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Chris Sutton (Sky) edged defending champion Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) in a photo finish to win the Japan Cup Criterium on Saturday in Utsonomiya.
Sky’s Ben Swift rounded out the podium in third.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Sutton said on the Sky website, praising teammates Swift, Ian Boswell, Bernhard Eisel and Edvald Boasson Hagen for their work on his behalf during the 20-lap race.
“The boys were incredible. Boswell came and started riding on the front straight away. In the closing laps Bernie was just drilling it on the front and got quicker and quicker. I was really well protected by Eddie and Swifty. It was the best lead-out I’ve ever had.
“Eddie went first and then Swifty stepped off him. I just finished it off and it was really nice to get a win. You know it’s a good lead-out when your lead-out man can still finish on the podium.”
Racing continues on Sunday with the 151.3km Japan Cup Cycle Race.