This year’s edition will be held on Friday, October 23rd, starting as ever in Hualien by the beach at Qixingtan. It will take the participants up through Taroko Gorge and on to the summit of Hehuan Mountain at 3,275 meters.
The 2020 Taiwan KOM Challenge is hosted by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau MOTC, and the Hualien and Nantou County Governments, and is organized by the Taiwan Cyclist Federation. The race is generously supported by its main sponsors DT Swiss and Merida Bicycles.
The race, which has been described as the ‘toughest in the world’ by several leading cycling websites and cycling professionals, including the industry’s leading social media channel, Global Cycling Network, is in its 9th year. Next year, 2021, will be the 10th edition of this event, which become a ‘must do’ for cycling enthusiasts around the globe.
Although foreign participant numbers from abroad are down this year due to the COVID virus, nonetheless the Taiwan KOM Challenge organizers, the Taiwan Cyclist Federation, expect almost 425 riders to line up for the start, with the majority being local Taiwanese people but also a good showing from foreign people who reside and work in Taiwan.
All this year’s participants are united in their love of the world-famous event and their deep desire and motivation to do well.
This year’s celebrity riders include the Taiwanese climbing star Fan Yung-Yi, who has participated in almost every KOM Challenge since the very first. The teacher from Taitung is highly respected within the Taiwan cycling community.
Other local heroes will include 2019 KOM Taiwan Champion Wu Chih-Hao, 2018 KOM Taiwan Champion Peng Yuan-Tang, 2020 UCI Tour of Taiwan Chinese Taipei young star Su Yu-Ming, as well as the Taiwan KOM female Taiwan Champion in 2019, Chen Tze-Yin.
Also riding the event this year are multiple KOM winner John Ebsen, from Denmark, who now resides in Taichung, and newcomer Christian Trenchev of Bulgaria, who also lives in Taichung. Trenchev won the Yangmingshan Mountain Challenge earlier this year.
This event is also one of the very few cycling events that provides equal prize money for both Men and Women categories. Anchorpersons Windy Duan from FTV and I-Li Hou from FOX Sports Channel have been preparing long for this year’s race.
The event can be followed by viewing the Taiwan KOM Challenge Facebook page, where live updates will be posted, and through television coverage, with details to be released soon.
To help ensure race safety, traffic control measures and road closures will be implemented on race day. The Hualien and Nantou county governments apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The schedule for these traffic control measures is as follows:
05:30-07:00 Highway No. 193
06:00-07:30 Highway No. 9
06:30-08:00 Highway No. 8 (Taroko to Tianxiang)
07:00-12:00 Highway No. 8 (Tianxiang to Dayuling)
08:30-12:00 Highway No. 14A (Dayuling to Mt. Hehuan Visitor Center)
09:00-11:00 Highway No. 14A (Tsuifeng to Mt. Hehuan Visitor Center