Cycling : Tour de Daisen 2012

Tags: daisen, race, bicycle

Tour de Daisen - results here

Two weeks ago, I participated to the Tour de Daisen for the first time. It's not officially a cycling race but let's say if you want to compete with others you can:-)

The event organized by the Tottori Cycling Association ( with the help of the Tottori Triathlon Association ( is now very popular as more than 600 cyclists registered and took the start! Participants who came as far as Tokyo. I must say the course is gorgeous, 82 km of up and downs all around the Daisen Mount. Plus we were blessed with a perfect weather for such a ride with a 22deg C, almost no wind and dry. The scenery in Daisen is incredible so it was a real pleasure to ride its roads even when it was in some of the more challenging parts. All I can say is that I strongly recommend this event if you like cycling whatever your goal is.
Also the area has a lot to offer with nice Onsens, and local products.

With 600 participants it has been decided for obvious safety reasons to make some groups at the start. So from 10 AM and each minute about 30 riders took the start. The group were more or else made by prefecture origin. So in my group was only riders from Tottori.

[warming up]

My group took the start at 10:07AM. My goal was to perform as well as possible but also to finish as fresh as possible. This was a good training ride for me before the Yurihama triathlon that will take place on June 17th.

So with 7 minutes and about 200 riders in front of me, the first 35/40km consisted in over taking a lot of people :-)

This was a bit strange as I was wondering, "is it me who is going to fast to early or am I really faster ?". I am not so used to distance of more than 80km as I am preparing for the 40k distance in triathlon races, so I was concerned in managing well the balance  between intensity and saving energy to finish well, especially that the last 3 km were told to be the hardest.

From km 30 I almost did not reach anyone else, the guys still ahead of me were stronger and/or started before me. I noticed that very few over took me also so I thought I was in quite a good position. It remained like this more or less until the end, I could catch maybe one or 2 riders but about 3 other ones passed me before the finish line.
Actually 2 riders passed me in the last 3km as I was really in pain in the final slope of 10-12%.
I almost thought of walking when I saw my speed at 8kph… (that's what many people did in fact) and my wife running next to me :-)

[First cyclist to arrive, ranked second overall]

Crossing the line the lady with the microphone asked me for a comment, I said "まだ生きてる" : still alive :-)
I quickly noticed that few riders arrived before me and I was happy with my time : 3:27 for the 82km. I learned the first rider finished in 3:05.
(As almost all riders I stopped 2 times few seconds to grab some water and food at the check points. At km 60 my 2 bottles were already empty).

Among the riders there was almost all kind of bikes you can find in the field of cycling : X Million Yens carbon road bikes, triathlon/TT bikes, old school chromoly, randonneur, city bike, crossed bikes, mini velo(I saw 2), mountain bike and I even heard there was a mama chari!

One disabled cyclist even did the whole ride on his "hand bike" pedaling with the strength of his arms on a tricycle of more than 18kg, amazing!

An other one very noticeable was… a little girl! She is 9 years old and rode herself the 82km with her dad next to her. I am actually not sure what to think about that. Is not it too much for a child of this age ? And she was not the last to finish!

It turned out I finished at the 23rd position among more than 500 finishers. Of course this ride is not a high profile race but still it's a good indicator of my form toward the triathlon in 2 weeks.

I want to thank all the people who volunteered and organized the event (it turns out many are from my family :-). They were very helpful to provide the cyclists food and drinks at the different check points. I loved the umeboshi! That was a great day thanks to them and I will try to ride stronger next year to getting close to the top 10!

I restarted my bike training only in April after the winter so I have quite some room to improve I think. I just need to "not doing nothing" during winter :-) By the way if you are curious you can have a look at my training logs on runkeeper ( Now I know that I can keep an effort for more than 3 hours. So as I plan to complete the Yurihama triathlon in less than 2:20 (my best is 2:14 in 2005…), from now what I need to do is to work on my speed and intensity. Running is getting better also, but as for my swimming, I won't be very competitive yet. This is the least natural effort for me technically (despite I like it a lot), my goal will be to keep enough energy to perform well on the bike and the final 10km run.

All I can say is I can't wait for the race day! 2 weeks to go!

Besides I have few ideas to develop from now on the blog for example my diet. I am fortunate that the traditional Japanese diet is naturally healthy, there are some elements of it that I would like to present to athletes in other countries. Some of the healthiest food I eat now regularly was unknown to me few years ago. If you wish that I cover other stuff don’t hesitate to tell me.

Other participants blog I found, if you can read Japanese (or use google translate...) :


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