In mid-June, a thick mist enveloped the Yamanashi region, about a hundred kilometers west of Tokyo. Despite the late hour of the day, the gleams of the sun barely illuminate the gray waters of Lake Yamanaka, one of the five bodies of water that surround Mount Fuji. Like every weekend, hundreds of cyclists came to enjoy the show and the remarkable trails designed for practitioners of all levels. Many people set foot on the ground to take their picture with the famous summit as a backdrop.
“This track is the most beautiful in the world”, assures Tom Bossis, a former elite French amateur rider living in Japan since 2015. He who almost turned professional still remembers his first laps here, in February 2016. “I entered a long tunnel, and at the end of it appeared the snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji. I still have goose bumps ”, remembers this jovial young man with blond hair.
Road cycling, a “minor” sport in Japan
Marked by this experience, he moved to Yamanakako, next to the lake, and quickly decided to promote cycling in Japan, while the bicycle is today mainly considered as a means of daily transport. “Road cycling is a minor sport, he regrets. There is very little competition, and there are no cyclists of international level or quality training ”, he continues.
In 2018, he created a local team with a French training program. His school, called “Avenir Yamanashi Yamanakako”, now trains around thirty young people aged 5 to 12, as well as an elite team of eight runners. The Games have given him a certain visibility, he who provides logistical assistance to the France team – which has chosen to stay in the region – during the competition. ” My ambition, smiles the young cyclist, is to send a cyclist trained here to the Tour de France one day. “