The Tour de France is over for another year, but don’t worry: we’re not in the usual post-Tour lull that normally occurs at this time. No, in 2021 we can turn our attention from the Tour directly to the Tokyo Olympics.
These are not your usual Olympics. For starters, it was delayed for a year due to COVID (it’s still called “Tokyo 2020”). Spectators are not allowed, more than 80% of Japanese I don’t want the games to happen, and the athletes are already tested positive for COVID in the Olympic Village. Still, the Games go on and there is a lot of cycling on the menu.
The following article is a guide to all cycling events in Tokyo 2020. All times shown here are specific to Tokyo. Here’s how to convert those times to other major time zones:
- Pacific Daylight Time (Los Angeles): -16 hours
- Mountain summer time (bouler): -15 hours
- Eastern Daylight Time (New York): -13 hours
- British Summer Time (London): -8 hours
- Central European Summer Time (Berlin): -7 hours
- Australian Eastern Standard Time (Melbourne): +1 hour
There are four road cycling events at Tokyo 2020: a road race and a time trial for men, and the same for women.
Men road race
Dated: Saturday July 24
Time: Starts at 11 a.m.
Distance: 234 km
Elevation gain: 4,865 meters
A difficult race with five recognized climbs, including a climb halfway up Mt. Fuji (14.3 km @ 6%) and the steep climb to Mikuni Pass (6.5 km @ 10.6%). Stay tuned for a full preview of the men’s road race, coming later this week.
Women road race
Dated: Sunday July 25
Time: Starts at 1 p.m.
Distance: 137 km
Elevation gain: 2,692 meters
Unfortunately, the toughest climbs in the men’s race are not run by the women. However, with almost 2,700 meters of vertical drop, it will be a very tough race. Stay tuned for a full rundown later this week.
Dated: Wednesday July 28
Time: Starts at 11:30 am
Length: 22.1 km
A very bumpy time trial.
Dated: Wednesday July 28
Time: Starts at 2 p.m.
Length: 44.2 km
Two laps of the circuit used by the women. Again: very lumpy.
There are two MTB races at Tokyo 2020: one cross country race for men and one for women.
Cross country men
Dated: Monday July 26
Time: 3 pm-5pm
Riders are expected to complete 7-9 laps on a difficult 4.1 km circuit.
Women’s cross-country skiing
Dated: Tuesday July 27
Time: 3 pm-5pm
Here are the characteristics of the mountain bike course used by men and women. The numbers correspond to the locations on the map above.
There are two types of BMX events that take place in Tokyo: BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle.
Appointment: Thursday July 29 and Friday July 30
Time: From 10 a.m. on both days
The quarter-finals will be held for men and women on Thursday. Friday will host the semi-finals, then the men’s and women’s finals.
Appointment: Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1
Time: From 10:10 am on both days
Classification events will be held for women (10:10 a.m.) and men (11:20 a.m.) on Saturday. The finals will be played on Sunday, with the women first (10:10 am) followed by the men (11:20 am).
Appointment: From Monday August 2 to Sunday August 8
Time: From 3.30 p.m. every day, except Sunday August 8 (10 a.m.)
There are a large number of individual races taking place during the track cycling week, from qualifying to semi-finals to gold medal races. Follow the link for the complete program race by race and see below for a list of the medal events that take place each day:
Monday August 2
- 6:06 p.m .: Women’s team sprint (bronze medal race)
- 6:09 p.m .: Women’s team sprint (race for gold medal)
tuesday 3 august
- 17:19: Women’s team pursuit (bronze)
- 5:26 p.m .: Women’s team pursuit (gold)
- 17:41: Men’s team sprint (bronze)
- 5:44 p.m.: Men’s team sprint (gold)
wednesday 4 august
- 5:59 p.m .: Men’s team pursuit (bronze)
- 6:06 p.m .: Men’s team pursuit (gold)
Thursday August 5
- 5.45 p.m .: Keirin woman
- 5:55 p.m .: Men’s omnium points race (final round of four)
Friday August 6
- 5.15 p.m .: Madison Women’s Final
- 6.35 p.m .: Men’s sprint finals – race 2
- 6:50 p.m .: Men’s sprint finals – decision maker
saturday 7 august
- 4:55 p.m .: Madison men’s final
Sunday 8 August
- 11:45 am: Women’s sprint finals – race 2
- 12h00: Men’s keirin final
- 12:05 p.m .: Women’s sprint finals – decision maker
- 12:25 p.m .: Women’s omnium points race (final round of four)
How to watch it
Want to watch these Olympic events and more? Here are the broadcasters that will have coverage in various territories around the world. Follow the link for a full list of Olympic broadcasters, courtesy of the Tokyo 2020 website.
To watch the Olympics on television in the United States, you will need access to the NBCUniversal television networks. To stream it online, check out the NBC Sports app, NBCOlympics.com, and Peacock. Follow the link for a full breakdown of NBC Olympics coverage.
The Seven Network owns the broadcasting rights in Australia. You’ll be able to watch all of the action on TV via Channel Seven, 7mate, and 7Two, and live streaming is available through 7Plus. Follow the link to learn more about The cover of Seven.
To watch in Canada, you’ll want to check out the national broadcaster CBC / Radio-Canada. CBC Television has TV coverage, while CBC Gem, CBC’s Olympic site and the mobile app will have live broadcast. Follow the link to learn more about the Radio-Canada website.
There are two host broadcasters in the UK: the BBC and Eurosport. BBC is a free option and will include content on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, as well as the BBC Sport website and app. Eurosport is a paid option and is accessible through both TV and live streaming options.
Stay informed on CyclingTips for coverage of selected Olympic cycling events over the next two weeks.