by Koichiro Nakamura
(NOTE: Full results from the Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s races have been added below.)
ODAIBA, TOKYO, Japan—Tokyo’s “miracle race” has happened again. The huge cyclocross race in mid-Tokyo metropolis, “Cyclocross Tokyo” returned to the shores of Tokyo Bay in the middle of the world’s most populated metropolis, within a stone’s throw from a Statue of Liberty replica and a few minutes from the Toyota museum.
The event has been held for six years here in Tokyo, with each year the number of spectators growing. This year the spectators surpassed 20,000 under the warm blue sky.
The course was set on the beach of Tokyo as usual. Every rider who has ridden in Europe compares the course to the sandy Koksijde, Belgium World Cup course, without the hills. Half of the course is sand and requires low tire air pressure, but the other half of flat and winding switchback singletracks is best with higher tire pressure. Riders battled not only the rivals, but the unpredictable handling from their tire pressure either in the sand or the woods.
In the Women’s CL1 race, Miho Imai (JPN) took the holeshot, doing her best Ellen Van Loy impression. Leading powerfully, Imai held the lead for two laps before fading and then crashing in the woods, opening the door for Lucie Chainel (CROSS TEAM by G4) to take the lead. Chainel would seize the opportunity and not look back.
“In sand, running makes you more tired than riding. So I powered in the sand and recovered in the wood” said Chainel, who had tumor surgery last summer, celebrated her recovery with winning in Tokyo. Sammi Runnels (USA/Squid pro team) took second place, her second silver of 2017 after finishing second in the singlespeed race at the 2017 US National Championships.
Kiyoko Karami (JPN/Yowamushi Pedal Cycling Team) took the final podium spot. Karami got stuck in a crash right after the start and had to pass 14 racers to be there.
Besides Americans Sammi Runnels (Squid Bikes) and Emily Kachorek (Squid Pro Team), Naomi Williams (the “Willy” of Team Willy Locke) and Rebecca Locke (the “Locke” of Team Willy Locke) represented for Australia.
The Elite Men’s race opener was highlighted by the ride of Yu Takenouchi (JPN/Toyo Frame). Starting from the 3rd row, getting in the second place on the first couple corners, then took the lead. Takenouchi needed a win today. With been called the Japan’s fastest racer for long time, has not gotten a win this season. CX Tokyo was a literary season closing race with huge media coverage. Japan’s top went on with his pace. Making the race faster.
Crowd favorite of the Tokyo crowds may have been Yu, but the most respected racer in the course wasSteve Chainel(FRA/CROSS TEAM by G4). Chainel let Takenouchi lead until half of the 8 lap race, then as said “I felt my physical was good and steady, so I let myself ride with own rhythm”, Chainel took the lead again and rode steady to the finish line. Takenouchi hang on to Chainel as his stamina allows, and Jeremy Powers(USA/ASPIRE RACING) took over the 2nd place on last two laps.
“He was one of my heroes on my teenage. “I knew he was on another level and I was not at that level yet. I am happy with second place” said Jeremy Powers(USA/ASPIRE RACING), the two-time CX Tokyo winner. “A lot of things has to be said, but more than that, just glad to be on the podium and make everybody happy” said third place Takenouchi.
2017 Cyclocross Tokyo was dominated by French Madam and Monsieur Chainel. Their team CROSS TEAM by G4 created by themselves is the cyclocross sport promoting team, having TV program in Eurosport. Their first trip to Japan showed their passion to the sport cyclocross in Tokyo city.
Besides American Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) in second, fellow countryman Kerry Werner (Kona Endurance Team) finished in sixth place and Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes) was seventh. One other gaijin was present, Australian Chris Jongewaards (Flanders-Nemesis) who raced well and finished in fourth overall.
See the full results table below.
