Japan Cup: Michael Rogers rides to solo victory as season nears conclusion
Michael Rogers finished his season on a high with victory at the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race.
Last Updated: 21/10/13 12:56pm
The experienced Australian was able to hold off a strong group of chasers on the Utsonomiya course to secure an impressive solo victory.
Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) rounded out the podium and led in a group of five riders.
The race split to pieces on the penultimate lap as Josh Edmondson of Team Sky went clear alongside Rogers (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). On the final climb of Kogashi Road Rogers attacked through the forest, opening out a slender gap over a strong chase group behind.
David Lopez joined team-mates Joe Dombrowski and Edmondson in the chase - the Spaniard going on to claim fifth with the team's neo-pros claiming seventh and 10th respectively.
The curtain came down on the season with 11 laps of a tough Japanese circuit, providing a test of 151.3km made tougher by the wet conditions.
The day's break pushed hard in the opening laps, 10 men eventually going clear as Team Sky and Omega Pharma - Quick-Step kept tabs on the situation in the peloton. The gap quickly came down, with Bernhard Eisel taking a prolonged turn on the front of the bunch.
As expected late attacks proved decisive and trimmed the winning candidates down to just six, with Rogers edging clear of Edmondson and putting his time trial ability to good use to remain clear.