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Mayuko Hagiwara takes silver in Japanese time trial championships

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Mayuko Hagiwara took the silver medal in the Japanese time trial championships in Akita, in the north of Japan, on Sunday. Despite completing the 21km course in 29 minutes and 27 seconds – 38 seconds faster than last year – Hagiwara was beaten into second place by last year’s silver medalist, Eri Yonamine (Team Forza), who recorded a time of 28 minutes 57 seconds and took the title that Hagiwara had held since 2008.


“This year I finished 38 seconds faster than last year, but the champion was 29 seconds faster than me,” said Hagiwara. “She has taken a good result and we have both done a good performance.”

The fast, out-and-back course featured a 90 degree turn after 10.5km that took the riders back to the start.

“I got a little nervous on the part before the turn at 10.5km,so I could not make good speed on fastest part,” Hagiwara admitted. “I lost my TT title but I will race the road race on the 23rd of June so I will forget this and keep going for the win.”

With the logistical problems of taking all of her equipment to Japan from Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s base in Belgium, Hagiwara received help from the local headquarters one of the team’s key technical sponsors.

“At this year’s TT race, Colnago Japan supported me because it was difficult to bring my TT bike from Europe,” Hagiwara explained. “I didn’t have any support in Japan so I asked them if I could borrow a TT bike and if it was possible to support me, and they said ‘yes’, and I really appreciate it.

“I was able to borrow a time trial bike from them, and the mechanic Kazuya Okazaki supported me from Colnago Japan,” she continued. “He used to be the strongest Time Trial rider in Japan, and he has a lot of experience in winning this race, and now he works for Colnago Japan. He gave me a lot of help in setting up my bike – there were a lot of position changes – and he gave me some advice from his experience of so many wins in this race.”

“It was very good for me,” Hagiwara added. “Sadly I couldn’t win, but I am really grateful to them.”

Mayuko Hagiwara

Although Hagiwara has had to give up her time trial title for this year, and will have to exchange her distinctive “Hinomaru” flag skinsuit for a standard black and orange Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling one, she will start the Japanese road race championships on the 23rd as one of the big favourites.

“It was a big disappointment, but I can learn from this loss,” she said. “Now I am preparing for the national championships road race. I will keep going to win, and I want to make everyone who supports me happy!”

1. Eri Yonamine (Team Forza)
2. Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Minami Uwano (Kanoyataiikudai)

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