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Gallery: Japan Cup team presentation

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Dan Martin will be helping his teammates this time around

Dan Martin will be helping his teammates this time around
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alessandro Petacchi will lead the special criterium team

Alessandro Petacchi will lead the special criterium team
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Europcar

Team Europcar
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Yukio Arashiro was a crowd favourite

Yukio Arashiro was a crowd favourite
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Damiano Cunego will ride his last race with Lampre

Damiano Cunego will ride his last race with Lampre
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lampre-Merida are presented

Lampre-Merida are presented
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Moreno Moser heads up Cannondale's race ambitions

Moreno Moser heads up Cannondale's race ambitions
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Novo Nordisk

Team Novo Nordisk
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The crowd watches on as the teams are presented to them

The crowd watches on as the teams are presented to them
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bernhard Eisel talks to the crowd

Bernhard Eisel talks to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen and Ben Swift Team Sky's race contenders

Edvald Boasson Hagen and Ben Swift Team Sky's race contenders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fumiyuki Beppu greets his home crowd

Fumiyuki Beppu greets his home crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alessandro Petacchi talks to the crowd

Alessandro Petacchi talks to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alessandro Petacchi's legs are dwarfed by his teammate's

Alessandro Petacchi's legs are dwarfed by his teammate's
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Garmin-Sharp will be putting their hopes behind Caleb Fairly and Steel von Hoff

Garmin-Sharp will be putting their hopes behind Caleb Fairly and Steel von Hoff
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nathan Haas plays to the crowd

Nathan Haas plays to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Defending champions Tinkoff-Saxo

Defending champions Tinkoff-Saxo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Danish champion Michael Valgren Andersen

Danish champion Michael Valgren Andersen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Trek Factory Racing

Trek Factory Racing
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

An expectant crowd assembled in Utsunomiya to welcome their cycling heroes at the team presentation of the 23rd Japan Cup. Japanese WorldTour riders Yukio Arashiro (Europcar) and Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek Factory Racing) were on hand, along with a whole host of other WorldTour stars and local talent.

Unlike many of the riders present, Alessandro Petacchi wasn’t at the Tour of Beijing last week but he has made the trip over to Japan to head up the special criterium team. Petacchi is still without a team for the 2015 season. Second place finisher in Beijing, Dan Martin will be supporting his teammate Steel von Hoff in Saturday's criterium before chasing the win in the main event on Sunday.

Last year’s winner Michael Rogers will not be competing this year, nor will runner-up Jack Bauer. However third placed Damiano Cunego will close out his Lampre-Merida career at the race, before he departs for pastures new at Nippo-Vini Fantini.

The Japan Cup criterium will take place on Saturday 19 October, followed by the Japan Cup itself on Sunday.