rack it up

no complaints so far with two wins from two races, though my love handles are still begging to be pinched, no doubt about that. seems the fatter you get off season the more stubborn the last remnants of the winter load become. proper crusty squatters, these lumps are, entrenched for the long haul. hopefully the Tour de Taiwan (we start Monday the 18th) will deliver the final eviction notice and send them scuttling for the hills…

crankpunk's resident fat cells
under the microscope: crankpunk’s resident fat cells

last Sunday’s race went well, the 70.8km ‘hill’-climb up the southern approach to Ali Shan proving just about doable despite a very serious wobble with ten km to go that had me shaking my head and wavering about the road like a drunk Japanese salary man on, well, any night in downtown Roppongi.

the race organisers informed us in the elite class a week be4 the race that the $5000NT prize for first place (roughly $180US, not too great anyway for 70km of up!) would be rescinded due to there being only 26 guys registered for the elite class.

which, when you consider that in all there were over 1,100 participants on the start line (ok behind it), seemed a little skinny to me, especially when each of us paid $20US to enter. later the race result was reported in the national newspaper, the Taipei Times, a report in which i was labeled as ‘American’ (ouch) and also reported to have picked up the (non-existent) $5000NT prize!


the cheek of it.

so after we’d meandered along for 20km in the world’s longest ever neutral zone, getting gapped by the lead car on climbs and descents to such an extent that one of the tailenders amongst the 1,100+ behind us decided to fly to the front and chase the car (he was wearing a helmet with dog ‘ears’ glued to the side, baggy kit and sneakers – welcome to racing in Taiwan), we finally got to the business end of the cheese.

‘keep it steady, go in the last ten km’ i said to myself, then in the next breath i was attacking just 5km in. i got a lead, kept going, was joined by another guy who i then dropped after one turn, and just kept going some more.

up, up, up, on and on and on it went. i ran out of gas with a few km to go and in all honesty expected to be caught but the cavalry never arrived. the finish line was a particularly sweet sight, and there it was, the second win in 2 races.

job done.

next up, Tour de Taiwan. can’t wait!

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

5 thoughts

  1. I wonder what the quota for elite riders was. I guess it was always going to be one too few.

    I just did that ride a few weeks ago. The approach is deceptive as it feels as though it is pretty flat with a few rollers before the climb, and that your legs just don’t work well. That part with the scar on the cliffside is a beast. I hope to race it next year.

    1. hi Andrew, cheers for the comment! yeah those switchbacks are something, not so mad in themselves but it;’s just where they are, stuck in the middle of all that grind! i was in the big ring up until then, and then POP! went my weasel! not sure how i didn’t get caught tbh…!

  2. $5,000 is crap reward for the performance only to have it withdrawn and then to add insult to injury you get called American. Where you singing ” Yankee, doodle, dandy” at the finish line?
    Anyway, well done again, hope to be there next year.

    1. really everyone should get together to put in a complaint. it’s not like we do this for the money but to pull the award just be4 is like a slap in the chops!

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