taiwanOn Sunday, Iranian Rahim Emami of the RTS-Santic Racing team won the 105-km uphill Taiwan KOM Challenge. He averaged just a little more than 25 km/h with a finishing time of 3:26:29. Emami summited Mount Wu Ling ahead of teammate Amir Zargari. The top-placed Canadian was mountain biker Cory Wallace who finished 16th, more than 18 minutes behind the winner.

Known for its positive atmosphere, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is a race that showcases the growing cycling culture in Taiwan. As a state sponsored event, there were cultural ceremonies before and after the race in the coastal city of Hualien. With more than 400 entrants and 26 nations competing, the popularity of the KOM Challenge is growing rapidly. Taiwan is fast becoming a destination place for cycling.

Some of the key elements that define the race are the brutally steep parcours, winding switchbacks and failing motor support vehicles that can barely chug it to the top. The last 8 km has an average gradient of 17 per cent with steep pitches reaching a maximum of 27 per cent. Most racers came equipped with lights as the race started before sunrise for safety reasons. The weather atop Wuling Mountain in the late afternoon can be volatile so the race starts early.

Full results can be found at the Taiwan KOM Challenge.

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