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The UCI Continental Circuits Chronicle

Junya Sano wins the 2017 Tour d
Junya Sano wins the 2017 Tour d'Okinawa

- Race of the month -

The 29th edition of the Tour de Okinawa in Japan took place on November 12th. The one-day UCI 1.2 race began in 1989 as an amateur race and joined the UCI Asia Tour in 2005.  Japanese riders have traditionally done well in their home race, winning 11 of the 13 times the race has been part of the UCI Asia Tour, including this year's victory by Junya Sano of the Matrix Powertag team.

Sano won the sprint from a 21-rider lead group after 210 kilometres of racing, ahead of Jeroen Koos Kers of the Netherlands (Baby-Dump Cycling Team) and Yusuke Hatanaka (Team UKYO).  Defending champion Nariyuki Masuda (Utsunomiya Blitzen) finished 15th.
2017 Final Standings

1 Junya Sano (JPN) Matrix Powertag 5:28:48
2 Jeroen Koos Kers NED) Baby-Dump Cycling Team
3 Yusuke Hatanaka (JPN) Team UKYO
4 Jai Crawford (AUS) Kinan Cycling Team
5 Naoya Yoshioka (JPN) Nasu Blasen 

– UCI Continental Circuits rankings as of November 30, 2017 –

Individual Rankings
UCI Africa Tour - Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA)
UCI America Tour - Serghei Tvetcov (ROU)
UCI Asia Tour - Benjami Prades Reverter (ESP)
UCI Europe Tour - Nacer Bouhanni (FRA)
UCI Oceania Tour - Lucas Hamilton (AUS)

Nation Rankings
UCI Africa Tour - Eritrea
UCI America Tour - Colombia
UCI Asia Tour - Kazakhstan
UCI Europe Tour - France
UCI Oceania Tour - Australia

- Focus on Meron Abraham (ERI) -

Stage 7 winner Meron Abraham (left) with overall winner of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Yohann Gène

Meron Abraham, of Eritrea, has been steadily moving up the UCI Africa Tour rankings, and is currently ranked Number 2. The 22-year-old has had a strong year in 2017, beginning with the African Continental title as part of the winning team time trial title, as well as finishing second in the road race at the same event.  He followed that up by winning a stage of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo (UCI 2.2), finishing third overall at the Massawa Circuit (UCI 1.2) and third on a stage of the Tour Eritrea (UCI 2.2), before becoming the Eritrean national road champion.

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