Tour of Japan 2012

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#1
Right alot of people are followingb the grand tours and many other bitch and moan that there aren't any events like this in Japan....

Well there is as such, from May 20 to the 27th the UCI Tour of Japan will be hitting the streets.

6 stages across Japan with 4 of the stages drivable from Tokyo - so show some support for the event and try and make it down for a few of the stage!

For those that race the stages will be open for citzens races!

http://www.toj.co.jp/
 

GSAstuto

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#3
Indeed! I want to look at some of the 'citizen races' as well. Might be fun. My question, too - James, are you entered in this series? It's always great if you cheer on some of your mates!

Now, when Japan gets a proper stage race mentality.... that will be the day! Hell, even the Republic of Wadiya has an I.E.D. Tour.


Thanks for the info.

Would like to make it to one race but will have to see how things go schedule wise.

Are you racing?
 

FarEast

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#5
Indeed! I want to look at some of the 'citizen races' as well. Might be fun. My question, too - James, are you entered in this series? It's always great if you cheer on some of your mates!

Now, when Japan gets a proper stage race mentality.... that will be the day! Hell, even the Republic of Wadiya has an I.E.D. Tour.
Tim, I take it you have never been to the Japan Cup?

The crowds are mental they are trying desperately to increase the amount of stages with last year introducing a criterium the day before, however just like any of the famous races sponsors are only interested in supporting events which get the crowds.

What with the J-Sports coverage this is bringing Japanese road racing in to the living rooms but its the road side masses that the sponsors want to see.

The tour of Japan is a UCI event and a 6 day stage race however the citizens races are only 1 off day races which again is a shame and I know it’s something that some of the sponsors are trying to sort out - the problem however is commitment from the riders or teams in the JPT, JET as the travel involved midweek is very difficult and with JPT teams and JET teams being compromised of semi pro's or amateur riders it’s hard for them to commit a week off.

I think I will be racing maybe 2 or 3 of the citizens races – I will be going in to the teams office this afternoon and will be discuss with the DS to see what the situation is and if it’s even possible.

June 1-3 is a 3 day stage race in Mie Prefecture (3 days in Kumano) and it’s also a UCI 2.2 race a brutal course that the climbers will excel at – I will be racing for Champion Systems in the E1 category which are shorter courses than the UCI, pissed off about that as I excel at racing multiple stages of 130km or more for 3 or more days.
 

GSAstuto

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#6
Yes, actually I attended last year in Utsinomiya (rode out there and back as well - hows THAT for dedication). The weather was not as cooperative as it could be , and I wished I could have had an extra day to see the crit downtown. But darn! They need to bring these events where the people ARE - most of the cycling population is in TOKYO! At least give us an 'Emperor's Palace Prolouge' , 'Ramen TT' or <something> fer chrisskaes, to get our whistle wet. Hell, how many barely used Keirin Jyous do they have? Can't even give us a finish there? Or 5000m TT? This is what I'm talking about.

Hmm, so let's see what makes a nice day trip --

MINAMI-SHINSHU - Nagano -- Nope
MINO - Gifu -- Nope
AZAMI - Kanto -- Kind of, But it's hard for spectators to get up to the cramped ending point. And really minimal transportation to the start.
IZU - CSC - Maybe best viewing options - but poor transpo options and the return bus to Station finishes very early. 9.30am start means getting a 6.00am train!
Shinagawa - OI - This looks promising! And 11.00am start on a Sunday just begs for a ride out.

So - looks like TV is the best option - oops, I don't bother with Pay TV so that's out unless they'll torrent it or U-Stream it. Other than that - Oi looks to be where I'll get my ToJ fix.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#7
It is weird in Japan, isn't it.

As much as I love it, there is this sodding Mad Max Post-Tribulation Leibensraum style buffer-zone of grey hell between the city where all the money and bikes are, and the actual nice places to ride.

Imagine if this dead-zone didn't exist! Japan would be an incredible contender for huge races.
 

GSAstuto

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#8
Hmm, wasn't that the moral of Ghibli's Pom Poko? Anyway - if they actually were behind the sport, it stands to reason that everyone would benefit by making them a little more publically accessible . EU is fortunate because the roads take the peloton directly through the cities and villages, for the most part. And in the U.S., the city stages are aggressively bid upon as they bring lots of $$$$$$$ to the businesses there. They aren't stupid - cycling events bring ALOT of MONEY into the community.

For example - a typical budget for a City Stage would be roughly $200,000 and be directly offset by City 'owned' assets and priviledges. (no taxpayer burden) Then the resulting collateral benefit would pass on directly to the business and facility owners surrounding the event - with additional longtail revenues due to increased awareness of those businesses and facilities.

I gotta bring this up at the next Tokyo Chamber of Commerce business ideas event .... I think, in general, most business owners just don't realize this yet - it's just not on their radar compared to the Matsuri and other events.


It is weird in Japan, isn't it.

As much as I love it, there is this sodding Mad Max Post-Tribulation Leibensraum style buffer-zone of grey hell between the city where all the money and bikes are, and the actual nice places to ride.

