2016 Japan Cup: Villella wins, Cancellara retires
Cannondale’s Davide Villella opens Pro Tour account, while Trek’s Fabian Cancellara closes his during eventful 2016 Japan Cup weekend…
A day after retiring cycling champion Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) delivered teammate Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN) to a criterium win to kick off the 25th Japan Cup (UCI 1.HC) weekend, Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) claimed the 144.2km road race in Utsunomiya on Sunday, October 23.
Fresh off a fifth-place finish at Il Lombardia (1.UWT) in his native Italy earlier in the month, the 25-year-old Italian recorded an average speed of 38.2 km/h to take a solo win over his closest rivals and Orica-BikeExchange teammates Christopher Juul-Jensen (SUI) and Robert Power (AUS), who was awarded the best young rider honour.
“We had a great group here, and I could not do it alone,” Villella tweeted following his first pro win.
Saturday’s crit, which serves as a prelude to the road race, also served as the final race of the 35-year-old Cancellara, who had not raced since winning gold in the individual time trial at the Rio Olympics in August.
The significance of Cancellara’s involvement and support was not lost on Beppu.
“It was a fantastic team job,” he said. “And the spectators were unbelievable; it was like being on the Champs-Élysées. They were all cheering for Trek-Segafredo.
“The teamwork was perfect. Gregory Rast made the situation for the chase of the break, and Fabian, in his last race, and Mollema were great.
“Then Jasper (Stuyven) really did a perfect lead out,” he continued. “I had pressure to make the sprint, but they all made it so I had no stress.
“And I did it! … We did a real professional job here.”
Cancellara also took to social media after the race to thank his fans.
“That’s all folks!! It has being a pleasure and thanks to all of you for the support all over the world in the last 16 years,” tweeted the four-time world champion, two-time Olympic gold medallist, Milan-San Remo winner and three-time winner of both Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.
1. Davide Villella, ITA, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team, 3:46:43
2. Christopher Juul-Jensen, SUI, Orica-BikeExchange, 0:06
3. Robert Power, AUS, Orica-BikeExchange, 0:14
Overall: Davide Villella, ITA, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
KOM: Takaaki Hori, JPN, Utsunomiya Blitzen
Best Asian Rider: Yukiya Arashiro, JPN, Lampre-Merida
Best Young Rider: Robert Power, AUS, Orica-BikeExchange