TAIPEI, TAIWAN -- Friday morning found elite cyclists from around the world in the Banqiao Railway Station for the kick-off press conference of the 2011 Taiwan Cup. King Liu, Chairman of Giant kicked off the event welcoming the cyclists to the island and wishing them luck in their competition. In all, cyclists representing 12 nations will compete in this year’s event. The 2011 Taiwan Cycling Festival runs from Nov. 5 – 13, with the highlighted Taiwan Cup race being held on Nov. 6.
The United States has two teams competing. Kenda 5-hour Energy Cycling Team has five riders and CCN-Colossi is represented with three riders listed.
|King Liu and the Kenda 5-hour Energy Racing Team from the US|
Lonely Planet recently rated Taiwan as a top ten destination for travel. According to Liu, cycling is one of the main attractions with cycling routes for bikers of all aptitudes. Level paths along the river are suitable for leisure riders while hillclimbs like Wuling will challenge even the most advanced riders.
Deputy Minister of MOTC (Ministry of Transportation and Communication) Kuo Tsai-Wen explained that the east coast of Taiwan will present a unique location for this year’s race. On one side of the road, cyclists will be treated to mountain views and on the other, the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Tsai-Wen reiterated that their goal is to create a cycling paradise in Taiwan. With over 10,000km of existing bike routes, they are well on their way.
Janice Lai, director-general of the tourism bureau mentioned that the final event of this year’s cycling festival is a charity event to raise money for children. She hopes that when people think of cycling, they think of Taiwan.
Carlos Barredo, one of the leading riders for the Rabobank team from Taiwan said he was looking forward to an easy race since this wraps up the season for many of the riders. Upon completion of his remarks, the VIP’s of the event joined him on stage and road stationary bikes in front of a digital screen with footage of previous races.
After the press conference, this year’s Taiwan Cup riders took their bikes down to the train platform and filed into the cars for the ride to Elan and then on to Hualien. To attract vacationing bicyclists, a special train regularly runs down the east coast of Taiwan with space for riders and their bikes sharing the same car.