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17th Japan Cup & Photos
By Bart Hazen
Date: 10/26/2008
17th Japan Cup & Photos

17th Japan Cup
Damiano Cunego finishes season with win in Japan Cup. Lombardia winner holds off Giovanni Visconti and Ivan Basso. Basso returns to competition after suspension.

The 17th Japan Cup was dominated by the Italians. Damiano Cunego, the winner of the Giro di Lombardia, won the race ahead of Giovanni Visconti and Ivan Basso. For Basso it was his first race after finishing his doping suspension. For Cunego it's his second win in the Japan Cup, ghaving won the race for the first time in 2005. The Japan Cup is owned by the Italians as they have won 12 of the 17 editions.

Damiano Cunego Wins... Visconti and Basso follow in second and third.
Photo courtesy of Lampre

Local cycling fans were out to support their favorite riders.

The decisive move  in the race came with two laps to go when Ivan Basso attacked on a climb and only Cunego, Agnoli and Visconti were able to follow. In the final lap Basso tried several times to get rid of his faster compatriots but without success.

Ivan Basso makes his first race appearance in the green and blue of the Liquigas team. - Ivan attacks on the penultimate lap with Agnoli.

Cunego et al respond to Basso's attack.

In the sprint Cunego was the fastest and rounded off his great season with the victory. The top five was all Italian with Visconti, Basso, Agnoli and Gavazzi on rank two to five.

Cunego said, "I was happy after the win in Giro di Lombardia, but this victory gave me pleasure because of the fans that welcomed us in a fantastic way"

Liquigas takes to the stage during the pre race team presentations.

Tour of Japan Results
1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 4.04.57
2 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas

Ivan's name in Japanese characters on his top tube.

4 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas 0.12
5 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre 1.23
6 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
7 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas
8 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Quick Step
9 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
10 Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team

Ivan Basso's special team issue Canondale for the race.

11 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre 1.29
12 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Lampre 1.30
13 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Meitan Hompo - GDR 1.35
14 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre 1.51
15 Shinri Suzuki (Jpn) Skil-Shimano 3.33
16 Alex Coutts (GBr) Giant Asia Racing Team 3.35
17 Kazuki Inoue (Jpn) Nippo - Endeka 3.40
18 Junya Sano (Jpn) Nippo - Endeka 3.46
19 Erik Hoffmann (Nam) Giant Asia Racing Team
20 Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 3.50
21 Mashahiro Shinagawa (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
22 Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Meitan Hompo - GDR
23 Shinpei Fukuda (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor 4.44
24 Takahiro Yamashita (Jpn) Nippo - Endeka
25 Hidenori Nodera (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
26 Rhys Pollock (Aus) Trek-Marco Polo
27 Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Japan National Team
28 Yoshiyuki Shimizu (Jpn) Nippo - Endeka
29 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
30 Kazuya Okazaki (Jpn) Meitan Hompo - GDR


Full result

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