‘It could be one of the toughest races of our careers’: Tao Geoghegan Hart and Simon Yates share thoughts on Olympic road race

This year’s race will take place in brutal heat and humidity in Japan

Tao Geoghegan Hart at the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty )

The Olympic road race is one of the toughest and most unpredictable races on the cycling calendar, but how do the men’s squad see this year’s event playing out?

Team GB have four riders competing in the 230km men’s course around Mount Fuji on Saturday (July 24), who all have a chance at competing for the win. 

The four British male riders are Geraint Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Simon and Adam Yates, but it’s not yet clear who will be the chosen leader. 

Speaking from a video press conference ahead of the event Geoghegan Hart, winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia, said: “I think it's going to be probably one of the most physically demanding races that we'll do this year, if not in our careers potentially if the temperature and humidity and everything line up.” 

Temperatures in Tokyo leading up to the road race have hit mid-30s with humidity up at 80 per cent, with the forecast for Saturday putting the temperature at 32 degrees. 

The course itself is also brutal, with five categorised climbs spread over 234km.

Geoghegan Hart, who has just come out of the Tour de France a week before the race, said: ‘’I wouldn’t be here [if I didn’t think I was capable of winning]. I think that’s the big strength of this team, we’ve got options to play. 

“It’s a really small team, so it’s important to have cards to play. 

“With the long climb up to Fuji I think you’ve probably got three hours of racing left to go, but I think the race will be on from there.

“It’ll definitely be very unpredictable and hopefully quite an open race. That’s what we’ve seen historically in the games.” 

Simon Yates will also be racing in Tokyo alongside his twin brother Adam, after Simon abandoned the Tour de France on stage 13 following a crash.  

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He said: “It’s always going to be difficult to win and I think as a team we will try and do the best we can.

“The course is hard. I think it’s going to be a very selective course, not just the parcours but the conditions as well. 

“We only have a four-man squad. We don’t even have a full team.

“It really changes the dynamic to what we’re used to on the WorldTour. 

“As a team we’ve got a really good chance. It’s just about putting those pieces together.” 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.