6th Tour of Japan - 2.4

Japan, May 20-27, 2001

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Stage 1 - May 20: Osaka: Sakai Senboku Circuit, 140.8 km

Niedzwiecki starts well for Mroz

By Miwako Sasaki*
Click for larger image
The podium
Photo: © Miwako Sasaki

Polish rider Pawel Niedzwiecki (Mroz) has won the first stage of 6th Tour of Japan, also taking the overall green Jersey and blue points Jersey.

90 riders started today, 6 Trade teams (Tacconi Sport, Mroz, Team Colpack, Wustenrot-ZVVZ, Saint Quentin-Oktos and Flanders-Prefetex), 3 National teams (Australia, New Zealand and Korea) and 7 Japanese teams. The Kazakhstan national team couldn't come to this race due to lack of riders, and the Italian Team Colpack was only 3 riders, as the rest of the team is riding in the Giro this year. Normally Colpack wouldn't be allowed to start the race according to the rules. But they were permitted to, because they have Yoshiyuki Abe, who is the Japanese Champion and Japanese favourite.

The weather was very hot, with temperatures over 30 degrees celsius. On the second lap there was a fall, and Trompauskas (St Quentin) and Allan Davis (Australia) were involved. On the 6th lap, 18 riders jumped away from the peloton. Zucconi (Tacconi), Niedzwiecki and Skoczylas (Mroz), Abe (Colpack), Kalenda (Wustenrot), Capelle (St Quentin), Guyton (Flanders), Scott Davis (Australia), Kano and Yamamoto (Shimano Racing Team), Hashikawa and Tashiro (Team Bridgestone Anchor), Miura, Kakinuma and Hioki (Kinan-Maruishi), Hirose (Nippon Hodo), Sakaguchi (Aisan Ind Racing Team) and Schumann (Rigida DPX Bianchi).

They quickly gained 2 minutes advantage on the peloton, but on the 9th lap, some riders jumped from the bunch in an attempt to bridge. The chasing group included Stafiej (Mroz), who is a favourite for the overall this year, after winning a mountain stage and taking the Mountain Jersey, and 5th place on the final general classification last year. However, they couldn't catch the break.

At 500m to go, Niedzwiecki jumped away from the first group, and won the stage easily. It was his 4th victory in his career, and he won a stage of the Commonwealth Bank Classic last year. In second place was Dirk Schumann, a German riding for the Japanese Rigida DPX Bianchi team.

After the race, Italian Nicola Chezini (Tacconi-Sport) became sick as a result of the heat.

