The Tour de Taiwan 2016 bicycle race, approved by the UCI (International Cycling Union) as a class 2.1 event on the UCI Asia Tour calendar 2016, took place from March 6–10.
A total of 168 outstanding riders representing 21 teams from 30 countries around the world participated in the race, including four professional continental teams. In addition, as many as 11 teams from Europe and the USA joined the competition, indicating that Tour de Taiwan has become a vital race for riders worldwide. The 2016 race was far more competitive and fascinating as brand new routes were implemented. The Chinese Taipei National Team, led by well-experienced veteran, Bo-Hung Wu, was composed of both veterans and promising youngsters all vying for the best records.
Tour de Taiwan 2016 consisted of five stages which were Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Nantou County, and Terrific Taiwan, for a total distance of over 1,100 km. To meet UCI class 2.1 event standards, the 2016 race had significant upgrades that included the strength of the teams, the difficulty of the routes, traffic control, and even the meals and accommodations for riders. The prize amounts were also raised to match those of the world’s top races.
Tour de Taiwan 2016, started from Taipei City and headed from north to south. The Taipei City stage route began at Taipei City Hall then moved on to the Jingfu Gate (East Gate) Roundabout and back. The New Taipei City stage began at Tamsui Fishermen’s Wharf, followed the North Coast Road to the renowned climbing site of Masu River Estuary, passed by other famous sightseeing spots, and viewed spectacular North Coast scenery. The Taoyuan City stage was recognized by international riders as the best one, which was a 70 km, long-distance route on Expressway #61 for riders from various countries to showcase their capabilities. The Nantou City stage, the only one located in central Taiwan and mainly in a mountainous region, began at the Nantou County Hall then toured around the county intersecting several special viewpoints and eight townships, which were Nantou City, Mingjian, Jiji, Shueili, Yuchi, Puli, Guoxing, and Caotun. This was the longest route of all five stages. The final Terrific Taiwan stage was set at the Siraya National Scenic Area with four climbing points, the course going through Tainan City and Kaohsiung City to end in Wutai Township of Pingtung County.
Taiwan is well known as the kingdom of bicycles worldwide. The annual Tour de Taiwan is fast becoming an international favorite, especially recently as the race was linked with the world’s leading bicycle industry exhibition—the Taipei Cycle Show, which this year took place between March 2–5. In addition, Velo-city Global was held in Taiwan for the first time this year. These three major events further highlighted Taiwan in the cycling world’s spotlight. Tour de Taiwan brings together cycling and sightseeing, bringing the advantages of an international mega sports event to promote cultural tourism in Taiwan’s cities and counties, marketing Taiwan on the international stage and around the globe.
For more information, please visit the website at www.tourdetaiwan.org.tw.