Today was the 10th Anniversary of the Taiwan KOM Challenge gran fondo, where amateurs race alongside Tour de France champions, Olympic gold medalists and WorldTour professionals to a 3275 metre mountain top finish. This year Taiwan’s first ever WorldTour pro, Chun-Kai Feng (Team Bahrain Victorious), claimed victory atop Mt. He Huan.
With clear blue skies and the sun shining warmly this edition did not disappoint the pandemic limited field of 262 cyclists. This year, like last, only riders from Taiwan could participate.
The race began at an unusually mild pace, unlike every other edition when from the gun it took off like a bullet. In the Men’s race a small break eventually formed with a one minute lead that included favorites Dean Lu (Bryton-Icefield), Guan Lin Huang (Action), Yen Yi Ho (Yilan Cycling Team), and Taiwan’s first ever WorldTour pro cyclist, Chun-Kai Feng (Team Bahrain Victorious).
The final 8 kilometre climb to the 3275 metre finish is where Feng made his move on the others to win the 105 kilometre long race in 3:33:21. Lu was 44 seconds back, with Huang coming in just over two minutes down on the winner.
Racing action started a bit earlier in the Women’s race, with eight riders going clear early in a group that included four top riders from the 2020 race. Soon the group was whittled down to just three riders at the front: Ke Xin Zeng (independent), Tzi Yin Chen (Yi-Lan Cycling Team) and Jia Qi Kuo (KMCC).
Zeng easily dropped her companions, never looked back and went on to win in 4:18:49 with a five minute advantage on Hsin Hui Wang (Fans Cycling Team), who amazingly came from behind to take second place. Chen held on to take third.
Complete Taiwan KOM Challenge results HERE soon.
PHOTOS: Taiwan KOM Challenge