Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) pipped Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in a photo finish on Sunday to take the flowers in the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race.
The day’s escape in the 151.3km race in Utsonomiya Forest Park was caught going onto the final circuit, and a flurry of attacks saw a 10-man group form on the last ascent of the Kogashi climb.
Haas and Boasson Hagen battled to the line with Grega Bole (Vini Fantini-Nippo), and it took a camera to decide the victor. Bole rounded out the podium in third.
It was Boasson Hagen’s final race for the British team before he joins MTN-Qhubeka, and while he didn’t pull off the victory, sports director Gabriele Rasch said it was “a good result for him to finish on with Sky.”
“It would have been nice to have a win for Edvald’s last race. Still I think we can be pretty happy with the second place,” he said on the Sky website. “All the guys did really well riding for Edvald and Ben (Swift). Ben just didn’t quite have the legs to follow the group over the last big climb but they did a good job together.”