Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini) became the first rider to win both the criterium and the road race at the Japan Cup, sprinting to victory in the main event on Sunday after announcing himself as a favourite on the Saturday.
The Italian skipped away from the field with a long-range sprint in the criterium, and he once again showcased his finishing speed in the wet conditions in Utsunomiya to win the 1.HC race by a convincing margin.
Benjamin Prades (Team UKYO) finished second, while Takeaki Amezawa (Utsunomiya Blitzen) rounded out the podium.
The victory is the sixth of the season for Canola, who has contributed half of his team's win count for the 2017 season. This one, however, was the most important of the lot, not least because the team is an Italian-Japanese blend with a local sponsor in Nippo.
“I’m so happy for this victory, which has such a big value for the team and for me," said Canola.
"Our team is Italian-Japanese and this is the best gift we can do to our sponsor and to our fans for the trust they give us everyday. I want to dedicate this victory to all our sponsors, today here also from Italy, and to my mother that was sick and I know that for sure I give her a big satisfaction."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini|
|2||Benjamin Prades (Por) Team UKYO|
|3||Takeaki Amezawa (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen|
|4||Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|5||Thomas Lebas (Fra) Kinan Cycling Team|
|6||Japser Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|7||Benjamin Hill (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto|
|8||Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|9||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|10||Yusuke Hatanaka (Jap) Team UKYO|