The unique Nobeyama Farmyard Tourist Ranch, at the base of the lofty Yatsugatake mountain range, played host the second Nobeyama Cyclocross Race.
The organiser, local Rapha Agent Daisuke Yano and staff presented a challenging technical course with varying surfaces of tarmac, grass, gravel and sand, in the ATV course and mud, through a ploughed cabbage field as well as Japan's first ever flyover with steps and a ramp, as well as a detour through the covered food gallery.
A full field of top Japanese cyclocross, road and mountain bike racers took part in the main event, along with a few riders who crossed the pond from the United States. It followed last week's UCI-C2 race at Yasu Town, Shiga. The Nobeyama event showed who is on form leading up to the National Championships on December 11th .
In the men's race the top three clearly showed their dominance. Yu Takenouchi (Team Eurasia Fondriest) powered to win ahead of National Champion Keiichi Tsujiura (Bridgestone Anchor) and MTB National Champion Kohei Yamamoto (Bridgestone Anchor).
The first lap closed with Yamamoto at the front ahead of Takenouchi and Tsujiura, while 20 seconds back was another group including Molly Cameron (Meta-Filter Portland Bicycle Studio) and Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini Neri Sottoli), recently signed with Saxobank for 2012).
Tsujiura and Takenouchi were able to shake Yamamoto, who is still unaccustomed to the specific skills of cyclocross racing. The following laps these two pleased the huge crowd with their seesawing battle, both swapping the lead in various places around the course.
Tsujiura was stronger in the twisty sections and mud patch while Takenouchi used his strength, developed from two seasons of road and cross racing in Belgium, to power away on the long paved and gravel climb. In the final lap, Takenouchi made an extended attack on the climb to establish the winning gap over Tsujiura.
In the women's race National Champion Ayako Toyooka (Panasonic Ladies) reasserts her dominance with her victory over Chika Fukumoto (Ready Go Japan) and Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Bicycles / Speedvagen Racing).
There was a small field of 12 women including three from the Portland, Oregon. The favourite Ayako Tooyoka (Panasonic Ladies) was keen to erase the memory of losing the Yasu UCI-C2 round. The visiting Portland crew were aiming to finish with one of them on the podium.
Toyooka soon took the lead and was clear ahead of the others. A battle was happening behind for the other two places. Brubaker was leading the chasers for the next two laps until she was passed on the long climb by the Yasu winner Sakiko Miyauchi (Viento) and the petite Chika Fukumoto (Ready Go Japan).
Brubaker was able to stay close to Miyauchi and retake third position after Miyauchi bobbled her approach into the covered food gallery section of the course. Toyooka easily kept the lead over the chasing group lead by Fukumoto, Brubaker and Miyauchi. On the podium, Toyooka praised the course design for its European feel and layout and was looking forward to defending her national title in upcoming championships.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)||0:59:01|
|2||Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)||0:00:19|
|3||Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)||0:00:31|
|4||Atsushi Maruyama (Jpn)||0:01:28|
|5||Masanori Kosaka (Jpn)||0:01:46|
|6||Molly Cameron (USA)||0:01:55|
|7||Kazuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn)||0:02:11|
|8||Hikaru Kosaka (Jpn)||0:02:33|
|9||Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn)||0:02:43|
|10||Yoshimitsu Tsuji (Jpn)||0:02:55|
|11||Shinya Ikemoto (Jpn)||0:03:02|
|12||Shintarou Nakama (Jpn)||0:03:53|
|13||Makoto Shimada (Jpn)||0:04:21|
|14||Seigo Yamamoto (Jpn)||0:04:33|
|15||Kazushi Mikami (Jpn)||0:04:49|
|16||Seiya Hirano (Jpn)||0:04:55|
|17||Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn)||0:05:03|
|18||Yudai Izawa (Jpn)||0:05:07|
|19||Takafumi Iizuka (Jpn)||0:05:10|
|20||Harunobu Adachi (Jpn)||0:05:15|
|21||Masayuki Goda (Jpn)||0:05:29|
|22||Yoshitaka Hama (Jpn)||0:05:40|
|23||Kazuaki Shirota (Jpn)||0:06:28|
|24||Yoshinori Suzuki (Jpn)||0:06:30|
|25||Yuhichi Suzuki (Jpn)||0:06:52|
|26||Kouji Mukouyama (Jpn)||0:06:58|
|27||Hiroaki Kaneko (Jpn)||0:06:59|
|28||Masashi Matsui (Jpn)|
|29||Yuichi Sawada (Jpn)|
|30||Kazuya Sano (Jpn)|
|31||Daisuke Yano (Jpn)|
|32||Shigenori Sugahara (Jpn)|
|33||Keisuke Kimura (Jpn)|
|34||Tooru Fukuda (Jpn)|
|35||Yasunori Kashiwazaki (Jpn)|
|36||Masanori Kuniyoshi (Jpn)|
|37||Masato Fujikawa (Jpn)|
|38||Kodai Izawa (Jpn)|
|39||Yasumasa Sawada (Jpn)|
|40||Akira Nakatsu (Jpn)|
|41||Kenichi Kikuchi (Jpn)|
|42||Syuntarou Yamakawa (Jpn)|
|43||Makoto Kawamura (Jpn)|
|44||Kenichi Il (Jpn)|
|45||Tsuyoshi Takakura (Jpn)|
|46||Koudai Takeda (Jpn)|
|47||Takuya Kitou (Jpn)|
|48||Ryutaro Nakamura (Jpn)|
|49||Motoji Kinumoto (Jpn)|
|50||Hirohisa Yamaguchi (Jpn)|
|51||Manabu Nakahara (Jpn)|
|52||Toshinori Muraoka (Jpn)|
|53||Takatoshi Shinohara (Jpn)|
|54||Yuji Nishigaichi (Jpn)|
|55||Kousuke Sakai (Jpn)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)||0:40:56|
|2||Chika Fukumoto (Jpn)||0:00:46|
|3||Tina Brubaker (USA)||0:01:34|
|4||Sakiko Miyauchi (Jpn)||0:01:59|
|5||Ikumi Tajika (Jpn)||0:02:18|
|6||Alexandra Burton (USA)||0:02:29|
|7||Junko Ueda (Jpn)||0:04:54|
|8||Nozomi Nakamichi (Jpn)||0:06:15|
|9||Heidi Swift (USA)||0:07:28|
|10||Michiho Watanuki (Jpn)|
|11||Yuka Mitsui (Jpn)|