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13th Japan Cup - 1.3

Japan, October 24, 2004

2003 Results    Results    Past winners

Sinkewitz takes Japan Cup

Cunego keeps number one ranking

By Miwako Sasaki, Japan Cycle Sports

Patrick Sinkewitz (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Takashi Nakazawa
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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...

Signing autographs, 10 at a time.
Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
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Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
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Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
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The local fan club
Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
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The Lion of Flanders omnipresent.
Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
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Images by Takashi Nakazawa

Images by Tetsuo Kobayashi

Images by Makoto Ayano/

Results - 151.3 km

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                             


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

Past winners

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,