Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This is myself and Omiya-san. He's the master at Tachikawa Keirin-jo's training days. He's a former pro keirin racer, but even more impressively he was a top-class roadracer in the '60's, competing for the Japanese national team in the World Championships and Olympics ('60 Rome and '64 Tokyo).

         Omiya-san killing it back in the day

Most famously, during the Tokyo Olympic road race he had an excellent chance at a medal when he got into what seemed the winning break with two of the "Gods of Cycling", the Italian Felice Gimondi and perhaps the greatest rider of all time, Eddy Merckx of Belgium.

                             Gimondi and Merckx at the height of their powers

        Action from the '64 Olympic road race

Unfortunately a crash took all three out of contention, and soon after this disappointment Omiya-san went pro with Japanese keirin.

Omiya-san is super humble and really friendly, so I was a little shocked to learn about his history. When Tomo and I asked him about the Olympics, he just laughed and said something like, "Oh yeah, I remember that race! It was fun." What a badass!

He's considered a real superstar of Japanese cycling by those in the know over here. Here's his Japanese Wikipedia page:大宮政志

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