Mount Fuji to feature in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games road races
Mount Fuji is set to feature in the cycling road races at the 2020 Olympics after the UCI published the routes.
The routes will favour the climbers, with the men’s parcours tackling four climbs, including the outer slopes of the formidable volcano, which is around 60 miles south-west of Tokyo. As had previously been reported in the Japanese press, the women’s course will be a watered down version of the men’s and misses the Mt Fuji loop altogether. The women’s race will feature a total elevation of 2,692 metres, while the men will tackle 4,865 metres of climbing.
Both courses will start in Musashino no Mori Park on the outskirts of Tokyo and follow the same route southwest towards the Fuji International Speedway. That part of the course includes two climbs, Donushi Road and Kagosaka Pass, with the road beginning to rise after 40 kilometres.
Doushi road is the tougher of the two ascents with a long ride up from the 40km mark before peaking out at 80km. Few details have been given of the climb but it is a gradual rise interrupted by a few short descents before reaching a maximum height of 1,121 metres. The steepest gradients appear to be closer to the top, which comes just before the riders arrive at Lake Yamanaka. From the top, there is a very short descent before the peloton goes around the lake. The second climb of Kagosaka Pass, which is slightly steeper, is much shorter than its predecessor.
It is here that the two routes will diverge, with the women’s race under 40 kilometres from its conclusion at the top of the climb. Following a lengthy descent, the women’s peloton will enter the Fuji International Speedway and complete a lap and a half of an undulating 17.7km circuit. The riders enter the loop by the Fuji Oyama Golf Club and head straight for the Formula 1 track. After that, they will make their way around the surrounding area before coming back onto the track for the finale.
The men will skip the motor racing circuit the first time and head immediately onto the Mount Fuji circuit. After a short ride through the valley, the road heads upwards again, as the riders take the Mt Fuji toll road. There will be no money spent here, just energy with the ascent topping out at 1,451 metres. The riders will not go onto the mountain proper, turning off when they reach Mizugatsuka Park and turning back down towards the motor racing circuit.
This time, they will go into the finishing loop from the bottom and make their way to the circuit. After a lap of the circuit, the route leaves the complex once again and heads over the Mikuni Pass and then the Kagosaka Pass for a second time. After the Kagosaka Pass, they take on the lengthy descent towards the entrance of the circuit, where they will head towards the track, completing just half a lap before contesting the finish.
"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," Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori said.
"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."