Tour de Taiwan races through Taichung

Shinichi Fukushima wins stage five

Shinichi Fukushima of Japan crosses the line to win the fifth stage of the Tour de Taiwan.

The fifth stage of the Tour de Taiwan raced through Taichung today. The 111 kilometre stage began at Taichung Park in the morning. It then made a clockwise loop through Shalu, Dajia and Dongshi followed by a mountain hill top finish at the Taichung Metropolitan Park. Shinichi Fukushima of Japan won the stage. Park Sung Baek of Korea won the bunch sprint for second place. Continue reading

Merida team dominates Tour de Taiwan

Jezowski Krzysztof wins the 2009 tour de taiwan

Jezowski Krzysztof of Poland celebrates overall victory in the 2009 Tour de Taiwan.

The Tour de Taiwan finished with a criterium around the Taipei City Hall today. The race was ridden in chilly conditions with the mercury hovering around 11°C. Polish rider Jezowski Krzysztof of the Merida Europe Team was the overall winner  after snatching the lead on the final stage.

peter mcdonald at tour de taiwan

Australian Peter McDonald wearing the yellow jersey rides in the peloton on the final stage of the 2009 Tour de Taiwan.

Australian Peter McDonald of Drapac Porsche held the yellow jersey with a five second lead at the start of the final stage. McDonald is the current Australian road cycling champion. Continue reading

Yellow jerseys and yellow dresses

John Murphy of the USA champion of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan

Rico Shen at Wikinews sent me this interesting story from the Tour de Taiwan.

The leader of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan gets a yellow jersey. But every tour winner gets assistance from a "Miss Etiquette," a tour assistant and a brand new part of the Tour de Taiwan. Miss Ettiquette has become a key feature at the awards ceremonies for every stage. Fma International Co., Ltd., the jersey sponsor of 2008 Tour de Taiwan, and a participant of the 2008 Taipei Cycle, has designed 4 different cheongsams (dresses) for "Miss Etiquette," each matching the colors of the four leader jerseys. These cheongsam made a big hit with the Taiwanese and international media in Taiwan.

But what led to these champion jerseys and cheongsams? Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen visited the booth of Fma International and interviewed Martin Hsueh-po Cheng, General Manager of Fma International, to uncover the background of their design at the 3rd Day of Taipei Cycle, just after the finish of the 7th Stage of the Tour de Taiwan (March 15).

Read the full interview at Wikinews

Woman in blue dress awards the blue jersey winner

Tour de Taiwan final stage

Taipei Mayor Hau Long-bin completes a lap of the circuit of stage 8 of the Tour de Taiwan 2008

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) completes a lap of the circuit around Taipei City Hall.

After yesterday's race in Nangang, the eighth and final stage of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan was held over 60 laps of a circuit around Taipei City Hall today. Shawn Milne, in second overall, rode an attacking race in an attempt to gain time bonuses and capture the yellow jersey. However, John Murphy with support from his team mates was able to win the intermediate sprint and hold on to the overall lead. The stage was won by Marek Wesoly of Poland riding for the Merida Europe Team.

Winner of stage 8 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan Wesoly Marek of Poland riding for Merida Europe Team

Marek Wesoly accepts his prize for winning stage eight.  

Lai Kuan-hua winner of the white jersey in the 2008 Tour de Taiwan for best Taiwanese rider

Lai Kuan-hua (賴冠華) of the Giant Asia Racing Team retained the white jersey for leading Taiwanese rider. Giant Asia Racing Team also won the teams category.

Takashi Miyazawa of Japan won the blue jersey for best Asian rider in the 2008 Tour de Taiwan

Takashi Miyazawa of Japan riding for Team Meitan-Hompo-GDR won the blue jersey for leading Asian rider.

John Murphy of the USA champion of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan

John Murphy of the USA riding for the Health Net presented by Maxxis team won the green jersey for best sprinter and yellow jersey as overall winner of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan.

