The Taiwan KOM Challenge is the most brutal, unforgiving and toughest gran fondo cycling race on the plant. With 90km at an average grade of 7%, followed by 8km between 17-27% all the way to the 3275m summit of Mt. Wuling, it crushes you physically and mentally, but in a fun way.
That’s why 730 riders from 42 countries participated last Friday in Hualien, Taiwan. Pro riders, amateur riders, young, old, men and women all planning to struggle against gravity to reach the summit within 6.5 hours, else they are turned back.
With Pro team CCC-LIV setting a blistering pace up front, the field slowly imploded with stragglers stretching out down the mountain like a line of marching ants.
At the finish it was 21-year old elite Danish rider Anthon Charmig who distanced everyone to solo in for the win at 3:24:24 with an incredible average speed of 26km/hr. Benjamin Dyball (TEAM SAPURA) finished next at 3:28:16 with Pierpaolo Ficara (AMORE & VITA PRODIR) third at 3:29:16.
Haute Route Alps gran fondo champion Ruari Grant (ALPINE CADENCE CYCLING) was the first amateur rider, finishing 4th overall at 3:30:01.
Team CCC-LIV dominated the women’s race, placing five riders in the top six places, including Ashleigh Moolman Pasio who won in 3:51:55. Teammate Marianne Vos was next with Kate Agnes Mcilroy earning the last podium step.
The 2020 Taiwan KOM Challange is Friday, October 30th. Make plans now to cross this ultimate ride off your bucket list.
2019 Taiwan KOM Challenge overall results here.
2019 Taiwan KOM Challenge age category results here.