Over 700 cyclists to take part in Taiwan mountain challenge

2018/10/05 20:29:05 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Over 700 cyclists to take part in Taiwan mountain challenge

Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) Over 700 cyclists will take part in an annual Taiwan mountain challenge in late October, a Taiwan Cyclist Federation official said Friday.

At a press conference organized by the Tourism Bureau in Taipei that day, Ho Li-chin (何麗卿), secretary-general of the Taiwan Cyclist Federation, said that 712 cyclists -- 412 foreign and 300 local -- will compete in the 2018 Taiwan King of Mountain (KOM) race Oct. 26.

Of the foreign cyclists, 56 are from Hong Kong, over 40 are from the United States, more than 40 are from Thailand, 36 are from Japan, 12 are from South Korea and 20 are from China, Ho said.

The number of foreign competitors has risen tremendously over the years, because in the first KOM event in 2012, there were only around 30 foreign and 100 local cyclists, Ho pointed out.

Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰), deputy director-general of the Tourism Bureau, said Taiwan's KOM is comparable to cycling challenges in the Alps in Europe and has attracted more and more foreign cyclists.

According to the Taiwan KOM registration website, the 105- kilometer route starts at sea level at Qixingtan in Hualien County and passes through the Taroko Gorge before climbing to Taiwan's highest passable road to an elevation of 3,275 meters at Wuling Pass.

The 2018 KOM event, which carries a total purse of NT$2.14 million (US$69,207) is part of the 2018 Taiwan Cycle Festival which is holding a series of events around the country from June 1 to Dec. 31.

(By Wang Shu-fen and William Yen)

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