2020 Tokyo Olympic road race to climb slopes of Mount Fuji

The men's road race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be one for the climbers and will feature several loops around the foot of Mount Fuji, according to reports in the Japanese media. However only the men's race that will cover this route while the women's event is likely to avoid the loops around Fuji, although it will feature the same start and finish.

"For the athletes, it will be tough, with a lot of difference in elevation, but it is a wonderful course with Mt. Fuji in the background," a source told Kyodonews.net.

Kyodonews.net reports that the men's road race will cover 270 kilometres. If correct, it would be far and away the longest since professional riders were first allowed to race in 1996 and would be around 30 kilometres longer than the course in Rio last year.

The route would kick off in the Tokyo suburb of Chofu, which is to the west of the city centre itself, and head briefly north before a turn back southwest. Mount Fuji will provide a dramatic backdrop to the action as the riders pass Yamanaka Lake to its east and embark on a hilly loop around the foot of the mountain.

The riders will finish on the Fuji Speedway, which has hosted Formula 1 events in the past. The course will include six ascents with altitudes of well over 1,000 metres on several occasions.

The women's event will be just 140 kilometres, which would be the same length as it was in Rio, and will miss the Mount Fuji loops. Further details on what the route might look like have not yet been published.

Anyone who has ever watched the Formula 1 or endurance events held at the Fuji Speedway will know that the area is prone to heavy rain. The weather could well play a factor in the race, even with the earlier slot of July.

The route has effectively been approved by the UCI, says the report, but it will not be finalised until March next year and there could be some small changes before then. 

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