Ninety riders from six foreign teams and nine domestic teams rode the 2.5 km ITT first stage with Roland Muller (Acom-Ravanello) of Switzerland, riding for a Japanese team, winning in 3:01:770.
The second finisher was Nathan O'Neill (Australia) at about four seconds and the fifth placed Masahiro Mizutani (Bridgestone), was the only Japanese to break 3:10.
1. Roland Muller (Acom-Ravanello, Jap) 3:01:77 2. Nathan O'Neill (Australia) 3:05:94 3. David Clinger (USA) 3:07:27 4. Kirk O'Beeealaland (USA) 3:09:16 5. Masahiro Mizutani (Bridgestone, Jap) 3:09:86 6. Naokiyo Hashisako (Chebro-Art Nature, Jap) 3:10:46
1. USA 9:26 2. Acom-Ravanello (Jap) 9:27 3. France 9:33
The Osaka stage was held as eleven laps of a 12.8km cicrcuit giving a total of 140.8km.
After five laps, Kazuyuki Manabe (67 Miyata,JPN), who is a member of the Japanese road racing team at the Atlanta Olympics, Kazuo Ooishi (44 MBK-YAMAHA-AZUMINO Pi,JPN), 35 years old veteran, and Dubal of France (20 France) broke out of the group and led the race.
With two laps to the finish, two riders, Ooishi and Uvral of France attacked and ried to build a gap on the main bunch. However, this was in vain and the stage came down to a mass sprint.
Emanuelle of Italia (29 Italia) won the sprint with an elapsed time of 2:59:25. As for the Japanese riders, third placed Makoto Iijima (38 ACOM-RAVANELLO,JPN) was the best.
The 1996 Tour of Japan had its 2nd stage at Senboku criterium course in Sakai city Osaka prefecture 19th. The race was held over 11 laps of a 12.8km circuit giving total of 140.8km. About eighty riders rushed into thefinish and the race was decided by sprint.
Negrini Emanuelle of Italia won the race with elapsed time of 2h59:25. As for Japanese riders, 3rd placed Makoto Iijima (ACOM-RAVANELLO,JPN) was the best. Roland Muller (39 ACOM-RAVANELLO JPN) with 40th at this race kept the top in individual overall classification. ACOM-RAVANELLO came up to the top in team overall classification.
1 Negrini Emanuele (29 ITA) 2h59:25 2 Robert De Poel (HLD)(45 MBK-YAMAHA-AZUMINO Pi JPN) 3 Makoto Iijima (38 ACOM-RAVANELLO JPN) 4 Shinri Suzuki (64 BRIDGESTONE JPN) 5 Daisuke Imanaka (POLTI,ITA) (86 Japan Professional Cyclist Association JPN) 6 Jean Phillipe Duracka (24 FRA) all the same time
1 Roland Muller (CHE) (39 ACOM-RAVANELLO JPN) 3h02:26 2 Nathan O'Neill (5 Australia) 3h02:30 3 Robert De Poel (HLD)(45 MBK-YAMAHA-AZUMINO Pi JPN) 3h02:30 4 David Clinger (35 USA) 3h02:32 5 Kirk O'Beeealalande (33 USA 3h02:32 6 Negrini Emanuele (29 ITA) 3h02:32 7 Masahiro Mizutani (66 BIRIDGESTONE JPN) 3h02:34
1. ACOM-RAVANELLO (JPN amateur) 9h07:38 2. USA 9h07:39 3. Australia 9h07:43
Iijima thinks "just behind the top, about fifth place is the best". About two hundred meters from the finish he thought he was placed in the right position.But he did not try to sprint. "Someone has started. Even if I cannot win, I had to start before."
He was the second at '94 All Japan Cahmpionship Individual Road. Up to last year he raced in the World Championships for two years consectively and became the top rider in this country. He is now twenty five years old and says "now I am still brushing up my ability."
He has been racing in Italy since February and has raced twenty races, however he has not had a lot of results to match his efforts. "The difference (between me and the European riders) is the concentration. The overseas riders are able to race at the near level of their limits wishing to "win absolutely"". Even though he is the best in the Japan, he still has regrets because his goals are now to be on the World stage.
The Tour of Japan ran its 3rd stage over the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka city Mie prefecture on May 20. The race was held over 24 laps of a 5.864 km circuit giving a total of 140.73 km.
Ollivier Ouvrard of France, who won the final sprint with a elapsed time of 3h08:17. As for the Japanese riders, sixth ranked Makoto Iijima (38 ACOM-RAVANELLO,JPN) was the best.
Negrini Emanuele (29 Italia), who was second at this race, came up from sixth to the top in individual overall. France team became top with total time of 18h32:21 in team overall.
