The 2013 Tour de Taiwan was jointly held by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Chinese Taipei Cycling Association at the Dapeng Bay, Siraya, Southwest Coast, Tri-Mountain, North Coast and Guanyinshan national scenic areas, bringing together 23 teams and 184 top athletes from 30 countries on five continents.
Norway’s Team Frøy-Bianchi was specially invited to join the race this year. To give the Norwegian cyclists a deep and unforgettable impression of Taiwan’s warm hospitality, the Tourism Bureau held a “Terrific Taiwan Tourism Cup Pre-race Press Conference” on March 14. During the conference, local specialty dishes of Taiwan’s four major ethnic groups were prepared to win over the cyclists as ambassadors to attract more international tourists to Taiwan. Taiwan’s famous scenic beauty and delicious cuisine are magnets for visitors from around the world. The members of Team Frøy-Bianchi arrived in Taiwan in early March to train at Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area in sunny southern Taiwan. The team also enjoyed the local fare and indigenous culture in Sandimen, giving them a chance to discover that Taiwan’s human touch is as warm as the weather. The multiethnic cuisine prepared for the pre-race press conference echoed the international character of the race. Among the dishes enjoyed by Team Frøy-Bianchi were Taiwan’s specialty oyster omelets, classic Hakka cabbage stewed pork, aboriginal boar meat, and mainland Chinese fried leek dumplings. The cyclists also had a chance to hand make mochi using traditional aboriginal pestles.
The 2013 Tour de Taiwan was held from March 18 to 24. The international competition aims to raise Taiwan’s profile on the world stage and welcome more visitors to experience the beauty of Taiwan.
Hayato Yoshida of Shimano Racing came out as a surprise winner of the closing 52-km long criterium of the 25th Tour de Taiwan. He survived in a crash-marred final sprint where hot favorites Anuar Manan of Synergy Baku Cycling Project and Anthony Giacoppo of Huon Salmon-Genesys went down in the last corner. The 23 year old Japanese rider preceded on the line stage 6 winner Benjamin Giraud of La Pomme-Marseille and Patrick Shaw of Huon Salmon-Genesys. Drapac’s Bernard Sulzberger retained the lead he took on the overall classification at the end of stage 4 in Taichung.
The last stage was a question of fights for positions on GC behind Sulzberger and for the win in the best Asian rider competition. By winning the first intermediate sprint, stage 1 winner Kirill Pozdnyakov of Synergy Baku Cycling Project secured his place in the final top 3 of the Tour de Taiwan but couldn’t pass stage 5 winner Tsgabu Grmay of MTN-Qhubeka for second overall. The Ethiopian who impressed by his climbing abilities earlier two days ago showed a bit more of his talent as he managed to outsprint Pozdnyakov for third place in the second hot spot sprint, which was won by Terengganu’s Saufi Mat Senan ahead of Hong Kong’s Choi Ki Ho. As he also came third in the third and last intermediate sprint, Saufi secured his blue jersey and the first such award of his career as best Asian rider in a stage race.
The third sprint was contested between riders competing for the top. By winning it, Liam Holohan of the Madison British team didn’t allow Masakazu Ito of Aisan and Champion System’s Adiq Hussainie to move up on GC. However, the latter was so active in the last two days that he finished second in the points competition. The king of the mountain remained local hero Feng Chun Kai.
At the age of 29, Sulzberger finally became a winner. “This is definitely the biggest win of my career”, the Australian said. “This is a massive win for myself and for my team that has been 100% committed from when I had the jersey.” The winner of the 2013 Tour de Taiwan concluded by sending a message to his younger brother Wesley so he’d come up with a big achievement as well on the World Tour with Orica-GreenEdge.