Imagine if this dead-zone didn't exist! Japan would be an incredible contender for huge races.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#13
I don't think the fnal event was ever run by the JCRC.
Nikkan Sports ran it...JCRC provided some support but not on course support.
Registration was direct via Nikkan Sports.
And it was a tricky process to get in early as it filled up quickly.
You had to be on their mailing list to get an invite or call up the office and ask for one to be sent to you.
It was one of my favorite crits...yet the 1st time I did it I had my biggest race crash...so much for being super confident... Last time I did it it was raining so I just used it as a warm up race for the following week.

The course suited my style...and those kinds of races seem to be disappearing all together in Japan.

The categories were half JCRC and half other.
ie 2 JCRC cats per division.

S A
B C
D E
F X etc
 

FarEast

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#14
Loads and loads of races - really can't understand why everyone things there isn't anything going off here!

Infact Im racing every weekend for the next 4 weeks! one of those weekends is 3 days in Kumano so that's a triple whammy!
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#15
Loads and loads of races - really can't understand why everyone thinks there isn't anything going off here!

Infact Im racing every weekend for the next 4 weeks! one of those weekends is 3 days in Kumano so that's a triple whammy!
Plenty of races for you....but as I said....'course suited my style'.

Anyway, I'm unfit now, putting on more weight & getting old quickly...the only races that suit me lately will be down hill races. And I don't like downhill races.
 

FarEast

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#16
age is just a number! I think there are plenty of riders out there proving the point - my dad is 65 and still competes.

You just need to actually get on the bike and ride -
 

GSAstuto

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#17
I agree - age is not an issue. And with more people becoming older - you have a bigger field. What is an issue in Japan is that for people living in Tokyo (the largest population center) , travelling to the races that do exist (generally outside of Tokyo by several hours), the cost is high. Period.

For example - If I want to race CSC I need to take a train - the day before - because the start / reg times are too early to make it there by first train. So, I have train (both ways) + Hotel + Reg Fees. That would easily total up to 10,000 yen or more.

If I want to race a little further out - and especially if I want to go with other riders or family - then that necessitates a vehicle rental. Immediately cost is bumped to about 30,000 yen/event not counting extras.

By contrast - Portland Monday Night Series - $15/race registration fee and less than 15min from downtown. Period. Every Monday night from April to August.

No, Japan does not have 'tons of races'. And what they do have are expensive and generally difficult for most people to attend or participate. The fact that people DO attend and participate is a testament to the commitment of the community.

And I believe your father, James, resides in UK, no? Another great place to race - as most cycling clubs host regular TT's , Randos and races ongoing - as they have consistently for what, the last 85-100yrs? Same in Europe. Almost any small city or community has at least 3 or 4 Cycling Clubs and one can enter dozens of races of varying levels and disclipline year round without having to travel more than an hour in any direction.

I'd suggest we try to get something consistently organized at a convenient location (like Arakawa) where it would be possible to run either TT, CX or Crit with minimal traffic impact and far easier access than anything currently being offered. Even the weekend training at Oi is dodgy and now has the cyclists at odds with the police. Exactly OPPOSITE as it should be!
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#18
No, Japan does not have 'tons of races'. And what they do have are expensive and generally difficult for most people to attend or participate. The fact that people DO attend and participate is a testament to the commitment of the community.!
Im sorry Tim but I disagree, Japan Entry is full of races, Sportif and Brevets across Japan and then you also have those that choose not to have Sports Entry application such as TOITO, JBCF, JCRC, Saitama Critterium and then prefectual races -Those of us that actual ride and immerse ourselves in Japanese club scene know about it - thus why more and more riders are joining the JCRC and other events like Fuji Hill CLimb and TOITO because they ride/race it and then report back here about them - It's a real shame that Positivo Esspresso is kind of defunct here in Japan as they really were active in finding events and then blogging and reporting on them back here - it's what got me into the scene.

Yes these are scattered about Japan its all about how much you want to race, just like any other country. It's all well and good moaning that there is nothing in Tokyo but take a look at London, New York and Paris how many non professional races are held each year in those capitals - I can say from actual experience that when I lived in London I had to travel all over the UK to race and it's the same for those that live in any major city and that had its expenses as well as we either had to camp or use B&B's plus the travel and entry fees.

In London it was almost impossible to find evening TT's or Crit races and you would have to travel 2 hours to find a road event.

Compared to the US and even the UK the public transportation system in Japan is outstanding and anyone prepared to travel can get out to races if they choose to if you are looking for something to fall in your lap on your door step forget it, although it seems that when something does persons would rather moan about it than actually enter.

And I believe your father, James, resides in UK, no? Another great place to race - as most cycling clubs host regular TT's , Randos and races ongoing - as they have consistently for what, the last 85-100yrs? Same in Europe. Almost any small city or community has at least 3 or 4 Cycling Clubs and one can enter dozens of races of varying levels and disclipline year round without having to travel more than an hour in any direction.
In regards to my father I was refering to him actually still riding at 65 rather than competing - he competes in the local club TT's - for road racing he would need to travel further a field. You need to rememebr that actual road racing on public roads in the UK was illegal until 1960 and even then it was a fringe sport with many police constabularies denying access or road closures.

