Check out this guest post from JP Brocket who recently took on the Taiwan KOM Challenge in October!
Bucket List event checked off!!!
I have wanted to do Taiwan KOM Challenge for several years and this year life events lined up perfectly. The timing of the race is right in the middle of my Cyclocross season which is not ideal but coach Mills had a plan, all I needed to do was ride.
The event, wow, simply amazing in every possible way. The people, the food, the scenery, the weather and last but not least the mountain climb! 746 riders from 32 countries lined up to take on the 70 mile, 11k feet climb, from the ocean to the highest paved road.
With Grand tour riders ranging to ridets simply hoping to finish we all lined up and rolled steady for the 18k neutral start to the official start clock at the base of the Tarako Gorge road. Adam and I talked through pacing, VAM, HR and altitude impacts and when the pace kicked up fast at the start I let it go and stuck to the plan. I had my nutrition plan dialed and plenty of AMP PR lotion for the event and the days leading up to it.
The plan worked. The hardest part of the race is the final 10k, and I counted 40 riders that I passed on that brutal finish, cramped, cracked, simply physically broken…
Finishing a climb like this is pretty dang epic. Looking at last years times 4:22 was the last spot on the podium so I was aiming for a sub 4:20 time. I finished the final 3k in a battle with another rider which made the brutal steep finish so hard, and so satisfying. Finished 8th place out of 250 Masters at 4:16 and top 50 overall. Those final few thousand feet it was everything I could do to keep my legs from buckling, empty, yet fulfilled. Beat my time goal and was just 3 short minutes off the podium.
Find a way to come to Taiwan and do this!
Thanks for sharing this sweet adventure JP! Looks rad!