Irish rider Mark Dowling is set to line up at the Taiwan KOM Challenge this Friday where he will face amongst others, the Vuelta a España King of the Mountains winner Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
Others taking part include the reigning champion John Ebsen, who has recently signed for One Pro Cycling and Olympic gold medallist Lasse Norman Hansen (Cannondale-Garmin).
The race which starts off at the Pacific coast is 105 kilometres long, with the first 18 kilometres neutralised. After that, the riders will 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%.
In addition to the steep inclines and high altitude that the riders will climb to, they will also possibly have to contend with freezing conditions and poor visibility towards the top.
Dowling took part in the race for the first time last year, when he finished in 10th place, 9’24” behind the winner, Ebsen.
360 men and 45 women are set to take part in the event. Total prize money for the race is 2,410,000 Taiwan New Dollars (€67,000), with the winner of the men’s race getting €27,800 and the winner of the women’s race will take home €5,500.