Millar disappointed at homecoming
By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004
Japanese rider Masahiko Mifune, just four days short of his 35th birthday, upset a star-studded field to win the $60,000 Hong Kong Cycle Classic on Sunday.
Mifune of the World Wide Cycling team from the Netherlands, outsprinted Australia’s Cameron Hughes and Slovakian ace, Milan Dovrscik to claim the top prize in the 80km individual circuit race.
“This is one of my favorite circuits and I felt good at the finish. I had some luck at the finish and I think it was tactics that won the day for us,” said the 34-year-old Belgium-based Japanese.
Mifune sat back and made his move around 500 meters from home after Australian teammate Chris Bradford made an initial attack that allowed Mifune to steal the race right at the finish line from a tiring Hughes.
Mifune clocked 1:48:37 for the 28 lap race around the streets of Wan Chai, the nightlife district made famous in the 1957 novel “The World of Suzy Wong.”
The big disappointment in the race was reigning world time trial champion, David Millar of Great Britain.
Millar, who was celebrating his 27th birthday Sunday, dropped out of the race with five laps to go, saying he couldn’t keep up the searing pace.
“It was a tough, tough race, but on the whole, it has been a fantastic day for me,” said Millar, who spent four years of his childhood in Hong Kong in the nineties and regards the territory as a home from home.