Nishizono Runner-up at Japanese Time Trial Championship
Champion System Pro Cycling Team's Ryota Nishizono was runner-up - by one second - to Masatoshi Oba (C-Project) Sunday at the Japanese national time trial championships.
Nishizono - who was last year's time trial champion and who had recently earned two top 10 finishes and sixth place overall at the Tour of Japan - entered the race hoping for a repeat, but a crash last week meant he was not in top form.
"I had high motivation for this race, but my main concern was my physical condition after I crashed at the Tour de Kumano and it forced me to take a break," Nishizono said.
The 42-kilometer, flat course featured eight turns and four U-turns, benefiting heavier riders who could produce power over the more technical riders. Nishizono said he considers himself in-between a climber and an all-around rider, so his lack of weight made the course more difficult.
"The course was long, so my tactics were to make the most of my endurance ability and to maintain my aero position," Nishizono said. "Though they were almost successful, Oba was just stronger. It was disappointing that he beat me by only one second."