Set against the backdrop of the iconic Mount Fuji, this Wednesday will see the Tokyo Olympic Time Trial unfold.
Starting and finishing at the Fuji Speedway area, riders face a challenging 22.1km race against the clock with a course that combines long straights and undulating terrain.
Upon rolling down the start ramp, riders will leave the track via a downhill section before reaching the first climb 5km in. The steady 5km climb (4.5%) alongside the Fuji Oyama Golf Club will see riders ‘putt-ing’ the power down in this key section of the race.
A 5km descent back into the speedway area ensues before riders complete the second climb (3km / 4%) of the race. The remaining 3.5km on the track sees an undulating run in to the finish line.
Riders to Watch
For the first time in 12 years a new TT Olympic champion will be crowned as the Beijing, London and Rio winner – Kristin Armstrong – has retired. The American was a dominant force in the world of time trials and her young prodigy – Chloé Dygert – will be hoping that she can continue the reign of Team USA.
Dygert famously stormed to victory on the roads of Yorkshire at the 2019 World Championships and some 4 months later, in February 2020, powered to an individual pursuit world record. Despite her horrific crash in Imola, Italy last year, the 24 year old took a very convincing win at the US nationals a month ago showing she is back to full strength. The rolling course will suit Dygert very well and under direction of coach Kristin Armstrong she’ll prove tough to beat.
Current world champion, Anna van der Breggen, took bronze in the TT at Rio and will be hoping she can add a gold to her Olympic medal collection. Van der Breggen took victory at the Dutch TT nationals in June and with an emphatic display of strength at the Giro she’ll certainly be vying for the top spot.
Compatriot and 2017 and 2018 world champion, Annemiek van Vleuten, is another rider targeting the medals. The 38 year old favoured a training camp over racing in the past month and will have prepared meticulously for this effort. She looked incredibly strong during the road race with several damaging attacks and impressive displays of power. Having been openly disappointed about the silver medal she won at the weekend, she’ll be even more motivated to reach the top step of an Olympic podium.
Germany’s Lisa Brennauer is a renowned time trial specialist having donned the rainbow bands in 2014. The 4 time national TT champion is always a contender when it comes to races against the clock so expect to see her challenge for a podium place. After a good ride on Sunday where she sprinted to 6th place she’ll be hoping she can utilise her great form to power herself to a coveted Olympic medal.
Representing Switzerland, Marlen Reusser, is also a rider with a great shot at the podium. The 29 year old, two time national champion has performed well on the world time trialling scene over the past few years. 6th at the World Championships in Yorkshire in 2019 and second in Imola last year (just 15 seconds behind van der Breggen), she’ll be hoping her upwards trajectory continues in 2021. Will we see another upset?
Other riders to watch include Australia’s Grace Brown and Sarah Gigante as well as America’s Amber Neben.
What: 22.1km ITT
When: 28th July, 4.30am (CEDT)
Where: Tokyo, Japan
Anna van der Breggan *****
Chloe Dygert *****
Annemiek van Vleuten ***
Top Outsider: Marlen Reusser