Photo/IllutrationA former professional cyclist rides near the Mikuni Pass against the backdrop of Mount Fuji in July. (Provided by the Yamanakako village office)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Tough but spectator-friendly routes for Tokyo Olympic cycling road race events will feature breathtaking views of Mount Fuji.

“We want to highlight the opening of the 2020 Games by sending out images of Mount Fuji around the world,” said an executive of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which announced the routes on Aug. 9.

The men’s event will be held on July 25, a day after the opening ceremony, while the women’s race will be held on the following day.

The course was designed with looking good on TV in mind at the request of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body for sports cycling.

The routes, with ups and downs, will be among the most difficult in Olympic history.

Cyclists will face a maximum slope of 20 degrees at a 200-km point. Elevation gains of about 4,865 meters for men and 2,692 meters for women are higher than those in recent Olympic routes.

The routes--244 kilometers for men and 147 km for women--will start from Musashinomori Park in Fuchu, western Tokyo, and finish at Fuji International Speedway racetrack in Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The most significant feature is a hilly landscape.

Cyclists will traverse the slopes of Doshi Road, part of National Road No. 413 that runs through the village of Doshi, Yamanashi Prefecture, at an elevation of 1,121 meters.

The section will come 80 km from the starting point of Koremasabashi Bridge, which straddles Fuchu and Inagi in western Tokyo.

In the men's race, the highest point will come after 139.2 km at Fuji Sanroku in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, at 1,451 meters above sea level.

The men's route will run through 15 cities, towns and villages in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, while the women's route will go through 13 cities, towns and villages.