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UCI unveils tough Olympic road race courses for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Joe Robinson
9 Aug 2018

Mount Fuji and '20%' Mikuni Pass means Olympic road race will suit climbers

The UCI has unveiled challenging, hilly courses for both the men's and women's elite races at the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Both of the races will start in the outskirts of Tokyo before working their way west towards Mount Fuji, finishing in the Fuji International Speedway race track.

Like the 2016 course in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, Tokyo 2020 will suit fast-finishing climbers and puncheurs as the men's and women's races cover five and two categorised climbs respectively.

The men's race will distance 234km with a difficult 4,865m of elevation gain en route. The first summit of the day, Doushi Road, will come after 80km quickly followed by the shorter climb of Kagosaka Pass.

The race will then enter the 'Mount Fuji circuit' after 110km hitting the day's biggest test, the Fuji Sanroku climb (14.3km, 6%), which will take the riders up to 1,451m above sea level. 

After a 15km descent and a further 40km of rolling roads, the race will pass through the Speedway circuit before hitting its final two climbs, the Mikuni Pass (6.5km at 10.6%) and Kagosaka Pass, both of which come in the final 35km of racing.

The race will then descend the Kagosaka Pass before finishing on the Fuji International Speedway circuit.

The women's race will be 137km and misses out climbing Mount Fuji, instead tackling the Doushi Road and Kagosaka Pass, with the last climb 40km away from the finish at the race track.

However, the women's race will still suit those able to climb as it accumulates 2,692m of verticle height along the course.

Commenting on the course, president of Tokyo 2020 Yoshiro Mori stated the routes aim to emulate the feel of 'legendary European road races'.

'Both the men's 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,' said Mori.

'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.'

UCI technical advisor Thomas Rohregger also commented on the course suggesting it to be difficult for nations to control the race.

'The local Organising Committee and the UCI have chosen spectacular courses that will suit the Olympic format perfectly,' said Rohregger.

'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.'

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