Mount Fuji to form the backdrop to the course climax
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today announced the routes for the Tokyo 2020 cycling road race events. Both road races will start in the Tokyo metropolitan area and route west through scenic landscapes towards the Mount Fuji region. The athletes will be put to the test with technically challenging courses with significant elevation gain.
The dynamic and spectator-friendly race routes will start at Musashinonomori Park in Chofu, western Tokyo, with a 10km neutral zone where the riders will initially parade without actively racing. The race proper will then commence, taking in a broad swathe of Japan’s rich geography, including urban areas of Tokyo, roads with mountain views and attractive lakes against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji. Exiting the Tokyo metropolitan area, the routes will traverse three prefectures to the west of the capital – Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka – each with its own distinctive landscape – finishing at the Fuji Speedway circuit in Shizuoka prefecture.
The riders will traverse the lower slopes of the iconic Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, which attracts many thousands of visitors and climbers from around the world every year. They will also follow some of the dedicated cycling routes around nearby Lake Yamanakako, another scenic tourist destination. The final stretches of the course will feature challenging terrain where the outcome of the races may well be decided. Racing will finish with riders completing circuits in and around the Fuji Speedway, a motorsport race track located immediately below Mount Fuji. With each lap, spectators in the ample grandstand seating will see the race finale unfold – be it from a solo attack, small breakaway group or bunch sprint – and cheer the riders on as they make their final approach to the finish line and Olympic glory.
Yoshiro Mori, President of Tokyo 2020, commented, “I am very pleased that the cycling road course at Tokyo 2020 was approved by the UCI and we were able to officially announce it today. Both the men and women’s courses will start at Musashinonomori Park in Chofu and pass through Tokyo and three prefectures, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka, finishing at Fuji Speedway.
“During the second half of the course, cyclists will face tough terrain around Mt. Fuji, one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks. All in all, it will be an imposing course that will offer increasing excitement as it progresses, with the elevation changes providing some of the most daunting challenges of recent Games. We look forward to welcoming top athletes from around the world with an atmosphere that will be reminiscent of legendary European road races of the past. We will continue our preparations to successfully host them with just two years to go to the Tokyo 2020 Games.”
David Lappartient, President of the UCI, commented, “An Olympic title is a major goal for any elite athlete, and the challenging and spectacular road race courses at Tokyo 2020 will provide a true test for the best cyclists in the world. Taking in iconic tourist attractions such as the Fuji Five Lakes region, the routes will also guarantee an exciting spectacle for fans lining the roadside and spectators worldwide watching the breath-taking images on television.
“With an impressive five disciplines on the Olympic programme, cycling is unquestionably an important part of the Olympic Movement. Featuring at the Olympics since 1896, cycling is one of the pioneers of the Olympic adventure, and Tokyo 2020 will provide yet another fantastic showcase for our sport with the presence of road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and, for the first time, BMX Freestyle Park.”
Thomas Rohregger, former Olympic road cyclist and UCI Technical Advisor, stated, “The local Organising Committee and the UCI have chosen spectacular courses that will suit the Olympic format perfectly. It will be difficult to control the race, and this will allow for lots of attacking and aggressive riding in the first stages of the races. The distances and elevation gain will require the riders to make perfect tactical decisions if they wish to win Olympic medals.”
Source: UCI press release