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Monday, July 4, 2011

The View From The Northern Cross Island Highway

Michael Turton posts on his latest Northern Cross Island Expedition. An excellent ride report with stunning photos. Give it a look HERE. I know for a fact that a couple of the riders who joined him were just getting started on bicycles only one year ago.

  • A big congrats to Sean Smith, from Taichung's own Team Caffe Terry, won the Elite classification in the Alishan Challenge. Smith climbed 7541ft over the course of 47 miles in 2:45:29. Smith averaged 17.1 mph on his climb and walked away with a USD$22,500 purse. Not bad for a day's work.
  • A new study shows Taiwanese women prefer walking to cycling. Whereas Taiwanese men are far more interested in showing off their gadgets. The New York Times reports this is not just a Taiwanese phenomenon.
The Tour de France will start the third stage in a couple of hours and I am actually pleasantly surprised by how the first two stages have unfolded. Stage 1 started out as a full stage as opposed to the routine opening Time Trial and it was marred by several incidents and a couple of decisive crashes that put Tour favorite Alberto Contador way back in 82nd place, while his main rivals made ground near the top. The first stage was won by Philippe Gilbert, who has just had a phenomenal 2011. Gilbert won the Tour of Belgium, Ster ZLM Toer, Liege-Baston-Leige, Amstel Gold , and La Fleche Wallonne among others.

The Stage 2 Team Time Trial was won by Team Garmin-Cervelo with Contador's Saxo Bank finishing in 8th behind his challengers in Team Leppard, Radioshack and BMC. Team HTC-Highroad, partially sponsored by Taiwan's HTC electronics juggernaut is also in good position to make an impact. What does all this mean? Not much as a lot can happen, but it does put pressure on the reigning champ, especially if the competition is in fine form and can avoid crashes or mechanicals.