GOLD medal Olympian cyclist Sara Carrigan OAM will combine her cycling expertise with the tour guiding skills and charm of fellow gold medallist, speed skater Steven Bradbury OAM when they lead a cycling tour to Japan in May this year.

Bradbury spends much of his time in the country village of Hakuba- home of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and will share his local knowledge as the group cycles the magnificent Japanese Alps including the majestic Mt Fuji.

Despite competing at two different Olympics, in completely different disciplines the long time friends share a passion for cycling with Bradbury, also an accomplished cyclist, insisting the region was perfect for riding at all levels with great flats and serious mountains.

Following a recent visit to the Hakuba region Carrigan conceded Bradbury’s confidence that it represented some of the best riding and scenery in world was well founded.

“It was just so beautiful pedalling through the rice paddies on quiet country roads, and then up some of Japan’s famous mountains, some over 2000m high.

“We rode by ancient temples and shrines, enjoyed lunch at restaurants that were over 1000 years old and even stopped at the natural hot springs that were perfect for relaxing and easing sore muscles.

“I have ridden my bike all over the world and riding up Mt Fuji is right up there as one of my most favourite experiences.

“We decided then and there that we wanted to share such a unique Japanese experience with others but combine it with cycling support and expert instruction along the way,” Carrigan said.

“The tour will include direction in climbing and descending techniques, recovery and stretching programs and we’ll have maintenance and mechanical support on hand the whole way.

“But it won’t be all serious riding – Bradbury’s Bar will be open each evening before we tuck into gourmet Japanese cuisine, and I have no doubt there will be some tall tales told and some great fun rapping up the daily highlights.

“It will be one of those once in a life time experiences and a definite to tick off the bucket list for cycling enthusiasts of all ages and abilities,” Carrigan said.

Gold Coast cycling enthusiast Paul said he couldn’t wait to combine his two great loves in life – cycling and travel.

“This is an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t resist – I will extend my cycling experience and enjoy some of the most picturesque scenery in the whole world – accompanied by two of our greatest Olympians,” Paul said.

Sara Carrigan OAM won Olympic gold in the 130km cycling road race at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics and is a multiple Australian Champion, Commonwealth Games medallist and World Cup winner.

Steven Bradbury OAM won Olympic gold in the 1000m short track ice speed skating event at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He is a four time Olympian and World Champion who was part of a relay that won Australia’s first ever winter Olympics medal at Lillehammer in 1994.

The Japan Cyclng Tour will depart 4th May – 12th May 2012.

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