Skip to main content

Japan's EquipeASADA to keep Tour de France hopes alive

Japan's Yasuharu Nakajima wins the Kumamoto one-day race

Japan's Yasuharu Nakajima wins the Kumamoto one-day race (Image credit: Hitoshi Omae)

EquipeASADA have confirmed their intention to become the first Japanese team to race the Tour de France. The Continental squad is currently without sponsors for next year, but plans to return by 2011 and race the Tour soon after.

"If we successfully become a Pro Continental team in 2011 and have persuasive results then we can realistically aim to participate in the Tour in 2013," team press officer Kenichi Yamazaki told Cyclingnews. "Hopefully, we will gather the best Japanese riders and some experienced European riders, similar to Café de Colombia and 7-Eleven in the 1980s."

This season Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano) and Yukiya Arashiro (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) became the first Japanese cyclists to complete the Tour de France. Both are ex-ASADA riders.

But a Japanese team has never raced in the Tour de France, the sport's biggest event.

"Arashiro and Beppu's participation in the Tour de France expanded the popularity of cycling enormously in Japan , where baseball & sumo wrestling reign at the moment. This enthusiasm will help us find solid sponsors," said Yamazaki.

EquipeASADA wants to take a step up from the third division and race as a second division, or Professional Continental, team in 2011. It will use 2010 to search for sponsors and scout the Japanese races for young, talented riders.

This season the team won two stages, the points, mountains and overall classification at the Tour de Hokkaido. It also took the top three spots at the Kumamoto one-day race.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world -

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1