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The celebs of the Excursion de France met the general public on Saturday forward of the Saitama Criterium, collaborating in conventional Jap calligraphy, a drawing contest and extra in a spectator-friendly match.
Tadej Pogačar made his debut within the match along Mark Cavendish (Astana), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech).
Consistent with the organisers’ press free up, the Vuelta a España champion, Sepp Kuss, confirmed an inherent ability for Jap calligraphy (shūji), drawing the katakana characters for the colour pink whilst Excursion de France mountains classification winner Giulio Ciccone drew the emblem for the mountains. “Did I am getting it proper? Did I am getting it mistaken? I have no idea, nevertheless it was once laborious,” Ciccone stated.
Mark Cavendish became within the crowd-favourite piece of art work within the drawing contest, drawing a caricature model of Saitama’s logo, a bit of inexperienced dragon, whilst Pogačar drew a bullet teach.
Guillaume Martin, attending with Cofidis teammate Victor Lafay, published his connections to Japan.
“My father taught aikido for 40 years”, Martin stated. “He lived in Japan whilst he discovered this martial artwork. I in reality practised it myself for ten years when I used to be more youthful.”
He took a excursion of the island earlier than arriving in Saitama. “There was once a little of the whole lot. We went for fairly a couple of hikes and enjoyment rides. We visited temples and samurai houses. And Japan is at all times an journey for the style buds!”
On Sunday, riders will compete within the Saitama Criterium, 17 laps of a three.5 km path broadcast from 6:45 am on Eurosport.