sasaki
Italian Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital) travelled to Japan to visit the nation's biggest bicycle trade show ''Cycle Mode International 2007'', which was held from November 16 - 18 in Makuhari, near Tokyo. The show had its own motto: bicycle entertainment which can be felt with the body. So visitors got to ride many of the new bikes on display. Over 350 brands of bicycle appeared, and some major Japanese brands, like Shimano, invited their own riders for the show.
The 26 year-old Napolitano, who won a stage of the most recent Giro, was invited by Hattori Sports, the Japanese agency of Italian bicycle manufacturer Wilier, which is used by Team Lampre. The Sicilian sprinter arrived in Japan on Friday. ''It's nice to visit Japan! But I didn't get a good look at the city yet; [I] only have been near the hotel last night. Maybe I'll get out today," he said at the show Saturday. Although news of his visit was only announced days before the show, many cycling fans came out to see him. Napolitano enjoyed signing posters for fans.
''[The] Giro will start from Sicilia, my hometown next year. [It'll spend] four days [there] including a team time trial. I hope that I can win a stage like this year!'' Napolitano declared his ambition for the next year at the show. ''I hope that I can also start Tour [de France].''