The Tokyo Cyclocross weekend is upon us again, and the event remains high up on our bucket list of events to attend. In 2013, the non-UCI event, held on the Bay of arguably the largest city in the world, drew more spectators than the World Championships in Louisville.
After a massive blizzard hit the race in 2014, more seasonal weather seems to be on tap for the weekend, and tomorrow’s crowds for the Elite Men’s and Women’s races promise to be massive. Day 2 (because of the time difference) is already underway and the crowds are lining up for autographs:
— シクロクロス東京/CX_TOKYO (@CX_TOKYO) February 7, 2015
Just as in years past, a few Americans have made the trip for the 2015 event, accompanied by an American-based Belgian in the form of Ben Berden.
— シクロクロス東京/CX_TOKYO (@CX_TOKYO) February 5, 2015
Tomorrow’s women’s race doesn’t feature any North Americans (last year Wendy Simms and Katie Compton made the trip), but the men’s race features Berden, defending champion Zach McDonald, Tim Johnson, 2014 US Singlespeed Champion Tim Allen, and the “caveman” Erik Tonkin. None of these American-based riders can assume an easy ride to victory. Yu Takenouchi promises to be a tough competitor, and typically has the sand riding skills to put pressure on visiting riders, as well as the the home crowd’s cheers to push him forward.
Tim Johnson is returning after attending the 2014 race but not racing due to his injuries from the 2014 Worlds.
See tomorrow’s start lists at the bottom of this post, and a video and photo gallery from today’s racing.
2015 Tokyo Cyclocross Day 1 Photo Gallery: