TOKYO (AP) — The men’s and women’sthat begin the cycling program at the Tokyo Games this weekend are similar only in their start amid the forests of Musashinonomori Park and their finish line at Fuji International Speedway.
After identical stretches through the outskirts of Tokyo, their courses differ, with the men tackling the iconic climb of Mount Fuji twice and the women avoiding it entirely. The men also have the punchy climb of Mikuni Pass that the women avoid, and will ride 145 miles to the 85 for the women while nearly doubling the amount of climbing.
Yet the most significant difference between the everyone else.is this: More than a dozen men can capture the gold medal in Saturday’s wide-open ride through the Tokyo countryside. In contrast, Sunday’s women’s race is a showdown between the four-woman Dutch team and
“Everybody in the world is trying to figure out how to beat the Dutch girls,” acknowledged Jim Miller, the high-performance, which will roll with Ruth Winder, Coryn Rivera, Amber Neben, and Chloe Dygert on Saturday.
“It’s the Dutch’sor lose, and every other nation will race off how they control the race. I think we have a good team for that,” Miller added. “We have good tactics to crack at the Dutch women at least.”
So, who is on this so-called Dutch dream team?
It starts with Anna van der Breggen, the reigningmedalist, fresh off a dominant victory in the Giro d’Italia Donne. Joining the is Marianne Vos, who captured gold at the 2012 Games in London; La Course by Le Tour and Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Demi Vollering; and Annemiek van Vleuten, who was leading the Rio Olympics road race before a crash on a downhill section left her with a concussion and three spinal fractures. Together, the four riders from the Netherlands have won nine world championships, three Olympic medals, and just about every marquee , La Fleche Wallonne, and many others.
“We have a solid crop of cyclists from which we could select three fully-fledged national team coach Loes Gunnewijk said. “We’re one of the favorites, but we are used to that. And the riders can also do very well there. It’s still a sport; there are no guarantees in advance. All the pieces of the puzzle have to that day. But we leave with one goal: gold and a third consecutive title.”. That is a luxury position,” Dutch
Before the women take the course, the men will race for one of the first medals of the delayed. Among those at the start line, Saturday will be , just six days removed from his second consecutive victory in the Tour de France. He’ll be racing on the four-man Slovenian team alongside his Tour rival, .
Olympic courses typically suit one-day specialists rather than massive amount of climbing coupled with a fast run-in to the finish means both Pogacar and Roglic could well factor into the finish at Fuji. So could Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz, third at the Tour, and Top 10 finisher Guillaume Martin of France. But they’re just part of a handful — of several handfuls — of riders with an opportunity to .riders. Still, the
Defending champion Greg van Avermaet is back for Belgium, but he’ll likely be riding in support of young standouts Remco Evenepoel and, a three-time Tour stage winner. Colombia’s climbing specialists, headlined by Nairo Quintana and Sergio Higuita, have an opportunity to shine; Britain brings experience with Geraint Thomas and brothers .
Then there are the Dutchmen, who are out to prove they’re every bit as strong as their women counterparts. , and Wilco Kelderman finished a surprising fifth place in the overall standings. “Several guys did their Tour to prepare for the Games. Maybe they still have an edge,” Evenepoel said. “But someone like Tadej recovers quickly from such a tough race. He also knows how to do it, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t be a joint top favorite. Then when you see how Wout flew in the past few weeks, you can .
“He has always said he would work towards his goal and that his Tour would be to prepare for the Games,” Evenepeol added. “He’s done that well. He looks sharp and fresh. You can also count winner Bradley Wiggins among those in the brilliant Belgian’s camp. This Wout shouldn’t be afraid of this course.”
“Wout is the best rider in the world at the moment,” he said on his Eurosport podcast. “The guy is phenomenal. I have huge respect for him. He’s now the favorite for the. He has to be. And I’d love to see him https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports