- Vincent Flanagan
Kosaka, Maruyama on the podium
The Third Nobeyama Cyclocross Race title was successfully defended by current Nartional Champion Yu Takenouchi (Team Eurasia). Second place went to the ageless Masanori Kosaka (Suwako Racing Team) ahead of Atushi Maruyama (Team Massa-Andex) in third
A UCI C.2 event with over 60 of Japan's elite racers as well as two invited riders from the United States lined up at the start of a 2.5 km course set around the popular Takizawa Ranch. The twisty challenging course was heavy and muddy from rain the day before. A flyover bridge and detour through the food pavilion were other features on this popular course.
The day began under clear skies with the temperature was in the single digits. A cold wind blowing off the nearby snow capped Yatsugatake mountain range did little to cool the enthusiastic crowd of spectators.
In the first lap the early leader was Kosaka Hikaru (son) with small group Takenouchi, Kosaka (Papa) and Maruyama close behind 5 seconds back. They came together as the approached the tough 150 meter long mud section situated midway through the lap . Two under 23 riders Kohei Maeda and Toki Sawada were ahead of Molly Cameron who was in 7th place. Brennan Wodtli was mid pack after starting from the back line.
Takenouchi, recently returned from Belgium after a four-week, seven race program, was in the lead by a few seconds by the end of the first lap end. He kept this small gap for the 2nd lap but slowed to let the chasing Kosaka senior and Maruyama to catch up and form a working group of three. Kosaka (son ) was alone in 4th place. Wodtli had worked his way up to 12th.
The front three stayed together for next three laps. Kosaka (son) was still alone in behind Wodtli had caught Sawada who was in 5th. Maeda was ahead of Cameron who was in 8th.
Takenouchi was watching the other two while riding in 3rd position seeing how they rode and looked for their weak points. Kosaka (son) sheared off his rear derailleur just as he was passing the pits, which were just after the tricky mud section. He was lucky to be able to run back and exchange bikes and keep his place. Wodtli and Sawada were battling each other. Sawada being swifter through the mud while the other had the poser to close back the gaps.
Towards the end of the 6th lap Takenouchi made his move putting in a strong attack,entering a shorter mud section he gapped Kosaka (papa) who could not hold his wheel. Maruyama had started to fade and was 20 seconds back. Takenouchi increased his lead over the final two laps and was clearly the strongest in his first race back in Japan. Kosaka (papa) was safe in second ahead of Maruyama. Sawada won the battle over Wodtli for 5th and 6th and Cameron came in at 8th place behind Michimasa Nakai.
UCI Women's Race
National Champion, veteran Ayako Toyooka (Panasonic Ladies) powers to victory ahead of Sakiko Miyauchi (Club Viento) and Laura Winberry ( Speedvagen Cyclocross Team)
A small roster of 11 women including top Japanese riders Ayako Toyooka and Sakiko Miyauchi lined up against Americans Tina Brubaker, Laura Winberry and Alexandra Burton, under a clear sky. A loud and enthusiastic crowd were on hand to encourage all riders.
On the paved climb just after the start Winberry and Brubaker took the early lead. Miyauchi was close behind in third. Toyooka was had mechanical problems keeping her back for a while.
In the 2nd Toyooka closed the gap to leading Americans the on the long grassy climb then powered away. Miyauchi attacked them as well, moving into second place. Burton was back in 5th place and Chiharuko Yoshida was further back in 6th.
In the last two laps Toyooka used her strength and experience increasing her lead as she powered through the heavy mud section where only the top 4 women were able to stay on their bikes the whole way through. Miyauchi was happy battling to keep the hard working Winberry from catching her.
At the finish line Toyooka was the strongest on the day with newcomer Miyauchi in second place in front of the visiting Winberry.
