Cycling in Japan
Japan has a rich cycling culture. This love of cycling has made Japan a hotspot for cycling racing, most notably Keirin racing, which in 200 became an official Olympic event. While Keirin has been popular since its roots in 1948 Japan, another kind of racing has gained more and more acceptance, road racing.
Once primarily dominated by European and other Western nations, road racing is growing in Japan. At the moment there are several successfu UCI Continental cycling teams in Japan with well known pro riders from not only Japan, but also from the West, the most recognized one being Team UKYO.
Elitewheels Sponsored Teams
As an Asian brand, Elitewheels seeks to support both Western teams like HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski, Cycling Team Kranj, and Sabgal – Anicolor, but also Asian teams like China Glory Continental Cycling Team, 7 Eleven Cliqq – Air21 by Road Bike Philippines, and now Victoire Hiroshima. This Japanese team was chosen because they have shown significant promise and have a diverse team of riders. They are now one of the top teams in Asia and race mostly in Japan, with some additional races in Southeast Asia.
Foundations of Victoire Hiroshima
Victoire Hiroshima was established in 2017. In 2020 it became a UCI Continental team. At that time they had a number of pro riders from Japan with different levels of experience. The following year, they were a smaller club team club team. Things started to change in 2022 when the team started to diversify their riders adding their first rider with extensive international race experience, Ryan Cavanagh. This year, the team won a stage at the Tour de Kumano, and Ryan took seventh in the Tour of Japan. This really put the team on the map
In 2023, Victoire Hiroshima truly became a force to be reckoned with. With more international riders, the team got a new perspective into racing. The team diversified and now had three international riders with experience racing for not only Japan’s #1 team but also UCI ProTeams and WorldTeams. Due to the addition of riders who have participated on the world stage and the fostering of top Japanese riders, Victoire Hiroshima became the team with the 2nd best results in Japanese races. Through the excellent teamwork given by all the riders, they achieved success.
The team participated in Japan’s most competitive cycling races including the Tour of Japan, the Tour of Kyusu, the Oita Urban Classic and many others. In total, they got 5 podium finishes including 2nd overall at the Tour of Japan. In addition, they also participated in the Tour de Taiwan and Australian rider, Benjamin Dyball, won the Taiwan KOM challenge, breaking the course record once held by Vincenzo Nibali by nearly 4 minutes.
The 2024 Season
Next year will be a very promising one for Victoire Hiroshima. The team has new riders from both Japan and abroad, Their best rider from 2023, Benjamin Dyball, will continue racing as well as many of the other riders from 2023. They will also be adding top Japanese rider and time trial specialist, Rei Onodera, formerly of Japanese team Utsunomiya Blitzen.
New Wheel Sponsor
For 2024, the team will be using Drive Series road wheels from Elitewheels. They will be using the Drive 40D, Drive 50D, and Drive 65D wheelsets. All of the wheels feature ceramic bearings and replaceable carbon spokes. In addition, they will be using the Elitewheels Velo TT Disc Brake Bundle for time trials. These wheels are currently being raced my Elitewheels’ other sponsored pro cycling teams.