Cyclists Gear Up for Grueling Mountain Race: Taiwan KOM

[Cover Picture: Taiwan Cycling Federation]

Local and International cyclists are preparing for one of the world’s longest and highest mountain climb cycling events Friday October 20, the Taiwan King of the Mountain(KOM).

The race will start at 6:00am at Qixingtan Beach, XinCheng Township, Hualian County. Taking the Central Cross-island Highway, riders will cover over 100 kilometers and cover an altitude of 3,500 meters to finish at the summit at Wuling at an altitude of 3,275 meters, Taiwan’s highest mountain pass.

The race has been described as “one of the world’s greatest epic climbs.” After finishing the race in 2011, British rider Lee Rodgers said ” “Riding to the top is like a pilgrimage. It was, in the end, breathtakingly beautiful and yet incredibly tough. Everyone who finished that day is a hero. Plain and simple, this is a race that more people should know about, because it is absolutely unique.”

Riders will begin the race at sea-level in a tropical climate featuring jungle and coconut trees, and will finish the race in an alpine environment where temperatures may be as low as 5-10°C.

The race is not without risks. As well as the possibility of altitude sickness, race organizers have made clear that riders should prepare for the possibility of 0°C temperatures, and warned riders of the danger of falling rocks when traveling through Taroko Gorge and other sections.

Last month, September, 2017, a Japanese cyclist died on the route after being injured by falling rocks.

Taiwan KOM discussion at Forumosa.

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