I was walking around the Taipei Bike Show yesterday afternoon when I bumped into Simon Gerrans. I’d heard that he was in town but guessed he was just here for the show. However, after I introduced myself as being involved in the Taiwan KOM Challenge, he said ‘Oh I’m doing the event this Monday…’.
At which point… well let’s just say I had no idea that he was doing the KOM, big communication breakdown somewhere within the cogs of bureaucracy.
But he is, he’s going to ride it, which I’m excited about because it’s his first time in Taiwan, he’s going to be on one of the greatest roads in the world and he will get to see the true beauty that this island holds.
(BTW this event on Monday is on the same route as the Taiwan KOM Challenge, but is the sportif version, named the Road to Taiwan KOM, we have one in summer too, registration for that opening soon).
I’m always envious of first-timers and I’ll never forget how awe inspiring it was to see Taroko Gorge that first time.
Image by Boris Chen.
Mr. Gerrans had quite the cycling career. Now 42 and the CEO of the famous bicycle shop and clothing brand The Service Course, Simon raced from 2005 to 2018, winning 4 stages at the Tour de France (2 individual) and wore the Yellow Jersey, 2 at the Giro d’Italia (1 individual) and wore the Maglia Rosa, and 1 at the Vuelta a Espana.
The 2009 win at the Vuelta saw him become the first Australian ever to win stages at all three Grand Tours. He won two of the biggest one-day races in cycling, Milan-San Remo in 2012 (after an epic sprint win against Fabian Cancellara and Vincenzo Nibali), and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2014. He also won the Australian Road Race Championships in 2012 and 2014.
After his glittering cycling career, Gerrans entered the world of high finance before becoming Chief Operating Officer with The Service Course, and is now the CEO.
Very cool stuff.
So, all the best to Simon and indeed everyone taking on the KOM route on Monday!