National champs dominate in Japan

Keiichi Tsujiura (Bridgestone Anchor)

Keiichi Tsujiura (Bridgestone Anchor) (Image credit: Hideaki Takagi)

By Kei Tsuji

Japan's only UCI category two cyclo-cross race held on the shores of Lake Biwa. Five time Japanese champion, Keiichi Tsujiura took out the men's event while current women's national champion, Ayako Toyooka, who has been busy racing a number of world cup races this season took out the womens event.

Held on Miami beach, the 51 strong field of men set off on the grueling sandy course, with many opting to ride on the harder sand found in the water where available.

Shortly after the start, Tsujiura's attack left the rest of the field merely to watch the national champions jersey ride away from them. Behind, two riders from Suwako Racing, Atsushi Maruyama and Masanori Kosaka chased hard, but the gap grew gradually. Masahiko Mifune (Matrix Powertag) recovered from a poor start, passing all but Tsujiura top finish a strong second.

The furious pace set by Tsujiura, who is now aiming to attend some World Cup and Superprestige events, was such that only 14 riders were able to finish. could reach the finish. The champion declared a strong motivation for coming World Cup and Superprestige races.

Current women's national champion, Ayako Toyooka, fresh from racing the World cup rounds in Europe, was too strong for the women's field showing her experience by soloing to finish.

See the full results, report and photos here.

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