By Todd Kortemeier | Dec. 25, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

 

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, and while they may be nearly 20 months away there’s a lot to learn on your quest to becoming the ultimate fan. Each Tuesday leading up to the Games, TeamUSA.org will present a nugget you should read about – from athletes to watch to storylines to follow to Japanese culture and landmarks – as part of “Tokyo 2020 Tuesday.” Follow along on social media with the hashtag #Tokyo2020Tuesday.

 

Come the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Fuji Speedway will again play host to some of the most exciting international competition on wheels.

The speeds will just be a little slower.

The former home of Formula One’s Japanese Grand Prix, Fuji Speedway will host the finish of both the Olympic and Paralympic road cycling competitions at the 2020 Games. The track is located in Oyama at the foothills of its namesake, Mount Fuji.

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Fuji Speedway was originally designed to be an oval track for a Japanese branch of NASCAR. After construction in the mountainous terrain proved to be a challenge, it was completed as a road course and opened in 1965. 

The track was chosen to host the inaugural Japanese Grand Prix in 1976, which featured a famous battle for the title between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The track became infamous, however, in 1978 as the Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve launched into the stands and killed two spectators.

The race did not return to the Formula One calendar for 10 years and did not come back to Fuji until 2007. The track then hosted two Grands Prix before the race moved permanently to the Suzuka Circuit in 2009. Today the track hosts smaller racing competitions from around the world.

It may not rival the Champs-Elysees for the most famous finish in cycling, but the sight of the world’s greatest cyclists heading to the Fuji finish line will no doubt be a thrilling one.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

 

A view from above the Fuji Speedway on Feb. 28, 2005 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.