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The celebrities of the Tour de France met the general public on Saturday forward of the Saitama Criterium, collaborating in conventional Japanese calligraphy, a drawing contest and extra in a spectator-friendly occasion.
Tadej Pogačar made his debut within the occasion alongside Mark Cavendish (Astana), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech).
Based on the organisers’ press launch, the Vuelta a España champion, Sepp Kuss, confirmed a aptitude for Japanese calligraphy (shūji), drawing the katakana characters for the colour purple whereas Tour de France mountains classification winner Giulio Ciccone drew the image for the mountains. “Did I get it proper? Did I get it flawed? I do not know, however it was onerous,” Ciccone stated.
Mark Cavendish turned within the crowd-favourite piece of art work within the drawing contest, drawing a cartoon model of Saitama’s emblem, somewhat inexperienced dragon, whereas Pogačar drew a bullet practice.
Guillaume Martin, attending with Cofidis teammate Victor Lafay, revealed his connections to Japan.
“My father taught aikido for forty years”, Martin stated. “He lived in Japan whereas he discovered this martial artwork. I truly practised it myself for ten years once I was youthful.”
He took a tour of the island earlier than arriving in Saitama. “There was a little bit of all the pieces. We went for fairly a number of hikes and pleasure rides. We visited temples and samurai houses. And Japan is at all times an journey for the style buds!”
On Sunday, riders will compete within the Saitama Criterium, 17 laps of a 3.5 km course broadcast from 6:45 am on Eurosport.