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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Team Lampre-Merida-- Press Release

"Now its official."-- Michael Jackson (Thriller, 1984)

MERIDA enters the UCI World Tour

Merida Europe GmbH is pleased to announce its commitment to the UCI WorldTour as per January 1st 2013. With the UCI ProTeam Lampre a both likeable and successfully established team has agreed to be supplied with MERIDA’s high-end equipment for the next three seasons and to compete under the official name “Team Lampre-MERIDA”. With the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, Taiwan’s second-largest bicycle manufacturer has been supporting one of the world’s most successful mountain bike racing teams since 2004; entering the UCI WorldTour thus was a long-awaited and logical next step in order to get the best showcase possible for the brand’s premium road products as well.

As per 2013, the new Team Lampre-MERIDA will be competing on state-of-the-art equipment: The SCULTURA SL is setting benchmarks in terms of stiffness, agility and vertical compliance, thus making sure that the Team Lampre-MERIDA can participate not only at the big races such as the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour de France with legitimate aspirations. On top of that, early in 2013 a time trial bike that has been developed from scratch to meet the demands of time trialling with the world’s elite is going to be presented. More team bikes tailor-made to suit the needs for cobble-stone classics such as Paris-Roubaix or particularly aerodynamic models for long escapes and building a lead-out train for a sprinter are going to be presented throughout the next year.

MERIDA is the private brand of Merida Industry Co., Ltd, Taiwan’s second-largest bicycle manufacturer. The company had been founded in 1972 by Ike D.H. Tseng in Yuanlin, Taiwan. After the founder’s death in January 2012, his son Michael Tseng took over. At its three production facilities in Yuanlin, Shenzen and Shandong (the latter two based in the People’s Republic of China), about 3500 employees produce about 2.5 million bicycles per year that are being distributed in 70 countries around the world. MERIDA’s world-wide workforce sums up to about 52.000 people. Ever since 2004, MERIDA has been participating in international competitions with great success with the “MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM”, a team that has Olympic and World champions in its line-up with riders such as Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja, Ralph Näf and José Hermida.

A Bicycle Homecoming and Other Links


The Taiwanese couple that set out 30 months ago for a well sponsored cycling trip around the world is set to return. It is still to be seen if a couple that bikes together stays together, but it has obviously been quite a trip.
Lin Xiao-kai and his girlfriend Yan Yi-hui told Taipei City-based Central News Agency Sept. 17 in Los Angeles that the journey has been a bittersweet but once-in-a-lifetime experience. 
“This faded cycling jersey is a proof of what we have been through over the past 900 days,” Lin said. “We have taken more than 400,000 pictures and 1,000 video clips to keep track of every place visited.” 
According to Lin, he has kept a blog of the couple’s trip and is planning to publish a book on their odyssey at some point in the future.

Apparently, this is the longest cycling adventure undertaken by a Taiwanese team.


Giant toots its own horn for forging close ties with the government. This past week the really, super big bike maker hosted John Kuan, head of the Examination Yuan in an effort to promote Giant and to make it look as if the government might be concerned about reforming the civil service.

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) Examination Yuan President John Kuan visited bicycle maker Giant Manufacturing Co.'s production plant in Taichung, central Taiwan Tuesday with the goal of learning from the company's recruitment and training experience. 
Kuan said that in addition to the company's recruitment process and training mechanism, Giant's corporate philosophy and global competitiveness also have a lot to teach the country's civil service 
Of course, a long time observer might note that the civil service has been a valuable tool for the ruling KMT to maintain its power base within the middle class, while using the civil service's access to state benefits as a lever for maintaining loyalty to the KMT/ROC and its ideology.

Ma Ying-jiu actually had to work hard during the last campaign to woo back some disaffected stalwarts in the civil service after finally instituting the final phase of a series of tax reforms that finally covered every branch of the civil service requiring every citizen to pay income tax.

I doubt Ma, who is reported to be disliked by many in his own party, is in any hurry to take the reins off  such a reliable voting bloc.

Moreover, the idea that government should be run like a business is one of the most idiotic concepts to gain popularity over the past 20 years. Sometimes a government needs to simply serve the people and not the bottom line.


A Japanese delegation was recently hosted by Giant to discuss mutual dreams of bicycle tourism.

Wheel Giant's Bike Market Update reports:

On the first day of the visit, the Hiroshima and Ehime governments organized a
joint tourism presentation showcasing Japan's Inland Sea. Many media and travel agency representatives were on hand to learn about the rich tourism possibilities of Hiroshima and Ehime. Giant President King Liu and CEO Tony Lo also shared their personal cycling experiences riding the Shimanami Kaido and the Inland Sea. 
On the second morning, the official delegation visited Giant's global headquarters in Dajia, Taichung. Giant officials led their Japanese visitors on a planned a factory tour, and exchanged opinions about bicycle culture. Cycling activities were arranged for the afternoon of the second day and the morning of the third. Routes included the Hou Feng railway path, Dong-fong green corridor, and the Sun Moon Lake bike path. 
After their two-day cycling tour, Hiroshima governor Yuzaki and Ehime governor
Nakamura noted that Taiwan bike lanes showcase Taiwan's exceptionally beautiful landscape, especially the world-renowned Sun Moon Lake path