Rico Shen who covered the 2008 Tour de Taiwan for WikiNews

A special mention must go to Rico Shen (pictured above) who did a great job covering the race at Wikinews (中文). However, the general lack of media coverage of the race was disappointing. Detailed results are available from www.cyclingnews.com. I have many photos of the final three stages at flickr.

Tour de Taiwan at Nangang

Racing action in stage 7 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan in Nangang, Taipei

Following on from stage 6 in Banqiao, stage 7 of the Tour de Taiwan was held on a street circuit in Nangang today. The start/finish line was right outside the Nangang Exhibition Centre where the Taipei Cycle Show is being held. 

Wang Kam Po of Hong Kong wins stage 7 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan in Nangang

Riders raced over 40 laps for a total distance of 58 kilometres. There were several breakaways through the race although they were caught by the main peloton. With about ten laps to go there was a crash and the race was temporarily stopped. After the restart riders had to race ten more laps. Hong Kong rider Wong Kam Po (黃金寶) initiated a breakaway and was joined by several other riders. He went on to win the stage to add to his stage one victory in Kaohsiung.  

Jersey winners and stage winner of stage 7 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan at Nangang

The overall leaders were unchanged from yesterday's stage. Lai Kuan-hua (賴冠華) retained the white jersey for leading Taiwan rider. Taiji Nishitani of Japan was in the blue jersey for leading Asian rider. John Murphy of the USA continues to hold both the green and yellow jersey.  

Today's race was also a meeting for the Taiwan Photo Club. Darren, Craig, Battlepanda and a few others were there. I also met Shan Ding Lu who was visiting the show and recognised me from the blog. Many great photos of the race can be found at flickr. Check out the Tour de Taiwan 2008 photosets by Jorge R, syshen, jopax caballero, cfimages, extreme.ph, Sean and David

BMX rider gets some air in an exhibtion at Taipei Cycle 2008

After the racing was finished I went to watch the BMX stunt riders. There was plenty of action and it was great to watch and photograph. The final stage of the Tour de Taiwan is tomorrow at Taipei City Hall.   

Tour de Taiwan in Taipei County

Kyle Gritters wins stage 6 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan in Banqiao, Taipei County

Stage 6 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan was held in Taipei County today. Riders raced over a 127 kilometre route along Taiwan’s north coast with the start and finish at the Taipei County Government Building in Banqiao. Kyle Gritters (USA) riding for the Health Net presented by Maxxis team won the stage in a two man breakaway.

rider gets up after a crash at the finish of stage 6 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan

There was a bad crash when the main peloton came into the finish. Sean captured the crash here and here. One rider left the scene in an ambulance.

John Murphy of Health Net presented by Maxxis team retained the yellow jersey in stage 6

John Murphy (USA) riding for the Health Net presented by Maxxis team retained the yellow jersey at the end of stage 6. The gentleman on the right is Lee Kai-chih (李開志), Secretary-General of the Chinese Taipei Cycling Association. John Murphy also holds the green jersey for the leading sprinter.

Riders on the podium at the end of stage 6 of the Tour de Taiwan 2008

White jersey for the leading Taiwanese rider is worn by Lai Kuan-hua (賴冠華) of the Giant Asian Racing Team. John Murphy is in the centre and stage winner, Kyle Gritters on the right. Holder of the blue jersey for leading Asian rider, Taiji Nishitani (JPN) of the Aisan Racing Team, was absent as he was being treated for injuries.

Craig has already covered the action from stage 1 in Kaohsiung and stage 3 in Changhua. Also have a look at his wonderful photos at flickr. Detailed results are available from www.cyclingnews.com. I’ll have more from stage 7 in Nangang tomorrow.

*more photos in the Tour de Taiwan 2008 set at flickr.

Cycling events in March

2008 Taipei Cycle and Tour de Taiwan posters

March will be an exciting month for anyone interested in bikes and cycling in Taiwan. The Tour de Taiwan runs from 9-16 March. Taipei Cycle 2008 takes place at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall from 13-16 March.  

