Listed as one of the World’s Top 10 Hardest Road Cycling Races, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is a one-day, 105km cycling event that will take you to the Taroko National Park on the east coast of Taiwan. Organised by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the Taiwan Cycling Federation, this spectacular sportive starts at sea level and winds its way through the Taroko Gorge to Taiwan’s highest passable mountain road – the Wuling Pass, and on to the summit at 3,275 metres above sea level.
Image rights: Taiwan Cycling Federation
The Taiwan KOM Challenge has an average gradient of 7%, which over 105km doesn’t sound too bad… Until you read that the average gradient on the last 8km is 17% to 27%! It goes up, and up, and then up again, and so it’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but if you are looking for an end-of-season cycling challenge, this could be the tour for you!
The Taiwan KOM Challenge 2019 is due to take place on Friday, 25th October, and so there is still plenty of time to organise your trip to Taiwan for the event. Flights are very reasonable from the UK and mainland Europe, with return tickets from London to Taipei costing as little as £365 per person, and from Frankfurt to Taipei for just £390 roundtrip.
Packages for the Taiwan KOM Cycling Challenge, including 7 night’s accommodation with half-board, all transfers, a sightseeing tour of Taipei, two pre-race training rides, an optional post-race ride, and guaranteed entry into the Taiwan KOM Challenge with welcome party, lunch, souvenir t-shirt, backpack, water bottle, farewell dinner, and much more, costs just £1250.00, and so it really is a bargain trip for anyone who wants to go cycling in Asia.
If you love the idea of participating in the Taiwan KOM Cycle Challenge, but your travel partner is not so keen, they can take advantage of the KOM Spectator Tour Package. On race day, they will be transported to the top of the pass, where they will be able to watch the entire race, and to make them feel part of the gang, they will also get a KOM Shirt, a Race Handbook, Lunch, and access to the Farewell Dinner.
This really is one of the toughest sportives in the world, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s some quotes from previous participants:
“The Taiwan KOM Challenge is one of the most unforgiving and brutal hill climb events in the world, situated in the most impossibly beautiful and stunning picture-postcard location imaginable. Sharpen up those hill climbing legs — this needs to be on your bucket list.” – Andy Van Bergen, Cycling Tips
“The Taiwan KOM is a bucket-list item. It was for me, now checked off, and it should be for you. A riding trip here is more rewarding than an outing to Alpe d’Huez, and certainly more difficult. It’s more adventurous than anything in the Dolomites, more rugged than the Pyrenees. I implore you: Make a week of it.” Caley Fretz, VeloNews
2016 Winner Emma Pooley described the Taiwan KOM Challenge as, “ the hardest day she has ever had on a bicycle”.
If that doesn’t want to make you do it in October 2019, we don’t know what will!