*Miwako Sasaki is a journalist with Japanese Cycle Sport magazine


1 Pawel Niedzwiecki (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy          3.01.54
2 Dirk Schumann (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi                   0.02
3 Dariusz Skoczylas (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy
4 Masamichi Yamamoto (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
5 Pietro Zucconi (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
6 Kyoshi Miura (Jpn) Kinan Maruishi
7 Michal Kalenda (Cze) Wüstenrot-ZVVZ
8 Scott Davis (Aus) Australian National Team
9 Ken Hashikawa (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
10 Andy Cappelle (Fra) St Quentin-Oktos
11 Hiroshi Sakaguchi (Jpn) Asian Ind. Racing Team
12 Scott Guyton (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex
13 Satoshi Hirose (Jpn) RT Nippon Hodo
14 Yoshiyuki Abe (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
15 Yasutaka Tashiro (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
16 Tomoya Kano (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
17 Akira Kakinuma (Jpn) Kinan Maruishi
18 Koji Nagano (Jpn) Kinan Maruishi
19 Remigijus Lupeikis (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy           4.24
20 Shinri Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
21 Joshua Collingwood (Cze) Wüstenrot-ZVVZ
22 Jerome Desjardins (Fra) St Quentin-Oktos
23 Martin Laciak (Cze) Wüstenrot-ZVVZ
24 Graeme Miller (NZl) New Zealand National Team
25 Lars Teutenberg (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi
26 Adam Wadecki (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy
27 Daniel Mackey (Aus) Australian National Team
28 Mateusz Mroz (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy
29 Jeremy Yates (NZl) New Zealand National Team
30 Koji Fukushima (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi
31 Arturas Trumpauskas (Fra) St Quentin-Oktos
32 Mikhail Teteryuk (Jpn) RT Nippon Hodo
33 Marco Gili (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
34 Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy
35 Shinji Suzuki (Jpn) Asian Ind. Racing Team
36 Kazuya Okazaki (Jpn) Kinan Maruishi
37 Koki Shinbo (Jpn) Asian Ind. Racing Team
38 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
39 Seth Pelusi (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex
40 Soon-Young Choi (Kor) Korean National Team                6.56
41 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) RT Nippon Hodo
42 Gregory Faghel (Fra) St Quentin-Oktos
43 Tjarco Cuppens (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex
44 In-Chan Park (Kor) Korean National Team
45 Mitsuteru Tanaka (Jpn) Asian Ind. Racing Team
46 Warren Clark (NZl) New Zealand National Team
47 Hisafumi Imanishi (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
48 Tsutomu Fujita (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi
49 Patrick Calcagni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
50 Dae-Hong Chun (Kor) Korean National Team
51 Makoto  Iijima (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi
52 Massimo Apollonio (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
53 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Australian National Team
54 Guillem Munos (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi
55 Michal Prusa (Cze) Wüstenrot-ZVVZ
56 Guillaume Laloux (Fra) St Quentin-Oktos
57 Gene Bates (Aus) Australian National Team                 7.05
58 Dong-Hyuk Huh (Kor) Korean National Team                  8.38
59 Yoshitaka Koriyama (Jpn) Asian Ind. Racing Team
60 Yasuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
61 Ikki Yoneyama (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi
62 Naoki Takamura (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi
63 Yosuke Suga (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi
64 Massimiliano Razzari (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
65 Geoffrey Burndred (NZl) New Zealand National Team
66 Jonas Hudalla (Cze) Wüstenrot-ZVVZ                        8.46
67 Valeriy Titov (Jpn) RT Nippon Hodo
68 Ken Akita (Jpn) Asian Ind. Racing Team                   12.01
69 Roger Argelaguer (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi
70 Chris Matthys (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex
71 Ronny Assez (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex
72 Allan Davis (Aus) Australian National Team
73 Dominik Raza (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex
74 Kaoru Ouchi (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
75 Hiroyuki Yamashita (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi
76 Daisuke Hioki (Jpn) Kinan Maruishi
77 Tae Chan Chang (Kor) Korean National Team
78 Takumi Beppu (Jpn) RT Nippon Hodo
79 Katsuya Ryugo (Jpn) RT Nippon Hodo
80 Junichi Shibuya (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
81 Min-Woo Kong (Kor) Korean National Team
82 Tomokazu Fujino (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
83 Kazuaki Akasaka (Jpn) Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi
84 Giosue Bonomi (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
85 Yoshimasa Hirose (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
86 Robin Reid (NZl) New Zealand National Team
87 Matthew Yates (NZl) New Zealand National Team
88 Graeme Brown (Aus) Australian National Team
89 Nicola Chesini (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola        14.16
DNF Kon-Fa Rai (Jpn) Kinan Maruishi
1 Pawel Niedzwiecki (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy                5 pts
2 Dirk Schumann (Jpn) Rigida DPX - Bianchi                      4
3 Dariusz Skoczylas (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy                3
4 Masamichi Yamamoto (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team                  2
5 Pietro Zucconi (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola             1
1 Dariusz Skoczylas (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy               10 pts
2 Tomoya Kano (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team                         8
3 Masamichi Yamamoto (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team                  3
4 Gregory Faghel (Fra) St Quentin-Oktos                         2
5 Matthew Yates (NZl) New Zealand National Team                 1
1 Kinan Maruishi                                          9.05.48
2 Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy                                     4.06
3 Shimano Racing Team                                        4.22
4 Team Bridgestone Anchor
5 Wustenrot-ZVVZ                                             8.44
6 Saint-Quentin-Oktos
7 Aisan Ind. Racing Team
8 Rigida DPX-Bianchi                                        11.10
9 RT Nippon Hodo                                            11.16
10 Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
11 Australia National Team
12 Flanders-Prefetex
13 New Zealand National Team                                15.38
14 Sumita Ravanello Pearlizumi                              18.10
15 Team Colpack-Astro                                       20.35
16 Korea National Team                                      20.42