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Bernal and Roglic make podium as Arashiro wins Saitama Criterium

Bernal and Roglic make podium as Arashiro wins Saitama Criterium
By Eurosport

27/10/2019 at 16:06Updated 04/11/2019 at 17:35

Yukiya Arashiro delighted the Japanese crowd by holding off Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and Primoz Roglic in the final sprint to win the Saitama Criterium.

Bernal, wearing the yellow jersey of the race's Tour de France organisers, was Team Ineos' best hope of winning in Japan but there were threats throughout the field with Romain Bardet, Jakob Fulgsang and Roglic all in attendance.

However, it was Japan's two-time national road race champion Arashiro who broke away with one lap to go, opening up enough of a margin on Bernal and Roglic to sit up and take in the plaudits of a rapturous home crowd as he took victory in a time of one hour, 22 minutes and 15 seconds.

Bernal beat out Roglic to take second spot on the podium while his team-mate Jonathan Castroviejo, who had done much of the work as part of the five-man breakaway, could only finish 10th.

Video - Arashiro beats Bernal, Roglic to win Saitama Criterium

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Chris Froome had flown to Japan for the two-day event but declared himself unfit to race Sunday's criterium, instead choosing to take part in the exhibition time-trial.

"My recovery has gone extremely well but I'm not yet at a point where I can be in a racing peloton," Froome exclusively told Eurosport.

"I'll be doing the time-trial and try to help my team-mates out, to get the best result possible but I'm not quite at that [full competitive racing] stage yet."

Video - Froome: I am not ready to race yet

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