Chris Froome’s appears to be making promising progress in his recovery as he rode a recce of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic course.
The four time Tour de France winner, who has been out injured since a horrific crash in June, visited Japan on Friday (October 25) to test out the Olympic road race course in pouring rain.
Froome was joined by Team Ineos team-mate Michał Kwiatkowski and rivals Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to recon the brutal climbing course over the slopes of Mount Fuiji.
The 234 kilometre race departs from the Musashinonomori Park, with a 10km neutral zone before routing west via the Kagosaka Pass, passing through Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka.
The route of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic road race – which accumulates 4865 metres of climbing – then heads off for the ‘Mount Fuji Circuit’, which sees riders take on the lower slopes of the beast, which attracts thousands of climbers every year.
On return, they’ll pass the spectacular Lake Yamanakako, using popular cycling routes.
Charging into the Fuji International Speedway racetrack, which will host the finish, riders will complete a short lap before moving on to the Mikuni Pass section. The 6.8km climb averages at 10.2 per cent, with sections at 12.6 per cent en route to the 1159 metre peak.
The next step is a long descent, which is followed by fairly flat terrain before the racers hit the Speedway circuit for the third and final time.
Tour de France contenders like Froome may face a tough decision next year, because of the tight schedule before the Olympic race.
Froome, 34, is recovering after a high-speed crash during a recon of the time trial stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, which left him in intensive care.
He suffered multiple fractures in the crash, which forced him to abandon plans to ride the 2019 Tour de France, including a complex open fracture to his femur.
At the end of August, he was able to get back on the bike on the track having been riding his indoor trainer within six weeks of the crash.
Then in late September, Froome was out on the roads with Kwiatkowski during a training ride in the south of France.
He will be back to racing before the end of the year, as he competes in the Saitama Criterium exhibition event this weekend.