Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) won the Japan Cup after out-sprinting Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) in a spirited race in Utsunomiya.
The initial Liquigas tactic was to set up the sprint for Peter Sagan, and the squad was prominent in pegging back a determined break featuring Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) on the final two laps of the race.
With 20 kilometres to go, however, Dan Martin threw the cat among the pigeons by attacking fiercely on the main climb, with Basso, Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) and Julian David Arredondo (Team Nippo) eventually bridging across.
The quartet collaborated smoothly thereafter and on the final lap it was clear that they would fight it out for the win. Martin again forced the pace the final time up the climb, and then attacked in the finale. Basso was smartly across to his wheel, however, and just edged the Irishman out in the sprint to claim victory as Liquigas leaves the professional peloton.
“It’s a win that I really wanted and it’s quite emotional,” Basso said. “The whole team wanted to honour this race for the significance it carried, it’s a sort of thanks to Liquigas for the passion they brought to cycling.”
For Basso himself, the Japan Cup carries a certain personal resonance. In 2008, he made his comeback from suspension at the Japan Cup, his first race in the colours of Liquigas. Basso was on the sidelines for 18 months after he admitted that he had “planned to blood dope” under the supervision of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.
“Coming back to Japan four years after my start with Liquigas and winning on their farewell to cycling is something special, I can’t explain it. We’re all very happy. The warmth of the people was fantastic and today is a festive day for everyone."
|1||Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||4:01:58|
|2||Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Sharp|
|3||Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank|
|4||Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Team Nippo|
|5||Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge||0:00:46|
|6||Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor||0:00:59|
|7||Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|8||Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin - Sharp||0:01:38|
|9||Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team||0:01:39|
|10||Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin - Sharp|
|11||Masahiro Shinagawa (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team|
|12||Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team|
|13||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|14||Tomoyuki Iino (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen|
|15||Francois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech p/b C10|
|16||Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica GreenEdge|
|17||Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank|
|18||Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen||0:01:41|
|19||Mark O'Brien (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts|
|20||Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team|
|21||Masaru Fukuhara (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen|
|22||Brian Vandborg (Den) Team Spidertech p/b C10||0:01:45|
|23||Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor||0:06:03|
|24||Ryoma Nonaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team|
|25||Luis Enrique Davila (Mex) Jelly Belly Cycling||0:06:07|
|26||Alex Hagman (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling||0:06:09|
|27||Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team|
|28||Ryan Roth (Can) Team Spidertech p/b C10||0:06:11|
|29||Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank|
|30||Nic Hamlton (Can) Jelly Belly Cycling|
|31||Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team||0:06:15|
|32||Kazuo Inoue (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor||0:09:09|
|33||Ryohei Komori (Jpn) Team Nippo|
|34||Ki Seok Lee (Kor) Korea||0:10:08|
|35||Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen|
|36||Makoto Nakamura (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen|
|37||Yasuharu Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team|
|38||Takayuki Abe (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team|
|39||Michael Cupitt (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts||0:12:44|
|DNF||Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|DNF||Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|DNF||Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank|
|DNF||Kenji Itami (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor|
|DNF||Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor|
|DNF||Kenichi Suzuki (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team|
|DNF||Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Team Nippo|
|DNF||Kazushige Kuboki (Jpn) Matrix Powertag|
|DNF||Sam Witmitz (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts|
|DNF||Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Terengganu Cycling Team|
|DNF||Julian Dean (NZl) Orica GreenEdge|
|DNF||Junya Sano (Jpn) Team Nippo|
|DNF||Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank|
|DNF||Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin - Sharp|
|DNF||Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech p/b C10|
|DNF||Charles Bradley Huff (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling|
|DNF||Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Team Nippo|
|DNF||Keisuke Nakao (Jpn) Japan|
|DNF||Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Japan|
|DNF||Joon-Wo Kim (Kor) Korea|
|DNF||Juraj Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|DNF||Thomas Scully (NZl) Garmin - Sharp|
|DNF||Wataru Mutsumine (Jpn) Japan|
|DNF||Sung-Ho Lee (Kor) Korea|
|DNF||Luke Ockerby (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts|
|DNF||Luke Davison (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts|
|DNF||Sang-Hong Park (Kor) Korea|
|DNF||Sang-Hong Park (Kor) Korea|
|DNF||Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
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