I’ve been fulfilling the role of Communications Manager for the Taiwan KOM Challenge for just over a decade now, and regularly receive questions from prospective participants regarding the event.
These FAQs below can be found on the official KOM website, but I’ve decided to copy and post them here also for reference. Stay tuned for a series of posts coming soon regarding training for the KOM and some other related stuff too!
Also, if you are thinking to come to Taiwan this year for the KOM – or any year – check out my tour company, Taiwan KOM Tours, we have a great 8-day KOM tour three times a year!
If you have an specific Qs feel free to email me at email@example.com.
TAIWAN KOM CHALLENGE FAQs
- Do I need to be a professional to enter the Taiwan KOM Challenge?
No, but we have a 6.5 hours cut-off for the race, so you do need to be an experienced rider and reasonably fit. At certain points on the climb our KOM commissaires will ask riders who are outside the cut-off time for each respective point to stop riding.
- Do I need a UCI license to register for the event?
No, you do not, as the Taiwan KOM Challenge is not UCI-affiliated.
- Where and when do I pick up the timing chip?
At the Rider Registration center at Park View Hotel Hualien (see website for details of the schedule for meetings and locations).
- What is the difference between Elite and non-Elite?
Elite rider is a category intended for professional athletes and for elite amateurs. If you do not consider yourself elite nor are you professional, please choose your age category instead.
- I booked transportation from Taipei Main Station from Taipei to Hualien, if I am carrying my bike with the hard case, will it be possible for the Organizing Committee to transport it together with me or will it be carried in other transport van?
If you booked all the transportation and hotel services from airport (arrive) to airport (depart), we will take care of all your luggage, including hard bicycle case. If you are only booking the transportation from Taipei to Hualian and (or) Hualian to Taipei, we only accept SOFT bicycle cases.
- Is it mandatory to book transportation after the race from the summit of the KOM to return to Hualien?
Yes, it is mandatory to book transportation back down the mountain, unless you have your own transportation. You CANNOT arrange transport on the day from the top of the mountain, you must pre-book the transportation service after the race offered by organizer.
- Can I cycle down-hill directly after I finish the race?
No. Due to safety issues and police concerns, it is forbidden to ride back down the KOM route after the race. The organizer will not be responsible for any accidents after the event occurring from riding. This rule is in place for the safety of all our participants.
- If I finished the event early, can I hop on the down-hill transportation first?
When you arrive at Kunyang parking lot and finish the post-race process (chip return/luggage return/lunch…), you may go to the bus service booth for check-in. The bus staff will arrange your transport down. Once the bus is full, the first departure will begin.
- How do I book transportation for my companions who are not riding but want to go to the summit of the KOM?
The KOM event provides a KOM Spectator Tour service, offering bus transportation from Hualien-Wuling/Kunyang-Hualien, with lunch at Kunyang with some event souvenirs are included. This service can be opted for in the registration process for a fee.
- I will be arriving Hualien very late and will miss event check-in deadline, will it be possible for me to check-in the next day before the start?
No, you will not be allowed to start if arriving soon before the start of the event. Please note the official registration is required the day before the race and no later.
- Can I book accommodation by myself or do I need to book via the Organizing Committee?
Yes, you may book your own accommodation. The services offered by the Organiser are optional.
- Do I get discount rate to book accommodation via the Organizing Committee?
The room rates via OC booking are special event discount rates.
- Do I need to carry my luggage to Start Point on event day?
Please bring your day bags to the Start Point and hand over to the day bag vehicle. Day bags will be taken to the Wuling Finish Point.
The downhill shuttle buses only carry pre-paid passengers and their day bags/bikes, and no big luggage will be acceptable. So please do not bring your big luggage to the Start Point.
So please leave your luggage at the hotels before you go to the Start Point.
- Do you have any travel/accommodation packages for riders looking to do the race?
Yes, please refer to the related part of the registration information.
- Can I rent a bike in Hualien or it is compulsory to bring my own bike?
No, it is not possible to rent a racing bicycle suitable for the Taiwan KOM Challenge. All riders must bring their own bicycles.
- If I am bringing one or more family members with me, do they need to register as spectator group? What does the spectator group package include?
Since there is no public transportation on the event route, if family members would like to see the race and meet riders in the finish, they have to tick the Spectator Tour option on the Registration form.
The Spectator Tour covers: bus transportation from Parkview Hotel – Hualien Qixingtan Start Point – Wuling – Kunyang – Hualien. Also included is an insurance fee, a KOM wind jacket, race book, and lunch in Kunyang.
- If I am signing up for the spectator group, can you advise whether we will be able to see the race firsthand? Are we going to be in the tour bus and following them or we will be far ahead of the groups?
The Spectator Tour bus will depart from Qixingtan Start Point earlier than the rider start, followed by a short stop on the event route to watch the peloton passing. Another stop point is at the Wuling Finish Point, and then at the lunch / awards area in Kunyang. Passengers can then meet riders there.
- How can I register a supporting team car if we register as a group?
Please email us about your requirements.
- Can I arrange my own private car to go uphill to the finish point? When does the traffic control start for this event?
We do not encourage private cars to ride ahead of the event as the route can be dangerous. Also, no private cars can stop along the route to hand out water or other supplies. Any private car seen trying to pass the peloton or assist riders in any way will face penalties, and possible police prosecution. Therefore, we advise you to email us and register as a team car.
- If I cannot finish riding due to injury or technical accidents, will there be vehicle to pick me up?
Yes, we have a broom wagon that follows the last riders, also ambulances for injured riders.
VI. Race Day
- Does everyone start together or in age categories?
Everyone starts together. For safety, which is our top priority and any rider seen riding dangerously or trying to overtake event vehicles or other rider dangerously will be immediately disqualified.
- What kind of food is available at the feeding zones?
We have bananas, biscuits and water at each zone. We recommend each rider bring their own gels and other on-bike nutrition with them as these are not very easy to purchase in Hualien.
- What kind of cycling clothing should I wear on race day?
The weather can change rapidly in the mountains. Even on a clear, warm day at the foot of the climb, by the time the riders reach 2000m+ the temperatures can drop quite a lot. On a clear day (please see weather forecast on race day), we recommend shorts, an undershirt and jersey, with a raincoat and possibly light gloves to take with you.
On colder days, tights, thermal undershirt and a gilet and warm gloves are recommended, as well as a raincoat.
- Is there food at the finish?
Yes, we do provide warm drinks (subject to availability) at the summit and lunch at Kunyang parking lot, however we also recommend you bring whatever you like to eat in your race-day bag.
- How do I bring clean/warm clothes to the summit after the race?
We provide all riders with a KOM race-day bag, which we give to you in your registration package at the race hotel. Please put all clothes you will need later in this bag. We also suggest you add any food you may need for later.