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Tsujiura takes fifth straight victory

Keiichi Tsujiura wins

Keiichi Tsujiura wins (Image credit: Hideaki Takagi)

By Kei Tsuji

The 12th edition of the Japanese Cyclo-cross Championships was held in Tomakomai, where the defending champion, Keiichi Tsujiura (Bridgestone-Anchor), achieved an unprecedented fifth straight victory.

Holding the championships on the Northern island of Hokkaido meant that riders had to face tough, cold conditions on a freezing course, which gradually melted and became increasingly muddy towards the end. This year, 38 riders lined up, including seven in the U23 category.

It was Keiichi Tsujiura (Bridgestone-Anchor) and Masanori Kosaka (Suwako Racing Team) who started off well. The two big favorites gaining a gap over the riders behind.

On the last lap, Tsujiura fell off his bike due to accidental contact with a rider who was being lapped. This was a great opportunity for the 43 year-old Kosaka to go on and win but the defending champion never gave up and succeeded to catch Kosaka. The race came down to a sprint between the two, and it was Tsujiura who crossed the finish line first.

The elite women's race was totally dominated by defending champion, Eiko Toyooka ( CyclingTeam). She showed overwhelming power and took her second national title comfortably.

See the full results and photos here

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