UPDATE 29 October 2022: John Ebsen wins 2022 race – story and results HERE.
The arrival of Category 4 typhoon Nesat in Taiwan last week and the destruction of numerous mountain roads has forced the Taiwan KOM Challenge gran fondo to make critical last minute course changes for the Friday 28 October event.
This year, one of the world’s hardest climbing races for amateurs (and pros) will be a little less challenging, actually a lot less challenging, with the race now set to finish at only 2150 meters above sea level, rather than 3275 meters.
Due to unprecedented heavy rainfall and major rock landslides in Taroko Gorge that completely wiped out the highest paved road in Taiwan, the event will be cut short by 20 kilometers and 1125 vertical meters of climbing, finishing instead after 85 kilometers rather than 105.
Over 300 riders from 30 nations are registered (including legendary Taiwan KOM King John Ebsen), but those who really wanted to make it to the 3275m summit and now wish to cancel may receive an entry refund according to the organizer. In addition, if travel and accommodations were booked via the organizer, those fees will be also be refunded as well!
“Registered participants not able to join this event may choose a cancellation of his/her entry. NT$2,000 as well as the chip deposit NT$500, transportation and accommodation costs booked via the Organizer will be refunded. And the Organizer will deliver the gifts, including KOM bag, event shirt, arm shields and finisher medal, to these persons.” Taiwan KOM website pre-race announcement
The Taiwan KOM Challenge is clearly a first-class event. It would be nice if other event organizers around the world were as customer focused and customer friendly, rather than ripping riders off and not offering refunds.