Irish rider Mark Dowling has finished third in the Taiwan KOM Challenge today. The race was won by Frenchman Damien Monier (Bridgestone-Anchor), 34″ ahead of last year’s winner John Ebsen of Denmark with Dowling finishing a further 1’03” down on Monier.
Prior to the race, Vuelta a España King of the Mountains winner Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) had been expected to be amongst the contenders, but he faded with 20 kilometres remaining. As he was dropped, he was reported to have shaken his head and said “so tired” indicating the difficulty of the race.
The race, which started off at the Pacific coast, is 105 kilometres long, with the first 18 kilometres neutralised. After that, the riders had to continuously climb to 3,275 metres above sea level, with an average gradient of 5% and the final 8 kilometres of the race averaging 17% with an incredible maximum gradient of 27%.
360 men had started, but the group was down to just twelve riders as they started the last 10 kilometres. Ebsen tried to go clear in the closing kilometres, but Monier counter attacked and stayed clear to take the win. Monier previously raced for Cofidis and won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2010.
1. Damien Monier (Fra) 3:34:19
2. John Ebsen (Den) 3:34:53
3. Mark Dowling (Ire) 3:35:56
4. Ariya Phounsavath (Tha) 3:36:05
5. Thomas Lebas (Fra) 3:36:29