Niseko Classic with NILO
Bossa nova artist, avid cyclist and Hokkaido native, NILO, shares with us her experience at the Niseko Classic.
Hailing from Hokkaido but based in Germany, bossa nova singer NILO returned to Niseko to race in her second Niseko Classic on the 7th July 2019. Although singing is her true love, NILO is passionate about running, triathlons and cycling and will take any chance to test herself against other athletes. To the delight of her fans she also performed at the post race event. She writes about her race experience below!
It was my second time attending the Niseko Classic 70km race. I remember last year I felt exhausted even before the race had started because the race was scheduled in between my music tours. This year I arrived in Niseko the day before the race and I had time to prepare.
"70km", the number itself doesn’t really sound tough compared to races that I usually attend. The courses in Niseko however are very difficult. Even though it’s only 70km, the Niseko Classic is a hardcore, high-level event so I have been training since January to make sure I can complete the race.
Another reason why this 70km race is so hard for me is because it is an international race and event. As I usually enjoy fun, social rides this makes me even more nervous. There are fast, professional riders in attendance and I feel pressure to follow and keep up with them at the front. At the same time this great, inspiring race only happens once a year so I can’t miss the chance to enter the race and try my best.
The fast racers in the lead group also make this event extremely exciting. It helps to bring out your best performance seeing riders of this calibre. Although we cannot keep up with these athletes, those of us in the back group are lucky as we can enjoy the refreshing breeze and beautiful nature of Niseko.
I think about singing during the race and it helps me to get prepared for my live performances. When I sing at the Niseko Classic I feel closer to the audience as we have all gone through the same pain and discomfort on this Niseko course. I am looking forward to joining the Niseko Classic race next year too so I will start preparing for that shortly.
If you missed the 2019 edition of the Niseko Classic check out all the action here!