Basso outwits Martin to grab Japan Cup win
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Basso outwits Martin to grab Japan Cup win

by Shane Stokes at 11:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Success for Liquigas on its final day in the peloton

Ivan BassoFour years after he returned to the sport with the Liquigas team and took third in the Japan Cup, Ivan Basso gave that sponsor a present with victory in the same event today.

The Italian surprisingly got the better of the quick Irishman Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank) and two others in the sprint to the finish, timing things perfectly to get his bike across the line first.

The quintet, which also included Julian David Arredondo (Team Nippo) and Christian Meier (Orica GreenEdge) were 59 seconds ahead of the next riders, Miyataka Shimizu (BridgeStone Anchor) and Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge), with the gap ensuring that one of them was certain to take top honours.

The team had initially felt that Peter Sagan was the better option for victory but a fierce attack by Martin on the race’s big climb with approximately twenty kilometres to go detonated the unity of the bunch. The Irishman won two years ago and was determined to try to do so again, doubtlessly spurred on by his strong showing in the Tour of Beijing.

He took the King of the Mountains there plus fourth overall, yet had to be content with second on a stage. Today was his final chance to take his first win of the year.

Martin attacked the next time up the climb and surged ahead near the line. However Basso managed to get up to him, then pass him just before the finish.

“It’s a victory that I really wanted, and is exciting for me,” said Basso. “The whole team wanted to honour this race due to the importance it represented. This is a sort of thanks to Liquigas for the dedication and passion that it brought to cycling.”

Aside from being significant for the team, he said that the success meant a lot to him on a personal level. “Returning to Japan four years after my start with Liquigas and to win on the day they are saying farewell is something both special and unexpected. We have built a great success, capped off by myself but building on the great work of all my colleagues. We are very happy with this; the warmth of the people was amazing and today is a day of celebration for everyone.”

Majka’s third place follows on from his team-mate Jaroslaw Marycz’s victory in yesterday’s Japan Cup criterium. Directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit was pleased with today’s result, even if the victory eluded the team.

“Of course, we're here to win and especially when we're this close of claiming the win as today but we're happy that Rafa really shows his abilities and talents,” he said. “We're looking forward to be following him in the coming seasons.”

Japan Cup (1.HC): Utsunomiya:

1, Ivan Basso (Liquigas Cannondale) 151 kilometres in 4 hours 1 min 58 secs
2, Daniel Martin (Garmin Sharp)
3, Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank)
4, Julian David Arredondo (Team Nippo)
5, Christian Meier (Orica GreenEdge)
6, Miyataka Shimizu (BridgeStone Anchor) at 59
7, Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) at 59
8, Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin Sharp) at 1 mins 38
9, Yusuke Hatanaka (Shimano) at 1 mins 39
10, Nathan Haas (Garmin Sharp) at 1 mins 39
11, Masahiro Shinagawa (Aisan) at 1 mins 39
12, Taiji Nishitani (Aisan) at 1 mins 39
13, Damiano Caruso (Liquigas Cannondale) at 1 mins 39
14, Tomoyuki Iino (Utsunomiya - Blitzen) at 1 mins 39
15, Francois Parisien (SpiderTech) at 1 mins 39
16, Fumiyuki Beppu Jpn Orica GreenEdge) at 1 mins 39
17, Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank) at 1 mins 39
18, Nariyuki Masuda (Utsunomiya - Blitzen) at 1 mins 41
19, Mark O’Brien (Budget Forklifts) at 1 mins 41
20, Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Shimano) at 1 mins 41

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