How long is the Olympic cycling road race? Distance and route

There will be two individual road races at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Men’s event and the Women’s event, involving riders from 57 different nations.

How long is the Olympic cycling road race? Distance and route
Toru Hanai Getty Images

Two individual road races will take place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games - the Men’s event and the Women’s event, involving riders from 57 different nations. Both are one-day events with the same starting point and finishing line for both the Men’s and Women’s races although the routes will be slightly different and shorter in the case of the women. Both races will feature stunning scenery including a backdrop of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji which hopefully, should be fully visible at this time of year, weather permitting.

Breathtaking scenery

The men are the first in action. The Men’s competition will feature 130 riders with the largest slots represented by Belgium, Italy, Colombia, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Riders from the same country compete as a team but aim to win medals individually. The Men’s individual road race will take place on Saturday 24 July 2021, starting at 11 am local time (JST) - that is 10 pm PST on Friday 23 July 2021 in New York or 7 pm EST on Friday 23 July in Los Angeles. For those following the race in Central Europe, it will start at 4 am. Organisers estimate that the Men's race will take around six hours to complete from start to finish.

The 234km course starts at Musashino-no-mori Park which is located in to the west side of central Tokyo, a five-minute walk from Tama Station on the Tamagawa Line or a 15-minute walk from Nishi Chofu Station on the Keio Line to the north. The route will take riders south west through Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures until reaching Doushi Road, which marks the start of a long, winding climb with an elevation gain of more than 1000m; then past another stunningly picturesque landmark, Lake Yamanakako - the largest of the Five Fuji Lakes. The Men’s race will include a 51km circuit around the lower slopes of Mount Fuji before other challenging sections such as the 6.5km climb at Mikuna Pass.

The peloton will then descend down into the Fuji Speedway racetrack in Oyama, where riders will complete a short lap before moving on to the Mikuni Pass section before descending back down to the Speedway circuit for the third time before crossing the finishing line.

Mount Fuji is seen behind Tokyo 2020 flags at the Fuji International Speedway, the finishing point for the men's and women's road races at the Olympic Games.

Women's individual road race at Tokyo 2020

The Women’s Individual road race will take place on Sunday 25 July 2021 at the later time of 13:00 hours JST (00:00 hours EST in New York; 9 pm PST on Saturday 24 July in Los Angeles). A total of 67 riders will be participating - there will be a total elevation of 2,692m in the women’s race on a route which is almost identical to the Men’s race, only shorter (137km ) - the main difference is that it bypasses the Mount Fuji climb and the Mikuni Pass. The Women’s race will also start at Musashino-no-mori Park and will conclude with one lap at Fuji Speedway. It it expected to last approximately four hours, finishing at around 17:00 hours local time.