Takashi Miyazawa joins saxo-bank-sungard

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
73
68
Kochi
#1
Thought I`d post this in case anyone was interested/hadn`t seen it.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/miyazawa-joins-saxo-bank-sungard

but he states here:
"Riis defended his signing of the relatively unknown 33-year-old Japanese rider Takashi Miyazawa, saying, “I wanted very much to try something new. And don't be mistaken – he may ride very well.”

The truth of the matter may lay elsewhere, though, coming down again to money. “But it's also that we have long wanted to enter the Japanese market. There is great interest in cycling in Japan, we have lots of fans, and there may be a market to get a sponsor. It's not a coincidence that Real Madrid and Manchester United have training tournaments in Asia. It's a huge market.”
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/riis-no-money-for-cobo-or-menchov
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#4
Last year, the two Japanese riders at least finished the entire tour. What went wrong this year? Why are the Japanese so weak internationally, even though road race cycling has become so popular in Japan? Is it just a matter of lacking sponsorship for pro teams?
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
73
68
Kochi
#5
It does seem strange that Japanese riders are so few and far between at the top level. Would be interesting if say Shimano sponsored a Japanese pro team, but maybe they would be afraid of stepping on other team`s toes and many teams migrating to SRAM.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#6
Why would Shimano have to sponsor a team? There are plenty of Japanese multi-nationals that would gain from more global exposure. And Shimano is already an embedded technology in most of the tour bikes and for that matter, has the largest market share. It's great to see some Japanese riders recruited by pro-tour teams, as it seems natural for a country that does produce high quality cyclists. I think more than anything, it's just the geography and race culture that keeps more riders distanced from the Pro tours.

That, and the lack of proper stage races in Japan that reach into the amateur levels. It seems even simple 2 day events are hard to come by here - so riders in Japan rarely get the experience from an early age of racing multi-event races which are very common in North America and Europe.

It does seem strange that Japanese riders are so few and far between at the top level. Would be interesting if say Shimano sponsored a Japanese pro team, but maybe they would be afraid of stepping on other team`s toes and many teams migrating to SRAM.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,681
1,316
133
Niigata
#8
I think inertia also plays apart. Why go to Europe and live a shitty life when you can work for Shimano, Asean or Bridgestone? Ride the bike and get paid handsomely for it. Once you're knocking on a bit, move into an office role.

The same is true of the J-league football, lots of players have the ability to play in Europe and improve themselves but the hassles of culture differences, language barriers and being away from home maybe put quite a few off.

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#9
So Andy, if you are right, this should mean that at the national amateur level, there may not be much difference, but at the pro level, there is. Is this the case? (I simply don't know.)
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,681
1,316
133
Niigata
#10
The guys riding for these companies are professional riders.

Yesterday Arashiro was back from Europe racing the Japan Cup. He obviously wanted to win but didn't make the top ten. 2 home based Japanese riders made the podium - Asean and Nippo riders, and riders from Bridgestone and Shimano made the top 10.

Companies such as Nippo and Matrix actually attract foreign riders to come and race in Japan. Kind of like the universities / companies having students / employees from foreign countries purely to race in the New Years' ekidens.

For an interesting insight into a Japanese pro's life in Europe, check this documentary aired a few years back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTd6d7smatI

I particularly like the bit about never walking anywhere...

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#11
Andy has it spot on. I have friends that work for Miyata and Bridgestone and the salaries they pull in riding for the companies here in Japan far exceeds what they would make as a stagier or domestique in Europe or the US. Then once they get to retirement age they move into a desk job such as marketing. Not only that they are worshipped here in Japan, big fish small pond.

Having raced both in Europe and Asia I can honestly say that the levels are similar. However in Europe there are a lot of domestic teams that can afford to pay a salary or stripend to the riders even at the lowest level which is mainly due to the age of the sport in europe with some clubs going back over 100 years and a membership base in hethousands, however the same level here in Japan is basically club level where the riders have full time jobs and pay thier own way. It's only until you get to the JPT level where you may find riders actually get any money or full sponsorship.

Another thing to take in to mind is that cycling is only just growing in Japan and really only 10 years old, compared to that of Europe its a long way behind. The Japanese mind set of seeing cycling as a Professional Sport such as Baseball or Football (which only really happened after the World Cup) has really become mainstream so the amountof youths that are prepared to pack thier bags and head to Europe, US or Asia is very small. UK cyclists have been hoping on the cross channel ferry for years to attend Crits or 1 Day events and itshow I grew to love the sport as more often than not someone in the local club or a friend of a friend would be heading over and you could grab a lift.

One of the other issues of the sport here in Japan is how they race, as most riders pay thier own way they areless committed to working as a team to get their Ace over the line or in position they also regard a DNF in a one day race as a bad thing, while in Europe 6 riders will kill themselves in an all out effort to get the 1 man over the line in a podium place.

Im actually in the works of developing a Japanese team based 100% around the Western method of management and riding with the focus being 100% on the JPT with a club support team riding in the JET series.

Its proving very successful with some huge brand names in the sport coming on board and partnering with us.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#13
cheers Ludwig.... we have all the hardware in place and now looking for monetary sponsorship to basically get us on to the starting line. :D

If any of you are interested or willing to introduce me I have a presentation and information regarding the team. I am also more than happy to give a presentation on what we are doing and how we can partner with corporate sponsors to maximize exposure to a target audience here in Japan and Asia.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
73
68
Kochi
#14
cheers Ludwig.... we have all the hardware in place and now looking for monetary sponsorship to basically get us on to the starting line. :D

If any of you are interested or willing to introduce me I have a presentation and information regarding the team. I am also more than happy to give a presentation on what we are doing and how we can partner with corporate sponsors to maximize exposure to a target audience here in Japan and Asia.
Good luck on your team.

One other company I was thinking of for sponsoring a Japanese pro team would be the clothing giants UniQlo due to the fact that as well as the actual sponsorship they could make the team kit, and then launch off into more specific sportswear products rather than just generic ones. Don`t know if they would be interested in what you are doing and at the level you are doing it, but might be worth a punt.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,681
1,316
133
Niigata
#16
Shimano sponsor "Shimano Racing" here in Japan and the "Skil-Shimano" pro continental team in Europe which sometimes gets entry to the bigger tours. They also provide components for many of the pro teams out there so I'd say they're doing a good job putting money and technology in to the sport.

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time