Emami triumphs at 3,275 metres altitude in Taiwan KOM Challenge
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Emami triumphs at 3,275 metres altitude in Taiwan KOM Challenge

by Shane Stokes at 4:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Yonamine (Taiwan KOM) beats Tiffany Cromwell to women’s title

Rahim EmamiAttacking in the closest kilometres of what is arguably cycling’s toughest climb, the Iranian rider Rahim Emami raced home well clear at the end of the Taiwan KOM Challenge in Asia on Saturday. The 31 year old pushed ahead with his RTS Santic team-mate Amir Zargari with less than eight kilometres to go, drawing steadily ahead of the others, and then dropped his compatriot in the steeper sections which preceded the final rise up to the finish.

He hit the line 27 seconds ahead, while the 25 year old Taiwanese climber Yin Chih Wang (CCN) was 54 second back in third, 23 seconds up on the Italian Filosi Iuri (Atlas Enervit) and 44 ahead of the American Cameron Cogburn (Taiwan KOM).

Last year’s winner John Ebsen was sick heading into the race but while he thought beforehand that he might have to drop out due to what he said were flu-like symptoms, he was able to battle to a final eighth place.

WorldTour rider and former Vuelta a España King of the Mountains Simon Clarke said beforehand that he didn’t have the condition to challenge for the win and so it proved, with the Australian drifting off the back of the fragmenting chase group inside the final ten kilometres and finishing back in 33rd place, 37 minutes 15 seconds behind.

He hasn’t trained much since ending his season, but indicated that he’s like to return next year, clearly intrigued by what was a unique and extremely difficult event.

While the race is just 105 kilometres in length, it takes the riders from sea level up to the thin-air altitude of Mt. Hehuan, 3275 metres above sea level. Far higher than the climbs of the Grand Tours, the altitude puts a considerable strain on those taking part, and so too the fact that the climb is over 80 kilometres in length.

The final ten kilometres incudes ramps of well over twenty percent steepness, further amplifying the fatigue caused by such a long grind.

Hundreds of people took part in the event, which enables riders of all levels and ages to start off in the same bunch as well known international and Asian competitors. The field included Clarke, Ebsen, Orica AIS rider Tiffany Cromwell and others and, with their presence acting as a carrot to the amateurs, a very large number turned out at 6.30 am for the start in Hualian.

That peloton splintered into multiple pieces once the climb got started and, passing through the Xipan, Guyuan, Henshan, Songshan, Henshan and Bilu tunnels and crossing several narrow bridges, the leaders continued higher and higher.

An early move containing opportunistic riders was brought back and the head of the race split into two groups of approximately fifteen riders each. This was gradually whittled down to a group of ten, and then inside the final eight kilometres, where far steeper pitches reared up, the Iranian riders turned the screw and burned off their opposition.

Emami then pushed forward closer to the line, racing in to take victory. Behind, Yonamine was riding strongly herself and reached the line twenty minutes clear of Orica AIS’ Cromwell.

Videos and photos to follow on Sunday

Taiwan KOM Challenge:

1, Rahim Emami (RTS Santic) 3 hours 26 mins 59 secs
2, Amir Zargari (RTS Santic) at 27 secs
3, Yin Chih Wang (CCN) at 54 secs
4, Filosi Iuri (Atlas Enervit) at 1 min 17 secs
5, Cameron Cogburn (Taiwan KOM) at 1 min 38 secs
6, Ramin Mehrabani (RTS Santic) at 2 mins 35 secs
7, Mirko Tedeschi (Atlas Enervit) at 3 mins 11 secs
8, John Ebsen (Taiwan KOM) at 3 mins 39 secs
9, Manuel Senni (Atlas Enervit) at 5 mins 4 secs
10, Masnada Fausto (Atlas Enervit) at 5 mins 21 secs
11, Alan Destribos (RTS Santic) at 8 mins 47 secs
12, Mori Tadashi (Japan) at 10 mins 39 secs


1, Eri Yonamine (Taiwan KOM) 4 hours 16 mins 12 secs
2, Tiffany Cromwell (Orica AIS) at 20 mins 15 secs
3, Lian Yin Yi Ch (Champion System) at 22 mins 49 secs


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