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13th Japan Cup - 1.3
Japan, October 24, 2004
Sinkewitz takes Japan Cup
Cunego keeps number one ranking
By Miwako Sasaki, Japan Cycle Sports
Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick Step-Davitamon) became the first German winner of the Japan Cup, beating world number one Damiano Cunego (Saeco) in a two man sprint. But Cunego's second place meant that the 23 year old Veronese will keep his UCI top spot until the end of the season.
It was an odd finish. In fact, Cunego didn't compete with Sinkewitz in the final sprint. The recent Giro di Lombardia winner passed the finish line without trying to fight for the victory, only following after Sinkewitz who managed a final attack with 500 m to go.
"I don't want to win every race," Cunego said. "To keep the top position in the UCI ranking was the most important thing for me and also a goal for our team before the start." Although Cunego achieved his goal, many Japanese fans had gathered at the race to see the young Italian star and many of the people who came from Japan's Saeco company, one of the official sponsors of the race, were embarrassed or disappointed with the result.
How it unfolded
It was perfect race for Cunego and his Saeco team. They put a rider into the breakaway that managed to escape on the first of 11 laps (the race was 10 x 14.1 km laps + 10.3 km for the final lap). Pole Sylvester Szmyd (Saeco) was with nine Japanese riders in the front as well as Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step-Davitamon) and Angel Gomez (Saunier Duval-Prodir).
On the second lap, the break had 2'30 over the peloton which was being controlled by Saeco, but the gap quickly came back to a minute. As Cunego had planned before the race, he attacked on the climb with three laps to go, taking Bertagnolli (Saeco), Manuel Quinziato and Marco Marzano (both Lampre), Fabian Jeker and Juan Jose Cobo (both Saunier Duval-Prodir), Sinkewitz and Bram Tankink (Quick.Step-Davitamon), and Japanese Tomoya Kano (Shimano Racing). Only Szmyd could follow the new lead group from the terminated early breakaway, and he crossed the top of the climb first.
On the small hill just before the start/finish line with two laps to go, Bertagnolli lifted the tempo in the first group to reduce it. That meant Cunego could start the final lap battle with his teammates Bertagnolli and Szmyd, against only Sinkewitz and Quinziato. Cunego attacked on the climb and was first over the top with a nine second advantage over Sinkewitz and Quinziato with the other two Saeco riders dropping off the pace, their work done.
Cunego descended alone, but was caught by Sinkewitz at the bottom. The two riders came into the final four kilometres together, but it was Sinkewitz who won. "I'm very happy to beat Cunego," said the German. "I was confident in my sprint. I didn't feel good before the start, but after starting the race, I felt I was in form.
What it means to be a Japanese cycling fan...
Images by Takashi Nakazawa
Images by Tetsuo Kobayashi
Images by Makoto Ayano/www.cyclingweb.jp
1 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) Quick Step-Davitamon 4.01.30 (37.59km/h) 2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco 0.01 3 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Lampre 0.44 4 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Saeco 0.46 5 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Saeco 0.48 6 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick.Step-Davitamon 1.59 7 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre 8 Fabian Jeker (Swi) Saunier Duval-Prodir 2.00 9 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 2.10 10 Tomoya Kano (Jpn) Shimano Racing 2.13 11 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor 3.48 12 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon 4.02 13 Hisafumi Imanishi (Jpn) Shimano Racing 4.06 14 Takumi Beppu (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 15 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Lampre 4.08 16 Shinri Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing 17 Mitsuteru Tanaka (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 4.14 18 Hidenori Nodera (Jpn) Shimano Racing 4.28 19 Kazuyuki Manabe (Jpn) Miyata-Subaru Racing Team 4.58 20 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Action ATI 21 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco 22 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre 23 Koji Fukushima (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor 7.18 24 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 25 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 9.35 26 Katsuya Ryugo (Jpn) You Can Specialized 9.36 27 Kazuya Okazaki (Jpn) Team Nippo 28 Adam Wadecki (Pol) Action ATI 9.37 29 Makoto Iijima (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi 30 Yusuke Shimizu (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor 9.38 31 Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 9.39 32 Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol) Action ATI 9.40 33 Juan Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Saeco 34 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 9.41 35 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere 36 Ken Hashikawa (Jpn) Kinan CCD 37 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon 38 Koki Shimbo (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 9.42 39 Yoshimasa Hirose (Jpn) Shimano Racing 40 Krzysztof Krzywy (Pol) Action ATI 10.45 41 Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team Outside time limit (Hors Delai) HD Yosuke Kojima (Jpn) Kinan CCD HD Masahiro Shinagawa (Jpn) Miyata-Subaru Racing Team HD Kojiro Nakagawa (Jpn) Miyata-Subaru Racing Team HD Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir HD Taiji Tanaka (Jpn) You Can Specialized HD Shinichi Amagasa (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi Did Not Finish DNF Noriyuki Iijima (Jpn) JPCA DNF Walter Beneteau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere DNF Franck Renier (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere DNF Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere DNF Jerome Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere DNF Keisuke Miyazaki (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor DNF Akira Kakinuma (Jpn) Kinan CCD DNF Norihide Kodama (Jpn) You Can Specialized DNF Marcin Osinski (Pol) Action ATI DNF Tomoya Sano (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor DNF Satoshi Hirose (Jpn) Team Nippo DNF Tetsuya Ishida (Jpn) Miyata-Subaru Racing Team DNF Shinya Ikemoto (Jpn) Team Nippo DNF Masahiko Mifune (Jpn) Miyata-Subaru Racing Team DNF Yoshinori Iino (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi DNF Tatsuro Fukushi (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi DNF Taichi Suzuki (Jpn) You Can Specialized DNF Jiro Hayashi (Jpn) JPCA DNF Akira Sumoto (Jpn) Kinan CCD DNF Ikki Yoneyama (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi DNF Osamu Sumida (Jpn) Kinan CCD DNF Keita Seino (Jpn) Team Nippo DNF Daisuke Kikuchi (Jpn) JPCA DNF Kei Uchida (Jpn) JPCA DNF Yasuhiro Ando (Jpn) You Can Specialized DNF Hidenobu Otsuka (Jpn) JPCA Mountains 3 laps: Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 6 laps: Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Saeco 9 laps: Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Saeco Overall: Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Saeco
2003 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre 2002 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 2001 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 2000 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 1999 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 1998 Fabien De Waele (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 1997 Yoshiyuki Abe (Jap) Mapei-GB 1996 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Team Polti 1995 Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) Carrera Jeans 1994 Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) Carrera Jeans 1993 Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) Carrera Jeans 1992 Hendrik Redant (Bel) Lotto Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com