Lowdown: A slightly different Lowdown from Lee Rodgers today, no doping, his thoughts on Taiwan as a cycling holiday destination... Good and bad! The island the Portuguese called Formosa - ‘beautiful island’ - might not be on your bucket list yet, so let Lee change your mind.
With the 2014 Taiwan KOM Challenge coming up it's time to look back at some of the events of the past to get you in the mood.
Big prize money, amazing scenery, a simply huge mountain, great racing and a strict anti-doping policy are all key factors in the 2014 Taiwan KOM Challenge.
Roadside report: It's a challenge unlike any other. There may be races to higher altitudes, but for eye-watering gradients and morale-sapping length the Taiwan KOM Challenge trumps them all. World Tour riders have come here and had meltdowns – 87 kilometers of climbing can do that to you!
Taiwan KOM Challenge Roadside: Taiwan really is a stunning place, and I've barely seen any of the island. Today's press event was a photo and video call held by the seaside in Hualien. The sun's heat and light was benevolent rather than oppressive as the riders' minds turned to tomorrow's torture.
TCF Taiwan KOM Challenge: I've been very lucky to have covered racing for Pez in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, the UK, Andorra and Spain (for about five minutes) … but never anywhere quite like this. The spectacular and multicolored townscapes and lush mountains of Taiwan. In one of the friendliest societies around, lurks one of the hardest challenges in cycle sport.
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