What's new

Saiko Yamanashi (November 11th)


Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
This race is held the same weekend as the Tour Of Okinawa....probably faster to go to Okinawa for a 200km race but it's cheaper to go to Yamanashi...


Nakano Koichi Memorial Race: Nikkan Sports Saiko Stage:

This is my favorite race of the year.
10km laps around lake Saiko (views of Mt Fuji).

Entry Form # 5


Lower grades do 20km ( 2 laps)
C & B do 30km
A do 40km
S do 50km.

The start is downhill for about 2km which means you can warm up a bit even if the initial pace is fast.
The 8km (18km, 28km, 38km 48km) mark is where it goes back up again and not a steep climb. Therefore it's a good sprinters race.

I've done this race 4 times... 1st time I got dropped at the 9km mark, 2nd time I came 3rd, 3rd time I got dropped at the 8km mark and retired at the 10, last year I stuck with the pack and finished strongly...

We usually arrive on the Saturday and do the compulsory Saturday registration, do a few laps of the course and then hit a local hotel, log cabin or minshuku.

A famous Kerin Olympian of the 70s Nakano Koichi is the starter and the race is in his honour.

I paid my entry fee for this when I did the Hitachi Stage.

Saturday morning got up nice and early to the cold and wet.
Was planning on riding to Shin Matsudo to the pick up spot for my ride but didn't want to get water in my Carbon Mavic wheels so packed it up in the rinko and myself up in a few raincoats and walked the 30 minutes to the train station.
Had an hour up my sleeve and went into DOTOUR for breakfast and to have a bit of peace and quiet to myself....

Met the guys and girls and 3 cars packed up and headed off.

Arrived in Saiko at 13:25 five minutes early for the registration. Was cold and wet so we didn't do our usual lap of the course to refresh our memories but went straight to the hotel and did a bit of roller training before onsens and dinner.

My roomate was a piss head so I mistakingly drank a lot...much to his insistance.

Woke up at 4 a.m and looked out the window....rain and cold...and thick black clouds as well as a thick black hangover.... Decided right then and there I wasn't going to do this ride. Tried to get in a little more sleep... 5 am and my room mate wakes me up....

Got to the starting area and talked myself into doing the race anyway. The clouds started to break up a bit and the rain almost stopped. The road was still sloppy wet. Was still too cold. I always get stuck with an early race where the faster grades get to start later in the day...

Did about a 15km warm up ride up and down a hill behind the course and had my winter uniform over my summer uniform and was still cold and wet.

20 minutes before start time and I psyched myself up. I ripped off my winter gear and stashed it in a tree near the start line. Wasn't too cold....

There were a lot of late entries so about 42 (will edit in the exact figure later) or more rolled up to torture themselves.... One guy made special mention of my sparkling brand new looking tires. I told him I don't ride much...and I'd probably crash with the wet mix of new tires and rain... he nervously chuckled...

The nitty gritty.

Start. My heart rate monitor was working. Yay! The last 3 races it has not started for me at the start line.


My right pedal wouldn't go in, but I don't care as I'm up the front and was only going to annoy those behind me. It went in soon enough....

1km. Nice and easy and slow. Downhill too. :) My favorite kind of race...

2km and we approach the frist 90 degree bend. THe coures flattens out and we hit the straights... Everybody yells to go slow as there are steel manhole covers all over the place here and the time triallers earlier had crashed there. I was now at the back of the pack and just sitting behind everybody taking it easy.... (bad move) The leaders decided to make a break at that corner and the peleton thinned out into a long line.

3km 3 guys start to break of the back of the group and leave a 5m or more gap. I jump in front of them and jump on the back of the peleton again.

4km. Same thing... 3 more guys drop off and I have to jump across to the main bunch again. The pace is faster than usual. Not liking this here at the back. I'm out of breath already but if I can make it to the 10km mark I'll be fine....

5, 6 & 7km we wind through the 'S' bends and get ready for the sharp turn and the 2km climb. Every manhole cover we hit (even if straight) causes a lot of back wheels to jump and slide). :eek:

8km We hit the last hard corner and again a few drop off the back and there is a big gap to the front bunch. I launch myself again back to the main bunch.

9km. Those 3 launches have sapped me of my energy and again 3 or 4 guys drop off and I can't make it to the lead group.

10km (1st lap finished) I make one last effort to get to the lead group as it starts down hill again. But I can't. I'm alone by myself now.... about 10 or more behind me.

11km I see 2 more guys ahead have dropped off. I look behind and see the stragglers have formed a group of 5 or 6 and are approaching me...

12km I let the followers catch me and sit on their behinds for the next 4km to catch my breath again. Feeling quite comortable now and the pace is quite good... no way in the world we'll ever catch the lead group so it was now a race amongst ourselves.

17km 2 guys break away and I chase after them.

18km The 3 of us are going up the hill together.

19km 2 more catch up to us....

19.5 I decide to go and sprint away for 30th place.... :eek: Nobody seemed to chase me seriously....

Lessons learnt.

Don't drink so much.
Warm up better.
Go earlier next year and take it easy on the Saturday.
Train harder.
Don't go in half hearted. Have a plan before the race and stick to it.

D1 was a slower pace than our race so I wish I had been called up into that one.
D2 my race (my team mate had a dead heat finish and thought he'd won but came 4th.) He will move up to C grade now.

Will add more results in tomorrow.... some other guys in our club had good rides...

Nobody got injured from our club but the ambulance was busy all day with other riders....

Berry berry tired...... :eek:uch:

Back to the drawing board. This is my favorite course.... I just need to prepare better for it...
Thanks for the detailed report, Edogawakikkoman--what with the weather and booze, it doesn't sound like an ideal day of racing, but with my own first race coming up I read the account with interest. Sounds like you really worked hard.

Oh, and congrats to your teammates for their good rides!
Great report!

That was an awesome km by km report, Pete.
Shame about the conditions & the overall result though.
It still seems amazing that nobody went down on the wet roads, while someone nearly always goes down in prefect, dry conditions.
Anyway, hope you're ready for the "Enduro"!
Rubber down! T
Nice one

Thanks for the report Pete. It was nice to read. Glad to know that all the riders managed to stay verticle amongst miserable weather conditions.:thumb:
Here I am looking as fresh as a fat daisy about to pass the 2 guys who tried to escape... this is about 1km from the finish line....


Looks like the ocurse had dried out completely by the end of the race as well....

Top Bottom