Riding in Taiwan

I always love coming to Taiwan, its a great little island with an abundance of riding opportunities for the discerning road cyclist. This past week I have been here in Taichung, attending the annual Bike Week and getting in quite a few early morning rides in the nearby mountains. Since I’ve been quite busy at the show, I’ve only had time to do 60km rides and concluding with nice Taiwan style coffee and bacon & egg croissants. A perfect way to start the day.

Finishing in the second group

Last week, I took part in the Volando sponsored sportive/race in Kaohsiung – Southern Taiwan. It was a small local bike race but well attended by over 300 cyclists. I wrote a report about the Volando Cup race that appeared on Cyclingtime, so I won’t bore you with more details of the racing.

Today I participated in the Merida Cup road race, which was only 38kms, frankly too short in my opinion! It seems that many of the races here in Asia, with the exception of UCI events, are far too short and tend to end atop a climb! The race today was over in under an hour – makes it almost not worth coming out to attend. However, I made a good day of it with 140kms of riding. A good day of training miles, although the season is winding down now since the Poyang Lake 5-Day Tour was cancelled.

I made the dangerous breakaway of the day in the beginning stages. After a flurry of attacks, with the pace close to 50km/h stringing out the pack.. I surged on to bridge across to a promising move with Lee Rodgers, Feng Chun Kai and a Merida pro rider in it. I towed several guys with me to make the bridge and we were 7-8 riders and had a very good gap. However, the pack was motivated and did not let us go so easily.  It was all back together again and more attacks went left and right, with none sticking. I made a little surge to bridge to another move of three riders up the road, but only succeeded in towing the pack single-file so I sat up. After this point, I was just pack fill – barely surviving the false flat climb and then the major climb towards the end. I did not expect the race to end so quickly as I believed we still had at least 10kms of racing when I crested the climb. I would have dug a little bit deeper to hang with the lead group going over the climb if I had known that the finish would only be several kilometers!

Tomorrow I will be racing the mountain bike: a nice Velocite Flux equipped with WTB Strkyer TCS wheels,  Bronson and Wolverine Tires. Also trying out WTB’s Silverado Carbon saddle for the first time. Will be racing together with fast WTB pro rider, Jason Moeschler. You can also find him on Strava. The MTB race looks to be a fun affair but again a bit short at 6 laps x 4km for a total of 24km. It will almost be like a short course MTB sprint.

Stay tuned for the MTB action!