Beppu and Arashiro, Tour de France 2009, stage 19

Amaury Sport Organisation, organiser of the Tour de France, will run a criterium race in Saitama, Japan, on October 26 - logically called the 'Saitama Criterium by Le Tour de France'.

The race will consist of laps of a 2.7-kilometre circuit in Saitama city centre. A total of 60 riders will take part, with 30 hailing from Japan and 30 from an international field - which ASO hopes will include recent Tour stage winners and classification leaders.

"Enhancing the standing of the Tour de France throughout the world is a major objective for ASO and we are proud to observe the enthusiasm already generated by the creation of the Saitama Criterium by Le Tour de France, so far from the homeland of the world's biggest cycling event," said ASO president Jean-Etienne Amaury.

Japan currently has two Tour de France veterans in the peloton - Fumiyuki Beppu (Orica-GreenEdge) and Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar). Both riders made their Tour debut in 2009.

 

 

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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.