On the weekend of 31 August, Hokkaido hosted its first ever World Ironman event with over 1,600 International professional and amateur athletes taking part. The event was based at Lake Toya right next to Niseko and the 180 km cycling leg of the event covered many of the amazing cycling routes in the Niseko. The event is another major step in the discovery of the Niseko region as a cycling mecca for Asia, with its amazing road network and summer weather as well as downhill, family and cross-country cycling all based in Niseko. The event is scheduled to return for at least the next 2 years and given the positive response from the participants this year, it will continue to put Niseko and Hokkaido on the map as Asia's premier cycling destination.
In many ways the growth of cycling in Niseko is similar to the growth of the international ski destination, with triple digit growth each year off a very small base. Check here more details on the Hokkaido Ironman event.