Racing action in the 2007 Tour de Taiwan in Taipei

The 2008 Tour de Taiwan starts in Kaohsiung on 9 March. The race will cover 832 kilometres in eight stages. The final stage on 16 March will be a criterium around Taipei City Hall. The tour is part of the UCI Asia Tour and 22 teams from 15 countries will compete in the race. Stage by stage the race will go as follows:

  • Stage 1: 9 March (Sun) Kaohsiung City
  • Stage 2: 10 March (Mon) Pingdong County
  • Stage 3: 11 March (Tue) Zhanghua County
  • Stage 4: 12 March (Wed) Taizhong City
  • Stage 5: 13 March (Thu) Xinzhu City
  • Stage 6: 14 March (Fri) Taipei County
  • Stage 7: 15 March (Sat) Taipei City (Nangang)
  • Stage 8: 16 March (Sun) Taipei City (Taipei City Hall)

Descriptions of the stages (in Chinese) are available on the Tour de Taiwan website. The stages in Kaohsiung, Pingdong, Taizhong, Xinzhu, Nangang and Taipei will all be held on street circuits allowing spectators to get close to the action. Stage 6 in Taipei County will start and finish at the Taipei County Government building in Banqiao. Riders will race over an out and back circuit to Cape Bitou via Danshui. 

bike on display at Taipei Cycle 2007

Taipei Cycle 2008 will be held at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Centre from 13-16 March. The event marks the opening of the new exhibition centre which has 1.7 times more floor space than the Taipei World Trade Centre. Unfortunately the MRT lines that will connect to the Nangang Exhibition Centre are not yet complete. The best way to get there will be to travel on the MRT to Kunyang Station and take a bus or taxi from there. The bike show is also being held in conjuction with the Taiwan International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO). TaiSPO will be held at the TWTC in the Xinyi District of Taipei.  

Bike Smiling - Taipei, image created with Ript

And finally, if you prefer riding bikes rather than just looking at them, don't forget Bike Smiling (微笑單車上路).  It's on Sunday 30 March at 3:00pm in Taipei. Meet at the main gate of NTU (on the corner of Roosevelt and Xinsheng Roads). 

Tour de Taiwan finishes in Taipei

a rider from the Australian Drapac Porsche team before the start of the final stage

This morning I went to watch the final stage of the Tour de Taiwan. The stage was a criterium held on a one kilometre street circuit around the Taipei City Hall. A criterium is probably the one of the best ways for spectators to view a cycling race as the riders whizz past every minute or so and it is easy to see who is in the lead.  

five riders break away in the final stage of the tour de taiwan 2007

The race got underway a little after ten o'clock and a break away of five riders quickly established itself. They gradually built a lead on the main peloton that grew to 50 seconds with about 22 laps of the 60 lap race remaining. At that point the chief commissaire decided to stop the peloton and allow the five leaders two more laps to decide the result. 

Hirose Satoshi winner of stage 7 of the tour de taiwan 2007

This resulted in some confusion among the riders. Although the decision did not end up affecting the general classification. The end result was Japanese rider Hirose Satoshi from the Aisan Racing Team took out the stage. 

Shawn Milne overall winner of the Tour de Taiwan 2007

The overall victory in the 2007 Tour de Taiwan went to US rider Shawn Milne from the Health Net presented by Maxxis team who had led going into the stage. Milne also won the green jersey for the best sprinter.

The other results of the race were Yakovlev Yevgeniy from the Indonesian Polygon team won the blue jersey for the best Asian rider. Peng Kui-hsiang (彭貴祥) from the Giant Asia Racing Team won the white jersey for the best placed Taiwanese rider. The Continental Cycling team from Luxembourg was first in the teams classification.  

It was great to see a quality international cycling event in Taipei, but it is a pity the crowds were so small. You can see many more photos of the event at flickr

UPDATE: Final results of the event can be found at www.cyclingnews.com. There were also articles in the Taiwan News and Taipei Times.  

I also posted a short video of the race at YouTube.