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Team Metric PowerTag will be the first Japanese team to line up at the Vuelta a Andalucia

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo


30.12.2015 @ 09:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the first time in the history of the Vuelta a Andalucía, a Japanese team will be at the start when Team Matrix PowerTag line up with Spaniards José Vicente Toribio and Airan Fernandez. The country is the 22nd that will make an appearance in the history of the Ruta del Sol.


The participation does not only have importance for sporting reasons but also has a business aspect since interest to broadcast the race live in Japan has been crucial for the team and the organizers to quickly reach an agreement.


Japan has been active in Andalusia in the past with Yukihiro Doi who participated in 2011 with Skil-Shimano and in 2012 with Project 1T4l and now will line up with Team Matrix.


The riders selected to participate in the 62nd Ruta del Sol are José Vicente Toribio, Junya Sano, Yukihiro Doi, Airan Fernandez, Hayato Yoshida, Kenji Daiki and Yasuhara Takubo.


José Vicente Toribio is a 30-year-old rider who is ready for his eighth season as a professional, having been with Burgos Monumental and Andalusia in the past before emigrating to Japan where he will start his fourth season. The first two was with Team Ukyo and last year he joined Matrix PowerTag. As an amateur, he won the Tour of Toledo and the Volta a Coruña. He has also won a stage in the Volta a Portugal and did the Vuelta a Espana in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with Andalucia. During his three years in Japan, he has obtained a total of 11 victories. In his first two years he won the Japan Pro Tour, the most important award in Japan, and last year he was second. He has done well in the GC at the Tour of East Java in Indonesia and the overall standings in the Japan Pro Tour. Last year he won the races in Tsurayuki and Mount Fuji (Shizuoka). It will be his first participation in the Vuelta a Andalusia.


Airan Fernandez is a 27-year-old rider who goes into his third season with the team. As an amateur he rode for ECP, Caja Rural and Coluer Mopesa and made the move to pro level with PowerTag Matrix. He was Spanish junior champion in the points race on the track and runner-up in the U23 road race in Santander. His major victories as an amateur came at the Rodriguez Inguanzo and Memorial Valenciaga. In Japan he has achieved a victory in Ishikawa at the Wajima Road Race.


Junya Sano is a 33-year-old rider who is back in the team after riding for the Japanese Blasen Nasu. He has also made his first steps in Europe with the Nippo team based in San Marino and Italy and the British Vini Fantini. In 2010 he was third in the Vuelta a Leon and won a stage in the Tour de Kumano. He has also been Japanese road race champion.


Yukihiro Doi, 32, is new to the team after three seasons at Team Ukyo. Previously, he spent nine seasons with the various teams of Shimano. It will be his third appearance in Andalusia. In 2011 it was with Skil-Shimano and he was seventh in the stage that finished in Cordoba and tenth in Jaen. In 2012 he rode for Project 1 T4l. In those two years he also participated in the Veulta. He has been Japanese road race champion.


Hayato Yoshida, 26, is a newcomer to the team. He has always been with Japanese teams. As a junior, he won the road race at the Asian Games in Thailand. As a U23 rider, he won a stage of the Tour of Iran and a team time trial in Hong Kong. He also won the individual time trial championships in Japan, along with other important events in his home country. In 2013 he won a stage in the Tour of Taiwan and last year he won in Minakami, Gunma.


Daiki Yasuhara is 24 years old and has been in the Matrix PowerTag squad since 2011. He has achieved notable results at the West Japan Road Classic in Hiroshima, at Ishikawa Road Race in Fukushima and at the Tsugaike Kogen Hill Climb.


At 20 years of age, Kenji Takubo is the youngest riders in the team. It will be his third year with PowerTag Matrix, and so far he has not done many races. Last year he was seventh at Tsugaike Kogen Hill Climb. He is a promising rider that the team expects a lot from in the future.



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