As the winter season draws to a close, Niseko’s dedicated cycling community will be busy dusting off bikes, oiling chains, and pumping up tires. The Niseko summer is increasingly being recognized an endurance sports paradise, helped not only by its stunning natural scenery and uncrowded roads, but by an events calendar with the appeal to draw athletes from all over the world.
The 2015 summer season is shaping up to be better than ever, with some fantastic events planned and an ever growing number of businesses catering to the Niseko summer traveler.
Here are three cycling events for the 2015 season to mark in your calendar.
The Niseko Classic
The Niseko Classic is Niseko’s premier cycling event and is run in accordance with the Japan Cycling Federation Competition Rules. It features two race lengths (70km & 140km), taking riders to the Sea of Japan coast and back via some of the most breathtaking scenic roads in Japan.
Both races finish at Grand Hirafu Resort, the perfect base from which to enjoy Niseko’s renowned dining or relax/recover in one of the town’s onsen (natural hot springs).
Niseko Hanazono Hill Climb
Run in conjunction with the Kutchan Jagata-matsuri, the Niseko Hanazono Hill Climb is a mass start time trial event that begins in Kutchan and finishes at the Niseko Annupuri Goshiki-onsen. The race covers 15.5km, climbing 617 vertical metres at an average grade of 4.6%, and is divided up into a number of categories, from first timers to “road elite”.
The event takes place on August 2, with entries closing on July 12. Visit the official website for more information or to register for the event.
Nature Ride Niseko
The 2015 Nature Ride Niseko features a 50km “relaxed” ride around the base of Mt. Yotei as well as a longer 110km course that goes from Niseko to Lake Toya and back. It’s a fantastic event for anyone looking for a slightly more low-key event and an opportunity to take in some of the gorgeous Alpine scenery.
The 2015 event will be held on July 5. Register here.