UCI Asia Tour: Askari untouchable as season draws to a close

Two races produced two different winners in the UCI Asia Tour’s September campaign, but neither result could unbalance Tabriz Petrochemical’s Hossein Askari, who is confirmed as the 2007-2008 overall champion.

The Tour of Thailand The Northern Advanture (class 2.2), which took place 1st – 6th September, saw the Giant Asia Racing Team notch their third overall win of the season when German rider Alex Coutts (photo) topped the general classification ahead of the outstanding Tabriz Petrochemical outfit’s Hossein Nateghi. GE-Trek-Marco Polo’s former Rabobank UCI ProTour rider Leon Van Bon took the honours in the points classification.

The Tour de Hokkaido then took place in Japan from September 11th to 15th. Meitan Hompo-GDR’s Takashi Miyazawa battled a strong field to emerge with victories in the general classification and on points.

Miyazawa’s overall win was his second of the season, after taking the Tour de Okinawa earlier in the season. He moves up to fifth in the UCI Asia Tour rankings, behind the dominant Iranians, who have Askari in the lead, Ghader Mizbani in second, while Nateghi and Mehdi Sohrabi are third and fourth respectively. Tabriz Petrochemical’s Ahad Kazemi Sarai is sixth in the rankings, bringing to five the number of Iranians in the top 10 of the UCI Asia Tour rankings.

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