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While road races in Europe may naturally be dominated by professional cyclists from Europe and to some extent, North America, what may not be known are the Asian riders who ride alongside their Western counterparts. Although there may not be that many Asian riders in the European road racing scene yet, their presence inspires confidence for future up and coming Asian riders.

Yukiya Arashiro (Team Europcar) has been racing in Europe since 2009 with the then French team Bbox Bouygues Telecom (now renamed Europacar). Before hitting European shores, Arashiro won the U23 Japanese National Championships for both the road and time trial titles in 2005 and was the Japanese National Road Champion in 2007.

Since his debut in Europe, Arashiro had considerable success, being the first Japanese to complete two cycling Grand Tour events: the Tour de France in 2009 and the Giro d’Italia in 2010. More recently, Arashiro won the most combative rider award at Stage 4 of this year’s Tour de France. The gutsy Japanese rider initiated a breakaway early in the stage and even having an 8 minute lead over the peloton at one point before being caught up by the peloton at 8.5km to go.

We hope to see more action from Arashiro and his Europcar team in the later stages of this year’s Tour de France!

Ganbatte* Arashiro!

*The Japanese word Ganbatte roughly translates to “work hard” or “press on” in English.