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Fukuoka in Range of Miyazaki With One Day to Go at Grand Tour Kyushu 2011

by Brett Larner

Starting the second half of the eight-day Grand Tour Kyushu 2011 with a 5:45 lead over rival Fukuoka Prefecture, defending champion Miyazaki Prefecture retains a lead of 4:31 with one day of racing to go. Fukuoka came out swinging on the first leg of Stage Five, with Ryohei Nakano setting the only new stage record of the Tour so far.  Nakano covered the 17.4 km leg in 52:28, the next runner more than two minutes back and Miyazaki's Tomoaki Bungo 3:05 behind in 5th.  Miyazaki worked its way back toward the front but Fukuoka held on to the lead thanks in part to leg bests from legs three and four runners Makoto Tobimatsu and Shuji Yoshikawa, winning Stage Five in 3:46:15 to pick up 1:58 on Miyazaki's overall lead.

Miyazaki came back hard on Stage Six, winning five of the six individual legs and adding 8:54 to its lead over Fukuoka.  Miyazaki rookie Kazuya Deguchi picked up his third stage win of the Tour, putting him in contention for MVP, while Daegu World Championships marathon 7th-placer Hiroyuki Horibata was particularly impressive, winning the 20.2 km anchor stage in 1:00:50 by a  margin of nearly three minutes.

Down almost 13 minutes at the start of the Tour's longest stage, the eight-leg, 127.3 km Seventh Stage, Fukuoka fought back bit by bit, winning five of the legs and cutting down Miyazaki's lead piece by piece.  Miyazaki's fortunes were hurt when leg three runner Koichi Kamo finished only 8th on time and lost almost four minutes to Fukuoka's Kota Ogata, and by the end of the day Fukuoka had won the stage and picked up 8:10, putting it within five minutes of the leaders in the overall standings.  One more day like that and Fukuoka will be looking at dethroning Miyazaki as the dominant center of running in Kyushu.

Grand Tour Kyushu 2011
Nagasaki-Fukuoka, 10/30-11/6/11
click here for complete results

Stage Five - five legs, 71.3 km - Fukuoka Pref. - 3:46:15
Leg One (17.4 km) - Ryohei Nakano (Fukuoka Pref.) - 52:28 - CR
Leg Two (17.6 km) - Satoru Sasaki (Miyazaki Pref.) - 53:55
Leg Three (12.0 km) - Makoto Tobimatsu (Fukuoka Pref.) - 41:35
Leg Four (11.2 km) - Shuji Yoshikawa (Fukuoka Pref.) - 34:27
Leg Five (13.1 km) - Masaya Shimizu (Miyazaki Pref.) - 39:46


Stage Six - six legs, 86.7 km - Miyazaki Pref. - 4:22:38
Leg One (13.7 km) - Kazuya Deguchi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 41:08
Leg Two (14.7 km) - Takuya Fukatsu (Miyazaki Pref.) - 44:26
Leg Three (16.5 km) - Yuki Iwai (Miyazaki Pref.) - 51:08
Leg Four (11.1 km) - Yuki Mori (Nagasaki Pref.) - 33:32
Leg Five (10.5 km) - Kenichi Shiraishi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 31:24
Leg Six (20.2 km) - Hiroyuki Horibata (Miyazaki Pref.) - 1:00:50


Stage Seven - eight legs, 127.3 km - Fukuoka Pref. - 6:30:03
Leg One (17.6 km) - Takahiro Mori (Miyazaki Pref.) - 53:22
Leg Two (12.7 km) - Mamoru Hirano (Fukuoka Pref.) - 38:58
Leg Three (13.0 km) - Kota Ogata (Fukuoka Pref.) - 40:23
Leg Four (18.0 km) - Kenji Takeuchi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 53:36
Leg Five (15.5 km) - Seiji Kobayashi (Nagasaki Pref.) - 47:03
Leg Six (14.9 km) -  Noriaki Fukushima (Fukuoka Pref.) - 45:57
Leg Seven (17.7 km) - Kenichiro Setoguchi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 53:45
Leg Eight (17.9 km) - Masayuki Obata (Fukuoka Pref.) - 54:06


(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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