A five-man Irish team will line up at the Tokyo 2020 Test Event which takes place tomorrow (Sunday). The race, which is a test of the course to be used for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, features a mix of national teams and Asian UCI Continental teams.
The Irish team is made up of Mark Downey (EvoPro Racing), Matthew Teggart (EvoPro Racing), Robert-Jon McCarthy (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes), Mark Dowling and Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes).
Townsend in particular has had some impressive results this season including 2nd at the Memorial Philippe Van Coningsloo (1.2), 3rd at Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl (1.1), Rutland – Melton Cicle Classic (1.2) and Classic Loire Atlantique (1.1) in addition to 4th at the Irish Road Race Championships.
Amongst the other national teams taking part are France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany and Belgium with Aisan Racing Team, Team UKYO, Shimano Racing Team and Team Bridgestone Cycling amongst the trade teams taking part.
There are a number of WorldTour riders lining up for their respective nations who will prove formidable opposition to the Irish team. Included on the French team are Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama – FDJ) with Lawrence Naesen (Lotto Soudal) and Steff Cras (Team Katusha Alpecin) on the Belgian squad.
The Italian team is possibly the strongest and includes Davide Formolo (BORA – hansgrohe), Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team) and Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) with Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) representing Germany.
The race starts at Musashinonomori Park in Tokyo and finishes at Fuji International Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture. It uses the same roads but is a shorter version of the 234-kilometres route that will be used at Tokyo 2020, with athletes taking on the lower slopes of Mount Fuji as part of the race.
There are 56 test events involved in “Ready Steady Tokyo” which are due to take place until May 2020. Weightlifting, archery and surfing events have already taken place this month.