Yukiya Arashiro had a taste of what it’s like to race in the Tour de France, and now he’s hungry for more.
Arashiro holds the distinction of being the first Japanese biker to complete the famed European peloton. Last year in Paris, he crossed the finish line ahead of his compatriot Fumiyuki Beppu, and he expressed a desire to not only complete the race this season, but actually get a stage win.
Yukiya Arashiro is currently a member of the French racing team Bbox Bouygues Telecom, and is presently in Thailand, training with the Korean team Geumsang Ginseng Asia. This season will be his second with Team Bbox, and Arashiro hopes to make the most of it, seeing as the team is assured of a spot on the Tour de France even though it is no longer considered a ProTour team.
Getting a first stage win will be huge for the Japanese rider, and he has shown that he has the skills and talent to do it. After all, he managed to finish in the top five in a Tour de France stage on only his first attempt.
He also expressed his wish to see compatriots Beppu and Yukihiro Doi in the starting line in Paris. However, it is uncertain whether Arashiro will get his wish, since Beppu remains unlisted in RadioShack’s official roster, even though he has already signed with two different teams. As for Doi, it is doubtful whether his team Skil-Shimano will get a wild-card spot again, at least for this season.
Arashiro’s success will not only affect him individually, but will also shape Japanese cycling’s future. Akira Asada, his former team manager, has plans for acquiring sponsors to build a Pro Continental team next year and eventually see an all-Japanese team in the Tour de France.