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[PCT 19] Rakuten Pro Cycling | Post Transfer Squad


Rakuten has decided to venture into the cycling world, taking over for Meiji, a longstanding outfit in the MG. Rakuten are thrilled to have the opportunity to take over an already established team with an Asian base, however the focus of the new team will be on building the best team possible no matter where a rider is from. Still, to have a rider such as Kinoshita is a great rider to build around.

Rakuten believe starting a cycling team is a very unique opportunity. In most other sports, the team is represented by a city or region, but not many sports can say the team is represented by the sponsor. Rakuten has been gaining more and more recognition as sponsors of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA and FC Barcelona in La Liga, but the opportunity to be the team itself in cycling is a unique opportunity that could improve the exposure of Rakuten even further with good results, which is the hope.

We look forward to competing this season in PCT, but cant wait for what the future holds!
Edited by valverde321 on 30-09-2019 16:22
Reserved 1/1
Post Renewals Squad

NameAgeKey StatsWageAvailability
Yudai Arashiro2480 FL, 78 FGT€ 50,000No
Rei Onodera2473TT, 70PR€ 50,000Maybe
Saya Kuroeda2477CO, 74SP, 78AC€ 115,000No
Shiki Kuroeda2782 REC, 76SP, 75CO€ 70,000No
Jingbiao Zhao2475SP, 79AC, 76PR€ 50,000Will listen
Tomohiro Kinoshita2881HIl, 77AC, 80STA€ 525,000No
Kazushige Kuboki3078PR, 77SP, 73HIl€ 85,000No
Wataru Mutsumine2777HIl, 71AC€ 77,500Will listen
Tomoyuki Iino3077MO, 73HIl€ 62,500Maybe
Yamato Shirota2575MO, 75HIl, 78AC€ 50,000No
Ryoma Nonaka3075PR, 70HIl€ 50,000No
Genki Yamamoto2878SP, 78AC€ 50,000Maybe
Chen Shikai2781MO, 76TT, 78REC€ 260,000Yes
Ki Ho Choi2880MO, 75TT, 79REC€ 265,000Maybe
Kenji Itami3180S, 82AC, 78REC€ 140,000Yes
Jiankun Liu2475SP, 76AC€ 50,000No
King Lok Cheung2877TT, 77PR, 75FL€ 50,000Maybe

The squad is in a transitional phase, and we are looking at adding a few new leaders to the team, as well as maybe a top end talent. We can probably add a talent or one or two leaders with our remaining cap space, as it is, but moving on from one or two of our current leaders would give us more flexibility to add all of our targets.

Kenji Itami is our first rider we expect to leave. He is still a great sprinter on the flats, and has a great wage. It wouldn't be the end of the world if he stays, but we would like to rebuild our sprint team a little and he doesn't fit in the plans.

Shikai is another rider that while he is very good, doesn't fit with our plans. He's on a great wage for an 81 MO rider, especially after his strong performances last season, but we are looking at having a more versatile group of riders next season, so Shikai doesn't fit our plan, although again we aren't against keeping him if there is no interest.

We also are considering offers for other riders not part of the long term plans, who would make great teammates, or even a good leader in CT like Mutsumine or Yamamoto. We aren't desperate to move them either, but we feel there should be some interest given their low wages.

Even a rider with "No" has some chance of moving, but would require a great offer (open to swaps), although the chances of them moving are very slim, so it would probably be better to look elsewhere for a similar rider in that case.
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Kuboki no Sad Expected though Pfft Also sad to see you won't part with the Kuroedas or Yudai, but again I'd be shocked if you did Grin Interestign to see where you take the squad with a few potential big sales to come it seems!
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

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jandal7 wrote:
Kuboki no Sad Expected though Pfft Also sad to see you won't part with the Kuroedas or Yudai, but again I'd be shocked if you did Grin Interestign to see where you take the squad with a few potential big sales to come it seems!

Yeah, they're all super valuable domestiques, but Yudai won a stage from a break, and Kuroedas should be outsiders for PCT cobbles now, which has always been my teams weakest area.
Hmm... that's an interesting and unexpected list of names available, we'll be in touch.
sammyt93 wrote:
Hmm... that's an interesting and unexpected list of names available, we'll be in touch.

