Skip to main content

Kimonos, drums and food making - Saitama Criterium gallery

Image 1 of 47

Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan will likely be going up against each other in the Criterium

Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan will likely be going up against each other in the Criterium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 2 of 47

Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka

Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 3 of 47

Something has amused Adan Yates and Marcel Kittel

Something has amused Adan Yates and Marcel Kittel
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 4 of 47

The riders presented to the audience

The riders presented to the audience
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 5 of 47

Romain Bardet waves to the audience

Romain Bardet waves to the audience
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 6 of 47

Marcel Kittel gets up on stage

Marcel Kittel gets up on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 7 of 47

Alexis Vuillermoz and Samuel Dumoulin

Alexis Vuillermoz and Samuel Dumoulin
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 8 of 47

The riders watch a performance in the Saitama Super Arena

The riders watch a performance in the Saitama Super Arena
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 9 of 47

Julien Vermote is winning the quiff off in Saitama

Julien Vermote is winning the quiff off in Saitama
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 10 of 47

A tired looking Romain Bardet

A tired looking Romain Bardet
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 11 of 47

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale)

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 12 of 47

Peter Sagan makes some music

Peter Sagan makes some music
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 13 of 47

The Tour de France jersey winners and Marcel Kittel

The Tour de France jersey winners and Marcel Kittel
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 14 of 47

A quick selfie

A quick selfie
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 15 of 47

Julien Vermote has a go

Julien Vermote has a go
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 16 of 47

Wout Poels shows of his skills

Wout Poels shows of his skills
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 17 of 47

Chris Froome tries his hand

Chris Froome tries his hand
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 18 of 47

Yukiya Arashiro pounds some rice

Yukiya Arashiro pounds some rice
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 19 of 47

A smile from the world champion

A smile from the world champion
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 20 of 47

Focus from Chris Froome

Focus from Chris Froome
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 21 of 47

Marcel Kittel appears to be having fun

Marcel Kittel appears to be having fun
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 22 of 47

Chris Froome in traditional dress

Chris Froome in traditional dress
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 23 of 47

Tinkoff teammates Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka

Tinkoff teammates Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 24 of 47

Bernard Hinault was in Saitama

Bernard Hinault was in Saitama
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 25 of 47

Chris Froome gets dressed up

Chris Froome gets dressed up
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 26 of 47

Fumiyuki Beppu shows off his rice pounding skills

Fumiyuki Beppu shows off his rice pounding skills
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 27 of 47

The Etixx-QuickStep team

The Etixx-QuickStep team
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
Image 28 of 47

Chris Froome signs some autographs

Chris Froome signs some autographs
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
Image 29 of 47

Thumbs up from Marcel Kittel

Thumbs up from Marcel Kittel
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
Image 30 of 47

Didi Senft joined the riders in Saitama

Didi Senft joined the riders in Saitama
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
Image 31 of 47

Rafal Majka poses with a fan

Rafal Majka poses with a fan
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
Image 32 of 47

The media surround Chris Froome

The media surround Chris Froome
(Image credit: Tour de France)
Image 33 of 47

The Tour de France jersey wearers have accessories to match

The Tour de France jersey wearers have accessories to match
(Image credit: Tour de France)
Image 34 of 47

We're not sure this baby was happy to meet Didi, despite the outfit

We're not sure this baby was happy to meet Didi, despite the outfit
(Image credit: Tour de France)
Image 35 of 47

Fumiyuki Beppu with Didi Senft

Fumiyuki Beppu with Didi Senft
(Image credit: Tour de France)
Image 36 of 47

Some local performers meet Didi the Devil

Some local performers meet Didi the Devil
(Image credit: Tour de France)
Image 37 of 47

Alexis Vuillermoz shows off his best martial arts pose

Alexis Vuillermoz shows off his best martial arts pose
(Image credit: Alexis Vuillermoz)
Image 38 of 47

Marcel Kittel, Fumiyuki Beppu and Chris Froome at the Saitama Criterium

Marcel Kittel, Fumiyuki Beppu and Chris Froome at the Saitama Criterium
(Image credit: Fumiyuki Beppu)
Image 39 of 47

Zico Waeytens, Georg Preidler and Koen de Kort

Zico Waeytens, Georg Preidler and Koen de Kort
(Image credit: Koen de Kort)
Image 40 of 47

Peter Sagan is given a warm welcome

Peter Sagan is given a warm welcome
(Image credit: Twitter / Radsport)
Image 41 of 47

Wout Poels and Ian Boswell get dressed up for the ocassion

Wout Poels and Ian Boswell get dressed up for the ocassion
(Image credit: Team Sky)
Image 42 of 47

Fans show off signs for their favourite riders

Fans show off signs for their favourite riders
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 43 of 47

Didi the Devil made an appearance

Didi the Devil made an appearance
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 44 of 47

Peter Sagan is introduced to the crowd

Peter Sagan is introduced to the crowd
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 45 of 47

Chris Froome answers questions

Chris Froome answers questions
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 46 of 47

Adam Yates is making his first appearance at the Saitama Criterium

Adam Yates is making his first appearance at the Saitama Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 47 of 47

Chris Froome (Team Sky)

Chris Froome (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Tour de France)

The 2016 season is over for most of the peloton but there are a few who have headed to Japan for one last hurrah at the Saitama Criterium. All four Tour de France jersey winners, Chris Froome, Peter Sagan, Adam Yates and Rafal Majka, have made the trip to the Far East as did Tour runner-up Romain Bardet and sprinter Marcel Kittel.

The Saitama criterium has been a fixture of the calendar since 2013, bringing some of the most successful riders of that year’s Tour de France for a day of exhibition racing.

The riders and media arrived in Japan earlier this week ahead of the main event on Saturday, October 29. With a day free, the riders have been taken on a short tour of the area, taking the opportunity to wear some traditional clothing, watch a performance from some local musicians and try their hands at a few activities too.

Flick through the gallery above to see what the riders got up to.