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Tokyo Olympics - Road Race - Preliminary
Time for our first look at the Olympics road race course.


We start at Lake Yamanaka before descending down to Gotemba and the first circuit - the larger Fuji Sanroku climb. Two and half laps of Fuji Speedway Circuit then before the final circuit, where the main action is anticipated. The big Mikuni Pass climb is followed by a flatter section back around Lake Yamanaka, before the shorter Kagosaka Pass. After a final descent, the finish at Fuji Speedway is uphill.

And it is time for the Olympic action to get underway. The preliminary races features the 25 riders who are the only contracted rider from their country - with a field of support riders joining them to ensure there's no crazy AI.


These are the 25 riders we are looking for, along with a note of who their team was in 2021:
HennisHasaniPodium AmbitionAIA
CroesJonathanPodium AmbitionARU
MajorJayPodium AmbitionBAH
RichardsonChequanBWT Hyundai N CyclingBER
NzekeGeremieCarrefour - ESPNCMR
MuhindoJimmyBNZ-Superhero RacingCOD
SalconeJacobVoyagin - BirdFIJ
Lopez NolascoLuis EnriqueLos Pollos HermanosHON
DestriboisAlex AriyaMapeiLAO
NorbertAndrewPodium AmbitionLCA
SebokaMatalaPolestar cyclingLES
RachidElias AbouDuolingoLIB
MundleBenediktJura - FiatLIE
AndriafenomananiainaZouzouTeam Popo4Ever p/b NemiroffMAD
PetrovskiStefanPolestar cyclingMCD
RojasHenry AntonioVolcanica - FoxNCA
ChhetriAjay PanditSauber Petronas RacingNEP
OrueGerman AnibalBNZ-Superhero RacingPAR
Morales OrtegaJacobPodium AmbitionPUR
ArissolAhmadISA - HexactaSEY
GohChoon HuatDuolingoSIN
LaizerRichard LaningoLos Pollos HermanosTAN
CarsiMustafaPolestar cyclingTUR
SiddikovDilmurdjonLierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeamUZB
KirevaAlbertProject: AfricaZIM

Four qualification places available for the first round proper. Seboka is the favourite, with Destribois, Andriafenomananiaina, Chhetri, Petrovski and Goh anticipated to be the main contenders.

No action to note before the first Mikuni Pass ascent, where Seboka has decided to set the pace. Norbert punctures at a bad time, and find himself behind a split - with Major and Carsi for company.


The St Lucian is not ready to give up yet, and has a bridge to aim for, with the riders from Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Nicaragua and Uzbekistan all struggling.


Further back, it's not looking good for the representatives of Bermuda, Liechtenstein and DR Congo - mountains not being their preferred terrain.


Suffering on Mikuni but no urgency to keep it going all the way from there, and the group swells back up to 18.


And indeed up further, such that the only three missing are Laizer, Orue and Major.

We don't have to wait for the 2nd Mikuni ascent though, as Destribois is looking to use Kagosaka as a launch pad.


Others attempt to follow and Petrovski is able to connect up, with the Laos and Macedonia riders taking a lead into the long descent.

They extend their lead up to 50 seconds, despite the efforts of Seboka and Andriafenomananiaina to close it down, and they're ready to attack into the 2nd Mikuni climb.


Goh of Singapore leads the attacking from the chasing group.


Seboka will take over the pace setting, and together with Goh, Andriafenomananiaina, Chhetri and Nzeke, the gap to the leaders is closed. However - Nzeke does struggle, and can't hold the wheels all the way to the top.


No worries for Nzeke as he does use the short descent to regain contact, and on the ensuing flat we see the return of Lebanon and Honduras with Rachid and Lopez Nolasco fighting back.


There's a minutes gap to the next pair of Fiji's Salcone and Aruba's Croes, and that's not a gap they can close for as we leave the lakeshore for the last time, Goh wants to use the Kagosaka Pass this time.


These moves quickly end it for Lopez Nolasco, with Nzeke and Rachid just distanced aswell.

Into the downhill and Seboka continues to push - despite the fact that his strengths are only really on the steep uphills. There's 6 riders left here, 4 qualification spots available.


Fuji Speedway will decide it, and on the entrance way, Goh is attacking again.


Seboka has cracked! He had looked in such control of the race, but no more.


Petrovski had been looking for Seboka's wheel and this has caught him out big time. He's desperately chasing hard now, but the other 4 have bolted.


This could be it - Singapore, Nepal, Laos and Madagascar qualifying for the next round. But who is going to win the race? It's not often these riders are in this position, certainly not when riding for their country! Goh holds the inside line into the final turn.


It's a 2-3% drag to the line, and Destribois has the lead!


It's going to be a 3-way battle of Asian riders, and on the line it's Ajay Pandit Chhetri! A win for Nepal!


Destribois 2nd, Goh 3rd.

Andriafenomananiaina takes 4th, sealing progression to the next round.


Petrovski finishes at 29 seconds, while Seboka is a disappointing 1'26 back. Rachid, Nzeke, Lopez Nolasco and Kireva will complete the Top 10.

1Ajay Pandit ChhetriNepal7h09'26
2Alex Ariya DestriboisLaoss.t.
3Choon Huat GohSingapores.t.
4Zouzou AndriafenomananiainaMadagascars.t.
5Stefan PetrovskiMacedonia+ 29
6Matala SebokaLesotho+ 1'26
7Elias Abou RachidLebanon+ 2'48
8Geremie NzekeCameroons.t.
9Luis Enrique Lopez NolascoHonduras+ 4'00
10Albert KirevaZimbabwe+ 4'58
11Jonathan CroesArubas.t.
12Jacob SalconeFijis.t.
13Andrew NorbertSt Lucia+ 5'21
14Ahmad ArissolSeychelless.t.
15Hasani HennisAnguilla+ 5'41
16Henry Antonio RojasNicaraguas.t.
17Jacob Morales OrtegaPuerto Rico+ 8'02
18Dilmurdjon SiddikovUzbekistan+ 8'12
19Benedikt MundleLiechtenstein+ 11'17
20Chequan RichardsonBermuda+ 12'50
21Jimmy MuhindoCongo DR+ 13'34
22Mustafa CarsiTurkey+ 19'08
23Richard Laningo LaizerTanzania+ 23'39
24German Anibal OrueParaguay+ 27'23
25Jay MajorBahamas+ 37'17

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