Unexpected maybe, but the teams been more or less the same for the last few seasons and we have really stagnated, so somethings gotta change.
Lots of quality on offer. I wish you good luck in your rebuilding project. Rakuten is a high level sponsor indeed, I also like the jersey Smile
redordead wrote:
Lots of quality on offer. I wish you good luck in your rebuilding project. Rakuten is a high level sponsor indeed, I also like the jersey Smile

Thanks! I thought it was a good time to switch to a new sponsor as I change my goals from having a full Asian squad, to trying to be the best team in the world, and Rakuten is both a Japanese sponsor still, and a huge one, that could realistically fund such a project.
Post Transfers Squad


Training has not been included yet, and we are still sorting out if one final stagiare will be joining or not, but this is our provisional squad for the upcoming season.

Tomohiro Kinoshita
Kenji Itami
Chen Shikai
Michel Sibilla

Kinoshita is the teams cornerstone and will be back to hopefully be a Top 5 PCT rider again, after a bit of a disappointing season last year. Itami is our strongest sprinter, and after a rocky offseason with many rumours of his departure, he finds himself still on the team. He will be fired up to prove to the team, that it was the right decision, and with PCM18, we think he may have a better season than last as well. Shikai is now the main Stage racer on the team, after sharing a split role with Choi, so the pressure will really be on him now. It will be tough for him to replicate last years great results, but if he can stay consistent we will be happy with him.

And new to the team is Michel Sibilla, who joins from Tinkoff for a fee of only 100,000. He is only really suited to flat cobble races, but he should score decently this season still, in an area we used to get 0 points in every season.


Teodoro Costagli
Tomoyuki Iino
Sho Hatsuyama
Yamato Shirota

Costagli joins the team to replace Choi. He wont bring in as many points, but he should be able to score lesser points, but still consistently at his level, and also be a great helper to Shikai in some situations as well. Iino, Shirota and Hatsuyama will also be great helpers, but could be dangerous breakaway riders.


Chris Froome
Pieter Serry
Wataru Mutsumine
Rafael Silva

We have really bolstered our hills squad this season. Froome should be a solid scorer, although he's definitely past his prime and likely wont be winning races anymore. Serry is going to be a great helper with a great Mo/HIl and could even see himself as leader in some races. Mutsumine could also be a good finisher, and Silva is not only a solid hill rider, but has great ACC and a decent sprint, so reduced bunch sprints on a hilly day could be his specialty.

Time Trial

King Lok Cheung
Pierre Rolland
pcmdaily.com/images//flags/FJ.png Jacob Salcone
Rein Onodera
Ryoma Nonaka

We dont have the strongest TT squad, but we think we have decent depth, which should still help for TTTs and a lot of our riders are even better at shorter TTs which could come in handy for short stage races. Rolland is our biggest acquisition for TTs and he will also be a great help in the mountains. Salcone is also very versatile, so we think we've found great value.


Saya Kuroeda
Shiki Kuroeda

The Kuroedas are now both maxed and we should see them score decently well this season. Saya in particular could be a very underrated rider for us. They will both likely help Sibilla, but if the hills become too hard for him, Shiki can definitely survive them a bit longer.


Tomohiro Hayakawa
Kazushige Kuboki
Jiankun Liu
Jingbaio Zhao

Hayakawa left the team to test the FA market, hoping for over 120,000, but in the end he didnt receive any interest so joins back for just 60,000. Kuboki is good on hills and has a great prologue so he will surely lead some races, and be a great helper in others. Liu and Zhao will both be even stronger on day, Liu will likely be the top sprinter here.


Yudai Arashiro

Arashiro is our only flat specialist and he is one of the best in the world. He will be a great leadout rider, but he's also already proved he can win flat stages from the breakaway by simply holding off the peloton. He still has room to grow as well.


Yuriy Natarov

Natarov joins as a stagiare, and we are extremely pleased to find a talent such as his in the final few days of the transfer window. Some talents with similar ability were going for nearly 100k, but we were able to fit him in at only 10,000

These are his possible trainings we have uncovered, but there could be more

Stage Race65787171677178606566775770

Nice squad you have here with plenty of depth. Can't wait for the Tomohiro Kinoshita vs. Simon Yates battles. Smile
Very strong hill-squad with Kinoshita as a superb PCT puncher!
Shikai is a very solid GC leader in PCT aswell, guess those two will score a lot of points for you!
@ Mre - Yates was my #1 target, so it stings that I'll have to be up against him now, especially with you training him.

@ viking - Yeah, hopefully they can score big. Not sure how much Shikai will do but hopefully enough.
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