Tour de Kusatsu 2011


Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
Thanks for posting this, Alan! Just signed up. No excuses this year. :)
Thomas, great to see you back in action:D As I'm planning on having a full racing season in the JBCF this year I'll sadly have to miss these Hill Climbs with my old TCC buddies:confused: At least I'll be at the Fuji Azami line HC in June, NorikuraHC in July and the Hakone Turnpike HC in October, same races just JBCF category:)

I highly recommend the Kusatsu HC, great race, great place and last year was really fun! Alan, you'll get more recruits with this pic:



Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
I have fond memories of Mike and me staying in Kusatsu and cycling up the big hill behind the town eventually leading to the highest point of a national road in Japan (well beyond the race finish) this summer, and so would quite like to enter this race once, but this year the date doesn't suit me. Always good to have something to be saved for another year...


Speeding Up
Sep 22, 2006
Ichikawa Chiba
Lanterne Rouge

Very happy to say that I have entered the 2011 Tour De Kusatsu.

Really enjoyed doing Kusatsu in 2007 and 2008 with TCC but due to laziness and distractions I've missed it for the past two years. :eek:

I'm looking forward to meeting some of the old crew again and meeting others for the first time.

See you on the 16th. :)


Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
Maybe this is the most popular TCC HC race?

Too steep for me, maybe next year after I had some more time to build up at least a little bit of climbing skills and hopefully reduce the unit weight by ~10kg (only 2 from the bike).

One has too leave some goals for the future, right?


Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
Just registered!

In the "Championship" class, no less.
My last two times were "48 min" & "45 min" respectively, so ...
But anyway, "No pressure!", right :(?

And yes, the KT rides will be coming thick and fast by the end of February.


Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
Quick Question About Registration

Looking at the sports entry site, it seems that the registration is only open on the previous day, requiring arrival prior to 6pm. Has that been the same policy in the past, and has anyone worked around it and gone up the morning of the event?
Jan 20, 2009
No, the Tour de Kusatsu has never had a same day registration policy in place. They would probably register you race day, especially if you show up nice and early. The race doesn't start till 9:30 or 10:00.

Or call upon a TCC comrade to do it for you on the Saturday:)

Type R

Jul 25, 2010
Just signed up and paid this morning.

Champion class too!

Been putting off training since the holidays, but hopefully from now till April, I'll get back up to shape. My aim is to best last year's champion's record by 5 seconds.

See yez all there!

Type R

Jul 25, 2010
If you can do that, I will send you a case of beer. Seriously:)

Good luck with the training.
Haha, that'd be awesome, but wasteful since I don't drink... Beer. :eek:

Thanks, and goodluck to you and everyone else participating too. :)

On that note, how about sharing training secrets? What's everyone doing to prepare?

I went on vacation back to Canada during Christmas and the first week of the new year, so I didn't get any chances to bike, like how I bike to work every day. I gained a bit of weight that I'm trying to shed. So I'm combining low intensity running with high intensity stationary biking + weight training and a diet that consists of mostly prime chicken and assorted veggies. I'm laying off on the breads and other processed foods.

Also, for veterans of TDK, how cold is it up there in mid April? I know I live in Gunma and should know this, but I don't venture into Kusatsu very often.

I want to know what to wear. Is a cycling jersey a good idea? I've never been in an actual race, so i don't have any racing attire - aside from my helmet. Also,should I change the pedals on my bike to the clip-on ones? I remember someone telling me that something about clip on shoe-pedals on the TDK might be a tad dangerous.


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
@Kori - I think Yabitsu is pretty close. Actually Kusatsu is not as steep as Kazuhari Rindo. Another similar ride is up to Moto Hakone - similar to the Ekiden. For training close to Tokyo - probably Wada would be a good choice cause you can run it up and down several times and the grade is similar. My first time ever at Kusatsu managed to finish under 60min , and that was at my 'fat weight' of around 80kg, only 4months bike time since 20yrs and riding a fixed gear in 39 / 20 gear.

@Type R - last year was cold and breezy. Especially near the top. More important what you wear during the race, will be in packing some warmth for the descent. For actual race you should be fine with a standard bib / jersey and perhaps legwarmer. Gloves would be nice, as well shoecover. If ur going to the trouble to lose weight, then it doesn't make sense to add it back with clothing. And if its rainy, even more so.

The only thing dangerous that I could see is that the crowd of riders is very mixed and variety of skills. So, you can't expect 'normal' race behavior at all. Just be very vocal, shout your line and be very aware around you. Practice riding with other people - that helps alot. The fastest riders will start first and generally be out of your way one way or the other within a few km. Then you are left with the flotsam and jetsam. Just enjoy the ride - alot of other people are just there to trundle to the top to say 'they made it'. If you don't currently ride with clip-on , then don't use them the first time in a race - practice first. Alot. Please.


Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
Kori, Kusatsu HC is not steep - ~6% over 12km

As Tim said, it's very similar to Yabitsu.

Kazahari Tomin-no-mori approach and especially Okutama-ko side are also very similar to Kusatsu as well, and they are the closest to Tokyo, methinks.

Wada is quite a bit steeper (both sides) and shorter.