Even when I started to get in to Road Racing in my late teens the club I raced for told me that if I was to take it seriously then I need to raceon the continent, even now young riders in thier droves cross the channel where the attitude, support and events are constantly happening (You still need to travel 100's of km though if you are looking to race)


But even today its very hard to get a race approved - the Tour of Britain had to do indoor events one year due to the police denying and revoking a permit at the last minute.

The US is very different in regards to sports and how sports personalities are treated to the rest of thw world so its no wonder that communities and governments are more willing to promote and allow racing. Also in the US there is a HUGE amount of money to be made from running races, ePerformance recently purchased 2 major events in the US worth millions - something that hasn't really caught on here with smaller organisers.

Racing in Japan is still in its teething stages - many events are growing with J-Sports buying the rights for the JBCF, TOJ and Japan Cup in the hope to bring it to the masses and create more interest in the sport - thus having a knock on effect down the line - Look at how Greg Lemond changed the sport in America and then the sports revival with Armstrong.

So comparing Japan to the US or Europe is futile, it's like comparing a 4 year old to someone in thier 40's, mind set, experience and knowledge are worlds apart!

But there are some good heads on the shoulders of those willing to try and promote the sport here - TeamAnchor has recently moved the squad to France, they still fly the team in to Japan for the races here but they know if the DS, Manager and riders are to help the sport back hom they need to learn from old hands.

The JCF realise that they need to make more UCI races if they want Japan to become a serious destination in the world Tour and 3 days in Kumano has recently become a UCI 2.2 event making Japan the location with the most UCI events in the Asia Tour. (China is hot on thier heels)

But for Japan and the governing bodies here to be able to filter down and create more events at a non pro level they need participants and they need support - hard to believe but it was actually Japan that started the real push in creating side by side amateur events to run parallel to the UCI event - now all the big shows are doing it.

I'd suggest we try to get something consistently organized at a convenient location (like Arakawa) where it would be possible to run either TT, CX or Crit with minimal traffic impact and far easier access than anything currently being offered. Even the weekend training at Oi is dodgy and now has the cyclists at odds with the police. Exactly OPPOSITE as it should be!
This has been tried but nobody bothers to turn up, it seems people are more interested in moaning about what they don't have and how Japan sucks than actually supporting events or getting off thier butts and organising something with either prefectual organisations or local land owners.

Andywood's team seems to be on the right track - they seem to have organised events with the local government and he posted it up here - some of you may have attended many probably didn't but for those complaining and saying something should be organised surely that would have been a perfect event to attend, to speak to the organisers and get some information, feedback and valuable contacts to develope your own events?

Races in and around Tokyo (That I know of):

Jingumie Criterium
Saitama Criterium Series (6 races - I think)
Saitama TT (Recently raced by Eric with brilliant results)
Japan King of Endurance (Yokohama)
Tour of Japan Oifuto Wharf (Citizens race)
Tokyo Hill Climb Series (2 races)
Tokyo Endurance (3 races - Spring, Summer, Winter)
Tokyo Itoigawa (Although not really Tokyo this year)

16 events that are right on your door step and can be riden to, and those are just the ones I pulling from memory and there is a lot more - Just check out the Saitama, Tokyo, Kanagawa Cycling federation websites for other events.

But yes it will mean leaving the safety blanket of the western community in Japan and either joining a japanese club that is registered with the cycling federation (something that all clubs in Europe and the US have to do btw) or someone taking the lead and registering the TCC with the JCF.

This doesn't include any of the Brevets, Earthday rides, Century rides or Sportifs that are organised.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#19
age is just a number! I think there are plenty of riders out there proving the point - my dad is 65 and still competes.

You just need to actually get on the bike and ride -
I can ride races every Tue & Thursday night or Saturday Sunday mornings 2 minutes from my home... just been swamped with work the last year and haven't had time... and I'm not complaining... just that 2 of my favorite races appear to have been dropped from last year.
Putting 2 kids through Uni doesn't allow much time for riding unfortunately.

Could you provide a link for the Nikkan Oi wharf citizens race 5/27. I can't find it.

I can find the E1 E2 JBCF link but that's not for anybody to enter like it used to be.

:D
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#20
Edogawakikkoman - it's no longer run by the Nikkan sports - it falls under the JBCF event now so you would need to enter it through a JCF registered team. This yers event the Metro Government has not allowed an time extention for E3 (basically anyone with a JCF license) to race. It sucks but unfortuantely its the red tape at city level - The police and the local companies have all said that it can be done but its at the top level where it come unhinged (Btw for those that blame the police - get real they don't make the laws they police it - it's the local government that you need to lobby)

Basically it seems that the JCF and JBCF are trying to bring all the road racing under one organisation - which in my opinion is a god send!