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Arashiro holds off Bernal and Roglic to win Saitama Criterium

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2019 Saitama Tour de France criterium

Chris Froome returned to racing at the Saitama Criterium team time trial
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2019 Saitama Tour de France criterium

The riders line-up for the start of the 2019 Saitama Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France criterium

Yukiya Arashiro (Bahrain-Merida) wins the 2019 Saitama Tour de France criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Mitchelton-Scott at speed during the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium TTT
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Matteo Trentin wins a sprint at the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Chris Froome was back in action at the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium TTT
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Egan Bernal waves after riding the Saitama Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Manuele Boaro (Astana)
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Michal Kwiatkowski leads the peloton at the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Primoz roglic wore his red Vuelta a Espana winner's jersey at the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Egan Bernal in action during the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) and Yukiya Arashiro (Bahrain-Merida) on the podium of the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium
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2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium

The podium of the 2019 Saitama Tour de France Criterium (l-r): Egan Bernal, Yukiya Arashiro and Primoz Roglic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Local hero Yukiya Arashiro (Bahrain-Merida) pulled off an upset at the Saitama Criterium, holding off Tour de France champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) and Vuelta a España champion Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) to take a solo victory.

Arashiro has been a mainstay of the end-of-season exhibition event in Japan in recent years, but has largely found himself written out of the script at the expense of the bigger names. 

Chris Froome (Team Ineos) did not ride the criterium race but returned to competition four months after his terrible crash by riding the three-rider 3.1km team time trial with Bernal and Michal Kwiatkowski.

The Team Ineos trio finishing 12th, the last of Tour de France teams in the classification. The four Japanese teams were faster than the big-name teams; the AG2R trio finished fifth with an average speed of 46.9 kmph, three seconds ahead of Astana and seven seconds ahead of the Jumbo-Visma squad.

This year, 35-year-old Arashiro made the decisive selection with 16km and just over four laps of the 3.5km circuit remaining, and went solo with three kilometres to go. 

Initially, he was in a move with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Ineos), and Kohei Uchima (Team Ukyo). 

Seven kilometres later, Bernal and Roglic bridged across, along with Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott).

Total Direct Energie launched a futile chase, with full commitment shown by Anthony Turgis, who emptied his bidon across the road in a desperate attempt to lighten the load. 

With five kilometres to go, Arashiro went clear with Fuglsang, while Bernal and Roglic set about chasing them down. Fuglsang fell away with three kilometres to go, leaving Arashiro out front against the Grand Tour winners. 

He maintained his slim advantage all the way to the line, slowing to celebrate to huge cheers from the local crowds. 

Bardet, wearing the polka-dot jersey he won at the Tour de France, won the mountains classification thanks to his presence in the early breaks, while Trentin similarly claimed the green points jersey. 

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida 1:22:16
2Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos
3Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma
4Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:05
5Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Team Ukyo 0:00:06
6Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:09
9Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:11
10Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Ineos 0:00:14
11Keitaro Sawada (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 0:00:21
12Hayato Okamoto (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
13Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
14Rei Onodera (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen
15Benjami Prades (Spa) Team Ukyo
16Tadaaki Nakai (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
17Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Team Ukyo
18Kakeru Omae (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
19Kota Sumiyoshi (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:00:23
20Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
21Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
22Tomohiro Hayakawa (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
23Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:30
24Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
25Rein Taaramae (Est) Total Direct Energie
26Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:00:33
27Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie
28Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
29Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
30Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
31Tom Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
32Airán Fernandez Casasola (Spa) Matrix Powertag
33Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team
34Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen
35Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos 0:00:39
36Eiya Hashimoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 0:00:42
37Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team 0:00:44
38Jérôme Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:00:45
39Saya Kuroeda (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team 0:00:48
40Manabu Ishibashi (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 0:00:53
41Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 0:01:36
42Kosuke Takeyama (Jpn) Team Ukyo 0:02:06
43Daiki Yasuhara (Jpn) Matrix Powertag 0:02:08
44Junya Sano (Jpn) Matrix Powertag
DNFKohei Maeda (Jpn) Japan
DNFTatsuyoshi Nakamura (Jpn) Japan
DNFShingo Shiraishi (Jpn) Japan
DNFKeita Watanabe (Jpn) Japan
DNFTakaaki Hori (Jpn) Japan
DNFShogo Ichimaru (Jpn) Japan

Sprint 2nd laps - km 7
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 5
2Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 4
3Rei Onodera (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 3
4Eiya Hashimoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 2
5Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1

Sprint 6th laps - km 21
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 5
2Eiya Hashimoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 4
3Daiki Yasuhara (Jpn) Matrix Powertag 3
4Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 2
5Rei Onodera (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 1

Sprint 10th laps - km 35
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 5
2Eiya Hashimoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 4
3Daiki Yasuhara (Jpn) Matrix Powertag 3
4Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 2
5Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1

Sprint 14th laps - km 49
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Ineos 5
2Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Team Ukyo 4
3Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 3
4Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott 2
5Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 1

Climb 4th laps - km 11.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3
2Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Team Ukyo 2
3Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 1

Climb 8th laps - km 25.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3
2Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Team Ukyo 2
3Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 1

Climb 12th laps - km 39.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3
2Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Team Ukyo 2
3Rei Onodera (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 1

Climb 16th laps - km 53.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3
2Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Team Ukyo 2
3Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 1

Sprint classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 15
2Eiya Hashimoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Cycling 10
3Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 9
4Daiki Yasuhara (Jpn) Matrix Powertag 6
5Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Ineos 5
6Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Team Ukyo 4
7Rei Onodera (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 4
8Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 3
9Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott 2
10Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2

Mountian classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 12
2Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Team Ukyo 6
3Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Team Ukyo 2
4Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 2
5Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 1
6Rei Onodera (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 1

Team classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mitchelton - Scott 10
2Team Ineos 12
3Ag2r la Mondiale 16
4Team Ukyo 20
5Astana pro Team 28
6Aisan Racing Team 30
7Team Jumbo - Visma 31
8Total Direct Energie 46
9Team Bridgestone Cycling 47
10Utsunomiya Blitzen 48
11Shimano Racing Team 53
12Matrix Powertag 75

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