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Taiwan KOM Challenge: Big Prizemoney – Big Mountain!

Official Press Release for the TAIWAN KOM CHALLENGE 2014

Brought to you by the Taiwan Travel Bureau & the Taiwan Cyclist Federation

Event Date & Time: November 15th 2014

Total Prize Money: $2,410,000 (New Taiwan dollars, equivalent to over $80,000 US)

One Million New Taiwan Dollars for Overall Men’s Winner, Increased Prizes for the Women’s Race, and New Anti-Doping Policy Introduced

The Taiwan Travel Bureau in association with the Taiwan Cyclist Federation is proud to announce the details of the eagerly anticipated 2014 Taiwan KOM Challenge. They are also thrilled to announce the participation of the 2009 women’s Tour de France winner and four-time British champion Emma Pooley in the 2014 event.

This year’s race sees a massive increase in the prize money on offer and a zero tolerance drug policy introduced, the first of its kind in Asia.

Now in its third year, the Taiwan KOM Challenge has established itself as Asia’s premier hill climb event and as the toughest of its kind in the world. The 105km route travels from the eastern coastal town of Hualien, starting at sea level, and rises along its route to the roof of Taiwan, up on HeHuan Mountain at 3,375 meters.

The course takes the participants up at an average 7% through the breathtaking Taroko Gorge to the 97km point at Dayuling, and then rises up over its remaining kilometers to a maximum incline of 27%, averaging at 17% for the final 8 kilometers. The mountain dwarfs anything that North America and Europe have to offer, making the Taiwan KOM Challenge truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, oxygen-depleted air and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment wait to greet those who finish the ride within the 6 and a half hour time limit. Last year’s winner Rhaim Emami of Iran completed the race in an astonishing 3 hours and 26 seconds from the official timed start, which begins after the 18km of neutralised riding.

In the past professional riders of the caliber of Jeremy Roy of Francaise des Jeux, Anthony Charteau of Europcar and Tiffany Cromwell of Specialized-lululemon have taken part in the event, a tradition which continues this year with the participation of Giro d’Italia Femminile KOM winner Emma Pooley. The organisers are also in talks with other top professionals, the details of which will be released later.

Prize money this year will total to 2,410,000 New Taiwan dollars ($80,000US), with NT$1,000,000 (US$33,376) going to the overall winner of the men’s event. Cash prizes will go down to the 6th rider over the line, with NT$1,750,000 in total available for the men.

Recognizing the growing interest on the women’s side of the sport and eager to encourage more women to ride the Taiwan KOM Challenge, the TTB and the TCF are offering NT$200,000 ($6,675US) for the first female rider over the line. Similar to the men, cash prizes are available to the top 6 riders. In total there will be NT$440,000 ($15,000US) on offer for the women’s race.

After much discussion, the organisers of the Taiwan KOM Challenge 2014 have decided to implement drug testing for the top 6 riders and reserve the right to randomly test any other participant.

Furthermore, any rider with a previous record of doping will not be allowed to compete in the race. This decision was not taken lightly and is one that the Taiwan Cyclist Federation feels reflects the current climate in world cycling and is one that will encourage fairness.

The testing will be carried out by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and the tests will be analysed at a laboratory in Japan.

Registration for the event officially opens on the 15th of September, and can be accessed at https://www.taiwankom.org/.

Press and online media enquiries can be sent to [email protected].

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