2017 CX Tokyo Results - Elite Women
|1||1||Lucie Chainel||CROSS TEAM by G4||FRA||0:35:26||+0:00|
|2||16||Sammi Runnels||Squid Bikes||USA||0:36:09||+0:43|
|3||27||KARAMI Miyoko||Yowamushi Pedal Cycling team||JPN||0:36:22||+0:56|
|4||3||Emily Kachorek||Squid pro team||USA||0:37:03||+1:37|
|6||7||Naomi Williams||Team Willy Locke||AUS||0:38:16||+2:50|
|8||8||FUKUMOTO Chika||Live GARDEN Bici Stelle||JPN||0:38:35||+3:09|
|9||5||Rebecca Locke||Team Willy Locke||AUS||0:39:01||+3:35|
|10||9||NISHIYAMA Miyuki||Toyo Frame||JPN||0:39:38||+4:12|
|11||15||NISHIKATA Mai||TRC Panama Reds||JPN||0:39:57||+4:31|
|12||12||TAKAHASHI Orie||PRDAL NATIOB||JPN||0:40:00||+4:34|
|13||13||HASHIGUCHI Yoko||team Wadachiya||JPN||0:40:41||+5:15|
|14||14||KAWASAKI Michiko||PAX PROJECT||JPN||0:40:54||+5:28|
|15||10||HAYASHIGUCHI Yukie||SNEL CYCLOCROSS TEAM||JPN||0:40:54||+5:28|
|16||20||HAYASE Kumi||Deaf Japan||JPN||0:42:44||+7:18|
|18||11||RISA Risa||Ready Go JAPAN||JPN||0:44:34||+9:08|
|19||21||YASUDA TOMOKO||CICADA UNITED||JPN||0:35:55||-1Lap|
|21||22||KINOSHITA Reiko||TEAM MELODY PUNCH||JPN||0:36:55||-1Lap|
|22||25||--- ---||BALBA Graffiti||JPN||0:37:19||-1Lap|
|23||24||USHIROGUCHI Saori||ARAI MURACA||JPN||0:38:38||-1Lap|
2017 CX Tokyo Results - Elite Men
|1||1||Steve Chainel||Cross Team by G4||FRA||1:03:52||+0:00|
|2||3||Jeremy Powers||ASPIRE RACING||USA||1:04:44||+0:52|
|3||11||TAKENOUCHI Yu||Toyo Frame||JPN||1:05:02||+1:10|
|5||8||MAEDA Kohei||Yowamushi Pedal Cycling team||JPN||1:06:28||+2:36|
|6||2||Kerry Werner||Kona Enduance Team||USA||1:06:55||+3:03|
|7||7||Anthony Clark||Squid Bikes||USA||1:07:47||+3:55|
|8||4||SAWADA Toki||Bridgestone Anchor||JPN||1:08:02||+4:10|
|9||6||KOSAKA Hikaru||UTSUNOMIYA BLITZEN||JPN||1:08:55||+5:03|
|12||30||KUNII TOSHIO||MilePost BMC Racing||JPN||1:06:17||-1Lap|
|13||17||KADOTA Motoshi||TEAM GIANT||JPN||1:07:01||-1Lap|
|14||9||ODA Hijiri||Yowamushi Pedal Cycling team||JPN||1:07:06||-1Lap|
|15||35||TAKEUCHI Ryo||MIYATA MERIDA BIKING TEAM||JPN||1:07:13||-1Lap|
|18||27||MATSUMOTO Shun||TEAM SCOTT||JPN||1:08:47||-1Lap|
|19||21||GODA Masayuki||Cycle club 3UP||JPN||1:09:11||-1Lap|
|21||19||KANEKO Hiroyuki||Suwako Racing||JPN||1:09:56||-1Lap|
|22||18||SAITO Tomohiro||RIDELIFE GIANT||JPN||1:10:04||-1Lap|
|23||29||YANAI Shuhei||Deaf Japan||JPN||1:10:04||-1Lap|
|24||20||Nakamura Ryutaro||SNEL CYCLOCROSS TEAM||JPN||1:10:30||-1Lap|
|26||14||FUJITA Takumi||SNEL CYCLOCROSS TEAM||JPN||1:03:59||-2Lap|
|28||13||KATO Kengo||Usuki Racing||JPN||1:04:23||-2Lap|
|30||28||HASHIGUCHI Junichiro||team Wadachiya||JPN||1:04:35||-2Lap|
|31||32||Mukouyama Kouji||SNEL CYCLOCROSS TEAM||JPN||1:05:04||-2Lap|
|32||37||SATO Toshihide||team GARNEAU chainring||JPN||1:06:02||-2Lap|
|33||25||KUBOTA Hirohide||Speedvagen Family Racing||JPN||1:06:14||-2Lap|
|35||31||SAMATA Masato||Ibaraki Cyclocross team||JPN||1:08:31||-2Lap|