Photos: Japanese Cycling Federation
Eri Yonamine added to her palmares by winning the Japanese national road race championships at the Izu Cycle Sports Center. The result is her sixth road race title, adding to her six titles in the time trial and drawing her level with Miho Oki as the championships winningest rider.
“It’s awesome to win this race,” Yonamine said afterward on her first victory for Human Powered Health. “It means a lot for me to be able to wear this jersey for the team. I really wanted to deliver this because my nationals were canceled in June last year and I missed out on winning in October.”
Having lost in the sprint last year, Yonamine made certain of the result this time, attacking on lap four of eleven and building up a long lead before she soloed to victory.
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“It was not my plan to have such a long solo ride,” the 32-year-old said. “I felt confident, also the circuit was not so much of an advantage riding with people because of the number of ups and downs with one lap being 8 kilometers long with 300 meters of climbing.”
Yonamine’s first outing in the national bands will be at the 9-day Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile where the climbing parcours should suit the Japanese.
“I’m always honored to wear the Japanese jersey in the peloton,” she explained. “It motivates me and I’m confident my performance here shows that my condition is pretty good ahead of the Giro.”
Yonamine usually races 6,000 miles away from her home in Europe and so the trip is also a welcome boost for her mindset.
“I completed my mission on this quick five day trip to Japan. Win, meet my family and friends, and eat Japanese food. I’m very satisfied and it has charged my mind,” Yonamine ended.
The gold medal adds to Mieke Kröger’s victory in the German time trial, Audrey Cordon-Ragot’s silver in the French time trial and Makayla MacPherson’s silver medal in the US Pro criterium championships under-23 race.
Tune in for more nationals action over the weekend and find out more in our ultimate preview.
National Championships Cyprus Time Trial results
1 YONAMINE Eri – Human Powered Health 3:02:03
2 MAKISE Tsubasa 7:23
3 KOBAYASHI Akari 7:25
4 KANEKO Hiromi 7:27
5 ISHIDA Yui 10:44
6 UETAKE Miki 15:18
7 ISHII Yoshiko 15:23
8 OHORI Hiromi 19:12