Next week the riders will assemble again for a second UCI C.2 race on the sandy shores of Lake Biwa, Shiga Japan. (results to come)
|1 ||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) ||1:02:54 || |
|2 ||Masanori Kosaka (Jpn) ||0:00:32 || |
|3 ||Atsushi Maruyama (Jpn) ||0:01:09 || |
|4 ||Hikaru Kosaka (Jpn) ||0:02:00 || |
|5 ||Toki Sawada (Jpn) ||0:02:39 || |
|6 ||Brennan Wodtli (USA) ||0:03:04 || |
|7 ||Michimasa Nakai (Jpn) ||0:03:46 || |
|8 ||Molly Cameron (USA) ||0:03:51 || |
|9 ||Kazuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn) ||0:03:58 || |
|10 ||Kohei Maeda (Jpn) ||0:04:10 || |
|11 ||Makoto Shimada (Jpn) ||0:04:35 || |
|12 ||Shintarou Nakama (Jpn) ||0:04:46 || |
|13 ||Yoshitaka Hama (Jpn) ||0:05:00 || |
|14 ||Shinya Ikemoto (Jpn) ||0:05:05 || |
|15 ||Masayuki Goda (Jpn) ||0:06:03 || |
|16 ||Seigo Yamamoto (Jpn) ||0:06:09 || |
|17 ||Hiroaki Kaneko (Jpn) ||0:06:29 || |
|18 ||Kouji Mukouyama (Jpn) || || |
|19 ||Takafumi Iizuka (Jpn) || || |
|20 ||Yudai Izawa (Jpn) || || |
|21 ||Kazushi Mikami (Jpn) || || |
|22 ||Masaru Nakazato (Jpn) || || |
|23 ||Kazuya Sano (Jpn) || || |
|24 ||Daisuke Yano (Jpn) || || |
|25 ||Jun Matsuo (Jpn) || || |
|26 ||Kodai Izawa (Jpn) || || |
|27 ||Yuichi Sawada (Jpn) || || |
|28 ||Tatsuki Amagoi (Jpn) || || |
|29 ||Masashi Matsui (Jpn) || || |
|30 ||Idomu Yamamoto (Jpn) || || |
|31 ||Yoshihide Kimura (Jpn) || || |
|32 ||Yoshinori Suzuki (Jpn) || || |
|33 ||Shigenori Sugahara (Jpn) || || |
|34 ||Kazuyoshi Izawa (Jpn) || || |
|35 ||Shun Matsumoto (Jpn) || || |
|36 ||Yuhichi Suzuki (Jpn) || || |
|37 ||Makoto Kawamura (Jpn) || || |
|38 ||Atsushi Kitajima (Jpn) || || |
|39 ||Yuya Murayama (Jpn) || || |
|40 ||Masato Fujikawa (Jpn) || || |
|41 ||Obuchi Koki (Jpn) || || |
|42 ||Masanori Kuniyoshi (Jpn) || || |
|43 ||Syuntarou Yamakawa (Jpn) || || |
|44 ||Takahiro Ogasawara (Jpn) || || |
|45 ||Hiroyuki Ando (Jpn) || || |
|46 ||Kiyoshi Inomata (Jpn) || || |
|47 ||Takashi Makino (Jpn) || || |
|48 ||Masashi Matsui (Jpn) || || |
|49 ||Toyoshige Ikeyama (Jpn) || || |
|50 ||Masato Samata (Jpn) || || |
|51 ||Hideki Asai (Jpn) || || |
|52 ||Jun Furusaki (Jpn) || || |
|53 ||Katsuhisa Baba (Jpn) || || |
|54 ||Makoto Yoshida (Jpn) || || |
|55 ||Susumu Kajita (Jpn) || || |
|56 ||Yasunori Kashiwazaki (Jpn) || || |
|57 ||Takuya Kitou (Jpn) || || |
|58 ||Tsuyoshi Takakura (Jpn) || || |
|59 ||Kenji Murata (Jpn) || || |
|60 ||Yusuke Yamagishi (Jpn) || || |
|61 ||Shunsuke Kato (Jpn) || || |
|62 ||Kousuke Sakai (Jpn) || || |
|63 ||Hitoaki Yoshida (Jpn) || || |