2012 Tour of Japan recon: Fujisan

Whether it’s circuit races in industrial zones, or sterile city-to-city stages, some of the racing in this season’s AsiaTour has lacked a certain optical energy. This has been most evident when a parcours is the product of staid political influence. So it’s great when a stage race breaks from the mold with a little bit of crazy. 

It all starts so innocently…

Stunning location. Check!
Brutal climb. Check!
Race-deciding stage. Check!

Tour of Japan’s fourth stage has it all. Beginning at 826 metres above sea level, and ending 11.4 kilometres later at 1,963 metres elevation (an average 9.97% gradient, with pinches of 22%), tomorrow’s stage is the hill climb with a difference. Because it’s a mass start. Brilliant! Or, in the words of Bridgestone Anchor’s Ryota Nishizono, “At Mount Fuji, team strength will have almost no meaning”.

Even so, several teams got out for a stage recon during the rest day today. As always, the fearless Sonoko Tanaka was there to capture the fear in the rider’s eyes. Bring your rollers boys, you’re gonna need a warm up!

Chris Butler (Champion System); going into stage four at 14th position on GC, 5’15” behind Julián Arredondo Moreno (Team Nippo)

The irrepressible Shinichi Fukushima (Terengganu Cycling Team) – this man lives for pain. He’s loving it!

Eating, or about to throw up?

Hey, who’s that walking?! It’s a good thing your face is obscured. Shame!

Almost there…

Even after such a short stage, this sign will still be met with huge relief



Google Earth image of the route Tour of Japan’s fourth stage will take


One thought on “2012 Tour of Japan recon: Fujisan

  1. I love it, awesome stage. Would be great to see a high quality video feed….

    Posted by Tom | May 24, 2012, 22:53

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