Men's race reported to be 266km in length

Riders at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo could face a climb up the side of Mount Fuji according to local reports about the mountainous planned route.

Original plans had seen the race routed around the centre of Tokyo, but, although the race will still start in the Japanese capital, it will now head west into the countryside, therefore avoiding causing traffic congestion in the downtown area of the city.

Olympic road race: 266km for men and 143km for women

According to Yomiuri Online the men’s road race will be 266km in length and the women’s road race 143km in length, with both races finishing on the Fuji Speedway motor racing circuit which has hosted the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix in the past.

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The reports suggest that both male and female riders will face a mountainous route, with the first ascent likely to be scaled around 100km into each race.

The men’s race will then cover two loops of a 45km lap, starting and finishing on the motor racing circuit, each of which will feature a climb of roughly 21km with an average gradient of around six per cent.

Mount Fuji could feature on Olympic road race course

The final major obstacle of the men’s road race should be another long climb of around 15km, going half way up the side of the iconic Mount Fuji. This is likely to be crested with around 36km to go, half of which will be a descent before a flat or rolling run-in to the finish line back on the Fuji Speedway circuit.

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If this mountainous course is confirmed by the organising committee, the men’s race will feature more than 5,000m of climbing and be the longest race since professional riders were allowed to compete in 1996. The women’s race will feature less climbing, and be a similar length to the course at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Details are yet to emerge about the planned Olympic time trial routes.

Mount Fuji has been a regular fixture in the cycling calendar for a number of years, with the Tour of Japan often including an 11.4km climb (from a different direction to the Olympic road race route) as a normal road stage.