Tadej Pogačar could turn yellow into gold at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Newly crowned Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar will start among the contenders for the men’s Olympic road race title in one of the first medal events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Slovenian star defended his Tour de France title in style just six days ago in Paris.

He is among a cohort of riders to head from the Grand Tour to Japan’s capital city for the 234 kilometre race.

A total of 130 riders will take to the start at Musashinonomori Park in Tokyo, where they will head the Doshi road.

The road marks the start of a long, steady climb with an elevation gain of more than 1,000 metres.

The race will head past Lake Yamanaka, with the peloton heading for a loop on Mount Fuji, which will see a 1,451m ascent.

The main climbing section will come at Mikuni Pass, which will see a 6.5 kilometre stretch with some sections reaching a gradient of 20 per cent.

Riders will then race a further 30 kilometres to the finish line at Fuji International Speedway.

Pogačar’s compatriot Primož Roglič is another contender for the race, with the Slovenian refocusing his efforts on the Olympic Games after crashes in the opening week of the Tour de France eventually forcing him to withdraw from the race.

Belgium are another nation with multiple options, with Wout Van Aert and Remco Evenepoel taking to the start line.

Van Aert comes into the race in fine form after winning mountain, time trial and sprint stages at the Tour de France.

Mount Fuji awaits in the men's Olympic road race ©Getty Images
Mount Fuji awaits in the men's Olympic road race ©Getty Images

Canada’s Michael Woods and The Netherlands’ Bauke Mollema are among the list of favourites, as well as British brothers Adam and Simon Yates.

Alejandro Valverde will compete at his fifth Olympics at the age of 41, with the 2018 world champion a potential threat.

Valverde is among a Spanish squad cleared to compete in the race, according to Spanish newspaper AS, after a team masseur tested positive for COVID-19.

Germany’s Simon Geschke has been ruled out of the race after testing positive for the virus.

The women’s road race is set to be held on Sunday (July 25), with defending champion Anna van der Breggen among the starters.

The Dutch star heads into the race fresh from clinching a fourth Giro Donne title.

Her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten will hope to banish memories of Rio 2016, where she crashed out when leading the race with just 10 kilometres to go.

Van Vleuten skipped the Giro Donne to focus her attentions on the Olympic Games.

London 2012 gold medallist Marianne Vos completes a trio of potential Dutch winners.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy will be among those aiming to thwart the Dutch team.

The women’s road race will take place over 137km, with criticism having been expressed due to the event avoiding climbs at Mount Fuji.