WorldTeam Lampre Merida will headline the 19th Tour of Japan which is scheduled to be held from 29 May 05 June and will once again feature the iconic Mt Fuji climb.
Image: Takagi Hideaki
Besides the inclusion of Lampre Merida, which counts Yukiya Arashiro and Feng Chun Kai amongst its riders, possibly the best development compared to previous years is the addition of a proper road stage the day after the prologue.
Since 2012, the Tour of Japan has begun with a 2.65 prologue on the opening Sunday, followed by a rest day: essentially two days in which nothing really substantial happens.
Apart from the lack of racing action, it always seemed like a crazy use of resources after all, why fly as many as eight international teams to Japan if they re not going to (really) race for two out of seven days?
Thankfully, this redundancy has finally been resolved. The short Sunday prologue remains for 2016 but now the racing proper will begin on Monday with a 105km circuit race in Kyoto.
Indeed, the Tour of Japan is nothing but a series of relatively businesslike circuit races and this is one of its main strengths. Aside from the potential for a safer form of racing (removing the need for rolling road closures), larger crowds are guaranteed and live streaming albeit from fixed-position cameras becomes viable.
More information will come soon, but for now take a look at the race teaser video that was uploaded today. A list of stages and teams can also be found below.
STAGES (747.45km total)
Stage 1 | Sakai (ITT) 2.65km
Sunday, 29 May 2016 (starts 13:35 local time)
Stage 2 | Kyoto 105.0km (4.2km + 6 laps of a 16.8km circuit)
Monday, 30 May 2016 (starts 09:25 local time)
Stage 3 | Mino 139.4km (11.6km + 6 laps of a 21.3km circuit)
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 (starts 09:15 local time)
Stage 4 | Inabe 130.7km (9.1km + 8 laps of a 15.2km circuit)
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 (starts 09:30 local time)
Stage 5 |Minami Shinshu 123.6km (1.6km + 10 laps of a 12.2km circuit)
Thursday, 02 June 2016 (starts 09:15 local time)
Stage 6 | Fujisan (Mass-start hillclimb) 11.4km
Friday, 03 June 2016 (starts 10:00 local time)
Stage 7 | Izu 122.0km (10 laps of a 12.2km circuit)
Saturday, 04 June 2016 (starts 09:30 local time)
Stage 8 | Tokyo 112.7km (14.7km + 14 laps of a 7.0km circuit)
Sunday, 05 June 2016 (starts 11:00 local time)
Lampre Merida (Italy)
Pro Continental NIPPO Vini Fantini (Italy)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA)
Continental Pishgaman Giant (Iran) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling (UAE) Tabriz Shahrdari (Iran) Avanti Isowhey Sport (Australia) Terengganu Cycling Team (Malaysia) Bridgestone Anchor (Japan) Team Ukyo (Japan) Aisan Racing Team (Japan) Matrix Powertag (Japan) Utsunomiya Blitzen (Japan) Shimano Racing Team (Japan)
Kinan Cycling Team (Japan)