The end-of-season party at Cyclocross Tokyo went down this past weekend as planned even though the field lacked the international star power it has seen in the past.
The race is a non-UCI event, and with the UCI enforcing a rule that prohibits riders in the top 50 of the UCI rankings from competing in non-UCI events outside their home country, Cyclocross Tokyo was unable to bring top talent such as Jeremy Powers, Tim Johnson, Kerry Werner and Katie Compton as it has in the past.
The field, was, however, not entirely devoid of top U.S. riders. Former pro and freshly-minted singlespeed national champion Meredith Miller (Rapha Cycling Club) made the trip to Japan to help put on a clinic and line up for the race.
It was an early + cold morning for the women’s cx clinic but three hours later I saw significant improvements and even more smiles. 👍🏻 to all the women, beginners and veterans, who came out to learn something new. Teaching a cx clinic through a translator was a new experience for me but the overall message is still the same – practice, practice, practice! 🇯🇵🇺🇸 . . #skillsanddrills #cxclinic #womenscxclinic #tokyo #japan #cyclocross #cxtokyo #thumbsup #rccbdr #rcctyo #inflite #canyon #practice #practicemakesperfect
The translated race results reported her name as “Meredith Mirror,” suggesting after her singlespeed success, she may be following in the footsteps of noted post-retirement singlespeed star Stan Nice in putting on good shows for fans across the globe.
With top international talent staying home, the fields were primarily Japanese. In the Women’s field, Miho Imai (CO2 Bicycle) lined up after racing at Worlds in Valkenburg-Limburg, and for the men, Hiraku Kosaka (Utsunomiya Britzen) and Yu Takenouchi (Toyo Frame) also raced after also making the trip to the Netherlands.
Meredith Miller had an impressive ride in the Women’s race and finished second behind Kiyoka Sakaguchi (S-Familia). Worlds racer Imai rounded out the podium in third.
After struggling in the sand all race (there was A LOT of sand!), I managed to ride into second place today at #cxtokyo. The crowd was amazing, the course incredibly hard and the Japanese women very strong! A highlight of 20 years of racing was standing on the podium in Japan! 🇯🇵 . . #podium #podiumbeer #sandcx #cyclocross #beachcx #honored #secondplace #rccbdr #rcctyo #japanesenationalchamp #retirednotretired
Takenouchi did an extended European campaign this season, and his experience at the sport’s highest level paid off with a win in the Elite Men’s race. Kosaka finished second and Kohei Maeda (Yowamushi Pedal Cycling Team) finished third.
Results for the top ten Women and Men are below.
A photo gallery from the sandy, urban racing provided by So Isobe and cyclowired.jp is also below.
Photo Gallery: 2018 Cyclocross Tokyo