TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An estimated 2,500 professional cyclists from around the world competed in the 2019 Cycling96 Series – Changhua! Road Bicycle Race (96自転車系列賽-彰化讚!) at the Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC) in Changhua, Taiwan, on Saturday (Oct. 12).
Australian cyclist Benjamin Hill and Taiwan's Peng Yuan Tang (彭源堂) from the Ljubljana Gusto Santic Team won first and second place, respectively, on the Global Elite route race. Wu Po Hong (巫帛宏) from Novatec Wheels Taiwan was just one second behind and took third place.
Hill finished the race with a record time of 2 hours and 7 minutes. When asked about his promise to let teammate Peng win the race, Hill said he was so focused on wearing out his opponents at the beginning that he ended up widening the gap too much, reported Apple Daily.
Three of the first six riders to pass the finish line were from Novatec Wheels Taiwan, which had the highest team score.
The race, hosted by Cycling96 Retail Company, Tinghsin Hote Foundation and Taiwan Bike Association, was the biggest professional road bicycle racing event this year in Taiwan, according to the event's Cycling96 Facebook page. It was also the first time in 10 years the ARTC had been used as a venue for cycling competitions.
Changhua County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei (王惠美) said during the opening ceremony this was a rare opportunity for cyclists to discover Changhua and the breathtaking scenery it offers. She said the enthusiasm of its residents would leave a lasting impact on the racers, reported Liberty Times.
The 2019 "Cycling96 Series – Changhua!" Criterium Race had three routes, including the 48.5km master route, a 64.5km elite route and the 88.8km global elite route. Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum Team from Europe and Nasu Blasen Team from Japan were among those participating in the elite route, according to Yahoo Sports.
Wei Ying-chung, founder of Tinghsin Hote Foundation, said Taiwan is a "bicycle kingdom" and he was delighted to see so many bicycle enthusiasts at the event. The race also featured local cuisine and live music performances from Iron Horn (宋德鶴), reported Peopo Citizen Journalism.