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Tour of Japan cancelled for 2011

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Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) honour the victims of the Japanese disaster.

Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) honour the victims of the Japanese disaster.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fumiyuki Beppu and the Tirreno-Adriatico peloton respect a minutes silence for the victims of the Japan earthquake

Fumiyuki Beppu and the Tirreno-Adriatico peloton respect a minutes silence for the victims of the Japan earthquake
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The damage caused by natural catastrophe in Japan have forced the cancellation of the Tour of Japan. The race had been scheduled to be run May 15 – 22.

A 9.0 earthquake on March 11 and a subsequent tsunami caused substantial damage to the northeastern part of the country, with significant loss of lives. In addition, the nuclear power plant of Fukushima, amongst others, was damaged, leading a nuclear crisis of a yet unknown scale.

Moreover, it has become difficult to secure necessary staff and equipment and control road traffic for the event due to power cuts which have also disrupted public transportation, organisers said, according to the AFP news agency.

The 2010 Tour was won by Cristiano Salerno of De Rosa-Stac Plastic.

There have been numerous actions within the peloton to raise money to help earthquake survivors, with various teams and riders auctioning signed jerseys. Many races have featured Japanese riders leading a minue of silence before the start.