With Team Bridgestone Cycling


It all started in 2009.

TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling has been supporting WAVE ONE, our parent organization, as a wear supplier since 2009. The first time I was in charge was in 2016, so it's been 8 years since we've been together. This is Japan's representative team, which has produced many great athletes in the past, but in recent years, the team has set its sights on winning medals at the Olympics and international competitions in track events, and all athletes who run road races also serve as track runners. He has achieved brilliant results on the international stage.

When I've been in charge of a team for a long time, I feel that it becomes easier to get feedback from the players and the team year by year. As this is a professional team, the composition of the players varies slightly each year due to transfers and retirements, but the players who continue to be part of the team become more relaxed and willing to talk about various things the more they communicate with each other. . This is something we are very grateful for because we can hear their true feelings.

Feedback goes beyond just the clothing we supply. There will be a wide range of topics covered, including not only the feeling of the race that just ended, but also trends in other countries and teams, materials and regulations. They are especially active as part of the Japanese national team, have a lot of experience in international races overseas, and run at a competitive level that is close to competing for Olympic medals. This will give us great inspiration as well.

track racing is difficult

Mid- and long-distance track runners, like the athletes of TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling, sometimes also compete on the road. Particularly in recent years, there has been a growing trend around the world to develop athletes who can maintain a high speed range, and this is attracting a lot of attention from the road racing world as well.

In Japan, when you think of track events that involve running on banks, you often think of short-distance events such as the keirin. The competition time is short and the winner and loser are clear, so it's an easy race to watch even if you don't understand the rules. However, among the middle- and long-distance events mentioned above, there are events such as the Madison and Omnium that confuse viewers. The competition progresses in a way that points are added up as athletes pass and pass each other within the bank, making it difficult for viewers to decide on their point of view. This is really difficult... Just as the understanding of road racing, which originated in Europe, has been supported by explanations in Japanese, explanations in Japanese are also needed for track events.

Still, actually watching a race at the stadium gives you a different feeling than a road race. The international standard wooden bank, which can hold events such as the Olympics, is compact with a circumference of 250 meters, and its conical curve is just like a wall. The sight of the athletes rushing through this wall at high speed and the sound created by the disc wheels and the wooden road surface are something you cannot experience when broadcast over the internet.

vision alignment

In Japan, neither ``sports rides'' enjoyed by the general public nor ``cycling competitions'' in which professional teams such as TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling are active have yet to gain citizenship. INEIVE's vision is to synergistically improve the social status of both products and brands through their activities.

For example, if sport riding as a recreational sport were to become more commonplace in Japan, I believe that the success of Japanese athletes at the world level is essential for that to happen. It is easy to imagine that the more attention a person has for their accomplishments that are covered by the media, the larger the scale of the media, and the wider impact they will have on society. Even so, I think that in some cases, people who enjoy sports riding may not know about its activities or existence. ). However, if the existence of sports bikes takes root, even if only faintly, in people's subconscious minds, and the bicycle culture becomes more active, I think it will be very meaningful.

In that sense, it means a lot to us to support a team whose goal is to win a medal at the Olympics and to fight together with them to win. Of course, we want INEIVE users to be interested in watching the competitions, and we also want to share the wonders of racing. If this happens, it will be possible to support the competitive scene with attractive products and users who love the brand. The vision of ``synergistically improving the social status of both parties'' is aimed at something like this.

In addition, in recent years, it has become common knowledge that the performance of materials has a significant impact on wins and records in the racing scene, and clothing has also come to play an important part in that role. As a clothing manufacturer, INEIVE not only releases stylish products, but also contributes to the world of cycling by developing advanced products to help improve race wins and records. . We believe that supplying products to TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling's track team will be a more rewarding job than ever.

It's a great accomplishment

Compared to road events, track events are less often featured, but after witnessing the successes of TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling in recent years, we can't help but introduce them. Of particular note is the performance in the Madison event by the pair of Kazushige Kuboki ( @kazushige_kuboki ) and Shunsuke Imamura ( @shunimamura ).

First of all, the players who run in Madison include many players who are active on the world's best road teams. Among them, France's Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) can be said to be one of the most representative athletes who compete both on the road and on the track. He is a player who can make his presence felt in World Tour road races, and many of you may have heard his name during road race commentary. He has been world champion many times in middle and long distance track events, including the Madison, and is an athlete whose future success is expected to continue. Madison is also famous for having been paired with Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the past. Although they are of different ages, the athletes of TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling are competing on such a stage.

A big breakthrough for Kuboki and Imamura was their silver medal in the first round of the 2022 Track Nations Cup (formerly World Cup). The winner was France (63 points), featuring the aforementioned Benjamin Thomas. The pair of Kuboki and Imamura finished in 2nd place with only 3 points difference. (For the race report, please read MoreCadence's article ) 3rd place went to Italy including Consonni (Cofidis), 4th place went to Portugal including Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates), and players belonging to the world team. I'll connect it. This is the first time in history, including the World Cup era, that a Japanese team won a medal at the same tournament. It was also impressive that the French team, interviewed after the race for victory, mentioned the Japanese team's performance.

The pair continued to maintain stable results. 6th place in the 2nd round of the Nations Cup, 1st place in the Asian Championship, 7th place in the World Championship, and the top results are in place. Even in 2023, they have maintained good results with 8th place in the first round of the Nations Cup (Hashimoto and Kojima placed 5th!), 10th place in the second round, 5th place in the third round, and victory at the Asian Championship. . Then, in August, he will finally compete in the world championships. There is no doubt that this will be a tense race in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

On this occasion, we introduced only Madison's activities, but TEAM BRIDGESTONE Cycling is working to improve the level of all middle and long distance events such as pursuit and omnium, and there are many other notable athletes lined up. . Also, don't forget the short distance events. There are many athletes who balance keirin and national team activities, and we must keep an eye on them as they prepare for the Paris Olympics.

text : Daisuke Fukai / INEIVE