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 UCI codes explained

Kansai Cyclocross Series #1 - NE

Hiyoshi Dam, Japan, November 13, 2005


Mifune gets the win in Japanese 'cross opener

By David Alvarez

Cyclocross has officially started in Japan, and Sunday marked the opening of the Kansai series, the largest in Japan. This year's series will again see Japan's only UCI event, as well as the Japanese national championships in Sakai, Osaka. Former world champ Daniele Pontoni is also scheduled to make an appearance at the UCI event in Yasu in less than two week's time.

Hiyoshi Dam again marked the first race of the series this year. Roughly 200 racers toed the starting line. As promised, it offered a hard course full of thick mud and rocks which were to cause the downfall of several riders through punctures and mechanicals.

In the elite men's event, after a fairly slow start, former national champion Masahiko Mifune took the race by the reins and set off an a 55-minute solo adventure, and the race was on for second place. A group of five settled in for the next two laps. David Alvarez, sitting in fourth, suffered a healthy mechanical right after the pits and jogged for more than half a lap, ending up at the back of the field. The front riders continued to trade attacks until the pecking order was more or less set. At the end of the day, Mifune crossed the line in first and almost had time for a shower as the next rider came across three minutes later.

In the women's race, Kansai veteran Sakai made her mark on the series with a dominating win. The category 2 men, run at the same time, featured an exciting battle, with the top two riders together for the whole race, until Masahiro Izawa broke away on the last lap and took the win. Next week against Daniele Pontoni he may wish he had slipped back to second place, as the win hands him a mandatory upgrade to the Elite category.


Elite men
1 Masahiko Mifune (Subaru Miyata)    
2 Akio Soga                          
3 Akira Ishii                        
4 Shinji Kubo                        
5 Katsunori Irie                     
6 Shuji Sasai                        
7 Masanori Matsui                    
8 Yoshiki Kanei                      
9 Kinumoto Motoji                    
10 Atsushi Yamamoto                  
Elite women
1 Masakiyo Sakai                     
2 Keiko Ikeda                        
3 Ryoko Mori                         
Category 2 men
1 Masahiro Izawa                     
2 Masaki Tanaka                      
3 Koichi Nakanishi