Cycling | Olympic Games: The Spaniards of Japan warn: “It is crazy, these Games are going to finish very few”

Updated 07/22/2021 – 11:09

Japan is land to be explored for most of the cyclists who will compete this Saturday in the road event of the Olympic Games. Except for those who have attended some of the critriums that the Tour de France organizes at the end of the year, the rest of the riders have not competed in a country capable of devising a route as tough as this weekend where the medals will be decided . scar Pujol, Benja Prades, Jos Vicente Toribio and Airn Fernndez, Spaniards who have been competing in this country for many years, reveal the secrets of the route in BRAND.

“The route is very hard. In 2019, tests were carried out in competition to test the routes. The Italian team, the French, the Belgian came … Only the coach came from Spain. The test was won. Ulissi. The exit is flatter, then it goes to the Mount Fuji and, when leaving Tokyo, you pass through some urbanizations in a constant rise and fall of 10%. Immediately you plant yourself in the Fuji, you go up first on a less hard side -different from where you do in the Tour of Japan-, and after the mountain you go down to get into the circuit. To enter the circuit it also has very hard ramps, you go around several times and go out to the last port (Mikuni Pass) which is tough. It’s a circuit for him Valverde one of the best times or someone light, I don’t think it’s for people like Van Aert because it’s very hard. The final port is 20 minutes long and that will make it a race for climbers, “he says. Fernndez, that lives in Osaka.

The runner, who has been talking to Momparler lately, warned him above all about the harsh weather. “The weather makes everything very tough and the thermal sensation is over 40. If Landa had been there, this was an ideal route for him. You have to be careful with Colombians, “says the runner who has been in the Japanese country for nine years. The cyclist, who lives with his partner, will only return to Spain -in principle- when he retires. “Here I am very comfortable. It is true that they give me the possibility to come and go to Spain, it can be done like Paco, but I think that for my performance it is better to be here. I like this country, the atmosphere, the tranquility, the security. … I’m happy and that’s why I’m here. Maybe if I worked in an office it wouldn’t be the ideal country, because it’s very hard, but to be a professional athlete it’s a luxury “.

Pure strategy

The one who has been here since 2013 is Jos Vicente Toribio, the second Spanish to arrive after Edgar Nohales. “On that route, which we did in the 2019 test, you cannot be spending. You have to know who is well and choose who to pursue. The teams will have to play it. unevenness, it’s the weather. Running here for seven hours is going to be crazy. Very few are going to finish. Valverde is used to the heat, but not to this one, which is so humid. It is completely different from Spain. As soon as you make a minimum effort you are already dripping with sweat and it becomes very tough. Adapting to the weather is going to be essential, “says a runner who is happy in this country.

In love with japan

Benja prades, which has been in the country of the rising sun since 2014, the layout is well known and adds some detail. “If it rains, as it seems, it will be very complicated. It is a very technical circuit where the asphalt in some sections is like wrinkled and, if it rains, the bike is as if it were floating. 50 or so the road is not very complicated, but the Doshi Road is already beginning to be more twisty. And never flat, always either going up or down. Then the climb from Fuji is not the hardest but it is long and the descent at the beginning It has some tricky corners but then it’s pretty straight. And the last 60 there is nothing comfortable anymore, all steepness and uncomfortable terrain. “

Something that second Oscar pujol: “It’s not like concrete, but he clings to the bike a lot. For me, the most complicated thing is how he arises. You put this on a stage of the Tour, he puts on the little train and they play it at the end. But in the Games, With teams of different members, it will be a very strategic race because there are no teams to control the race so much. I think it will be a clean race because of the toughness. A single runner does not advance as much as if he formed a small group, even if it was small. and even more so now that aerodynamic postures have been banned “, the now collaborator of GCN stresses.

And he insists: “Mount Fuji is not such a big deal because of this face, but the last one is of pure strength with hard slopes. In principle it is for a light climber, but with people like Van Aert you can expect anything. If you try to go out, the Pogacar, Roglic or Bettiol are not going to leave him a free meter. If you look at each other, some of them can surprise if they come with a good little point of form “. Listening to their testimonies, the race seems even tougher than it seemed.

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