Race Name: Tour de Tochigi 2018 UCI Asia Tour 2.1
1st Stage: Individual Time Trial
Venue: Wataraseyusuichi, Tochigi city
Weather: 15 degrees, Sunny
Number of starters: 89
<20 years old Michael Potter marks top record, and Masuda Nariyuki placed second.>
1st stage of Tour de Tochigi was held at Wataraseyusuichi, and Michael Potter from Australian Cycling Academy – Ride Sunshine Coast has taken the podium finishing the circuit at 8’55’’74, while Masuda Nariyuki from Utsunomiya Blitzen marked the second fastest time.
The first day of Tour de Tochigi was an individual time trial of 7.2km circuit course around the Wataraseyusuichi, riders racing individually competing by their lap time. The weather has been wet for past several days in Tochigi however the sky was clear on this day. Although it became quite cloudy in the afternoon around the start time, the temperature was warm throughout the day.
The time trial started from 13:30pm by 30 seconds interval between the riders. Oka Atsushi from Utsunomiya Blitzen marked 9’07’’98 which was the fastest record at the time when he crossed the finish as twenty-fourth rider, and his record was not beaten until the final part of the trial.
When Masuda Nariyuki (Utusunomiya Blitzen), who started as sixty-sixth rider, he finished at 9’05’19 and took over the hot seat, and right after this Park Sanghoon (LX Cycling Team) came through with second fastest time at 9’07’’14.
Michael Potter set off down the start ramp as the first of final three riders, crossed the finish line at 8’55’’74 beating Masuda by more than 10 seconds. His stage victory was confirmed when the final rider Benjamin Hill (Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum), the previous champion of the tour, could not renew this record.
Comment from 1st Stage Winner Michael Potter (Australian Cycling Academy)
“I’m glad that I’ve won although this time short time trial was tough and hard. For me it became a good start to be able to wear the leader jersey. I’d have to see how I can race and if I’d be able to be on the podium tomorrow, but I do wish to keep this jersey as much as possible.”
Comment from 2nd Place Masuda Nariyuki (Utsunomiya Blitzen)
“I was not at a very good condition during the races before this tour, but I knew it was getting better as days went by. I’ve been thinking to do my best for today’s trial. I’m not satisfied with the result since I was not the fastest, although I do feel that my condition is not bad. My focus for this tour is to take the overall, so I’ll do my best to take over the leader from tomorrow.”
Comment from 3rd Place Park Sanghoon (LX Cycling Team)
“I’m satisfied to finish in top three while it was not a very easy trial as the course was difficult to say either short or long in distance, partially uphill, and also windy at some point. Today was my day to be on the podium but I’d like to focus on what I can do for the team from tomorrow.”
Number of Spectators: 4,900