Niseko Classic under a bright sky

After two years of Covid cancellations, Japanese riders were happy to race again in their beloved Niseko Classic under a bright blue sky to qualify for the World Championships.

The 15km time trial on Saturday had Hiroko Hirose as female winner in an average speed of 36.85km/h. The overall top 3 came from the F45-49 age group with Maya Ito and Chiho Miura as second and third on the podium, respectively 40 and 45 seconds behind the winner.

The male time trial winner was Sandu Ionut (M40-44) from Romania in an average speed of 45.16km/h, beating Shin Bo (M19-34) by 12 seconds while Wataru Yamada (M40-44) got overall third at 34 seconds behind the winner.

On Sunday, all younger males a the challenging 150km to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. The race over 2600m of elevation has several long and hard climbs, with especially a 20km climb between km 30-50 as main difficulty of the day. Overall winner was Shouhei Ishii (M19-34) in an average speed of 37.3 km/h. Shouhei made a solo break in the final and kept a small gap of 12 seconds to of a small group with Yuki Kimura (M19-34) and Akihiro Takaoka (M45-49) as second and third.

Yoko Nakamura (F45-49) beated all of her younger compatriots in the 85km female qualifier, winning in a sprint against Eri Watanabe (F35-39) while Yoshiko Ishii (F19-34) got overall third 4.5 minutes later.

Hiroaki Yamamoto finally was the fastest man over 50 in the 85km race with a solo finish 43 seconds ahead of his competitors.

You can relive the race via this link :

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