Degenkolb wins Saitama Criterium

German beats Beppu and Froome

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) sprinted to victory at the Saitama Criterium, beating local rider Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek Factory Racing). Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) rounded off the podium after leading out the sprint in the final metres.

The 60-kilometre criterium rounded off a day’s racing that included a time trial and points race earlier in the day.

There was plenty of action throughout the criterium with an early break of four going off the front. Each of the big-name rider in the race made an attack off the front during the 19 laps before the successful move of six riders went clear.

Froome, Degenkolb, Beppu, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Yukio Arashiro (Europcar) and Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) rode off the front with just a handful of laps remaining. Arashiro was particularly active, hovering up the points available after each lap. As they neared the line to begin the penultimate lap the Japanese rider attacked, much to the delight of the crowd who let out a huge cheer as he passed through the Super Arena Saitama. Arashiro managed a lap out front before he was caught by the other riders.

The six riders came into the final kilometre together, with Froome taking up the sprint first. Degenkolb eased around him to take the victory with Beppu stuck firmly to his wheel. Rodríguez slotted home in fourth, Bardet was right behind him in fifth, while points classification winner Arashiro took sixth.

“It was a very great race, with so many spectators. They are super emotional, especially in the final the crowds were so loud and you can almost compare it to the Champs Elysees from the atmosphere and the noise on the said of the road,” said Degenkolb. “Now the season is really finished for me and now the preparation for the new season starts.”


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin1:19:30 
2Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing  
3Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
4Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha  
5Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
6Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
7Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:22 
8Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
9Yasuharu Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
10Ryutaro Nakamura (Jpn) Special Team Japan For Saitama  
11Kazushige Kuboki (Jpn) Team Ukyo0:00:24 
12Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:32 
13Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
14Takuto Kurabayashi (Jpn) Special Team Japan For Saitama  
15Tomohiro Hayakawa (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
16Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
17Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
18Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
19Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing  
20Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
21Johannes Fršhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
22Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step  
23Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky  
24Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
25Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
26Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky  
27Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
28Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Team Ukyo  
29Ryo Minato (Jpn) Team Ukyo  


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