1. Ollivier Ouvrard (23 FRA) 3h08:17 2. Negrini Emanuele (29 ITA) 3. Jean Phillipe Duracka (24 FRA) 4. Robert De Poel (HLD)(45 MBK-YAMAHA-AZUMINO Pi JPN) 5. Giorgio Olgiti (ITA) (60 Nippon Hodoh JPN) 6. Makoto Iijima (38 ACOM-RAVANELLO JPN) all the s.t.
1. Negrini Emanuele (29 ITA) 6h10:43 2. Roland Muller (CHE) (39 ACOM-RAVANELLO JPN) 6h10:43 3. Ollivier Ouvrard (23 FRA) 6h10:44 4. Nathan O'Neill (5 Australia) 6h10:47 5. Robert De Poel (HLD)(45 MBK-YAMAHA-AZUMINO Pi JPN) 6h10:47 6. Kirk O'Beeealalande (33 USA) 6h10:49
1. France 18h32:21 2. ACOM-RAVANELLO (JPN amateur) 18h32:29 3. USA 18h32:30
At final lap, some riders attacked but were caught just before the finish and Ouvrard won.
"My teammate was always racing at the top and I felt easy in the group." he said in cool attitude. He gave the first victory to France team, which wants to threaten Italia team as a favorite for this races. He won the 1994 Japan Cup and rides very well in Japan.
"I am a Japanese in spirit." he said.
With 7 laps to go, seven riders broke clear and David Lefevre of France dashed at the last lap to win the race with elapsed time of 3h08:35. The second was also a French rider, Jean Phillipe Duracka. The best of Japanese rider is twelfth placed Daisuke Imanaka (Japan Professional Cyclist Selection). As for individual classification, Duracka came up from the eighth to the top.
The French team kept its top place of team classification with total time of 27h57:53.
1 David Lefevre (21 FRA) 3h08:35 2 Jean Phillipe Duracka (24 FRA) 3h08:38 3 Rezzani Michele (30 ITA) 3h08:38 4 Georgio Olgiti (ITA) (60 Nippon Hodoh) 3h08:38 5 Anthony Langella (22 FRA) 3h08:38 6 Nathan O'Neill (5 AUS) 3h08:38
1 Jean Phillipe Duracka (24 FRA) 9h19:19 2 Nathan O'Neill (5 AUS) 9h19:25 3 David Lefevre (21 FRA) 9h19:25 4 Anthony Langella (22 FRA) 9h19:31 5 Rezzani Michele (30 ITA) 9h19:33 6 Georgeo Olgiti (ITA) (60 Nippon Hodoh) 9h19:33
1 France 27h57:53 2 Australia 27h58:48 3 Italia 27h59:14
The 1996 Tour of Japan started its 4th stage in rain at Fuji Speedway on May 22.
Each rider raced with various methods of dealing with the rain. Some had vinyl wind breakers, some put newspaper under their cycle wear, while another rider used a trash bag of polyethylene with holes. They do so in order to prevent being "hunger knocked" which can occur if the rider loses body temperature and stamina.
A rider expressed the fear of hunger knock and said it was "being hungry and feeling dizzy then being not able to move anymore". The rider put more Dorayaki in for energy supply than usual. (Dorayaki is a Japanese cake made of sponge cake and bean jam and is in the shape of a hamburger.)
1. Baden Burke (Australia, Giant-AIS) 3.38.21 2. Emanuele Negrini (Italy, Italian National Team) s.t. 3. R De Poel (Neth, Asumino) s.t. 4. Giorgio Olgiti (Italy, Nippon Hodo) s.t. 5. L. Mirko (Italy, Italian Nat. Team) s.t. 6. Takahiro Mizutani (japan, Bridgestone) s.t. 7. Ollivier Ouvrard (France, French Team) s.t. 8. Ji Sung Hwan (S.Korea, Korean Nat. Team) s.t. 9. Naoshi Ono (Japan, Acom) s.t. 10. Norman Carter (US, US Nat. Team) s.t.
1. Jean Phillip Duracka (France, French Team) 21.28.38 2. David Lefevre (France, Frech Team) + 0.17 3. Daisuke Imanaka (Japan, JPCA) + 0.43 4. M. Rezzani (Italy, Italian Nat. Team) + 1.11 5. A. Langella (France, French Team) + 1.13 6. R. Muller (Switzerland, Acom) + 1.26 7. O. Ouvrard (France, French Team) + 1.27 8. David Clinger (US, US Nat. Team) + 1.32 9. F. Delalande (France, French Team) + 1.35 10. Tomokazy Fujino (Japan, JPCA) + 1.39