My life is in France now. I have a wife and daughter, who is six years old, here. I’ve had a 16-year career so far and I’ve decided to stay here. For the future one option is to go back to Japan. But why not stay in Europe? The last time I went back to Japan was last year, when my mother passed away after suffering from cancer.

From the Discovery Channel days, there’s just me left in the peloton. I remember seeing José Azevedo, who was the manager at Katusha and thinking, he was a rider with me 15 years ago. It’s been quite a long career - 15 years, almost all with WorldTour teams.

In a big team,

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