The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team returned to the Tour de Taiwan for the 3rd year with big aspirations. The 5 day UCI 2.1 event is the first stop on the UCI Asia Tour and an exciting venture for the team abroad.
The tour proved to be a successful campaign with James Piccoli winning the Queen Stage on day four, finishing 2nd on the General Classification and Eric Young sprinting to two photo finishes 2nd places on stages 1 and 5.
The team took advantage of previous course knowledge and fine-tuned leadout to control the final kilometers on stage 1. Eric finished a close 2nd with teammate Alfredo Rodriguez 4th, beginning the race in exciting fashion.
Photo Credit: Chinese Taipei Cycling Association
On stage 4, the team was committed to giving climber James Piccoli all their resources to ensure he was ready for the penultimate climb and run in to the finish. James attacked multiple times on the steep climbs in the final kilometers, but could not put enough distance between himself and the hard charging reduced bunch.
With only a few kilometers left, and where the gradient of the course softened, James used the momentum of the bunch to launch one final attack. The surge caught the group off guard and he quickly gained a sizable gap. He buried his head, turning on the after burners to win the stage by a few bike length.
The 5th and final stage is the longest of the tour at just under 200k. Being a relatively flat course, the finish was sure to come down to a sprint. Again, the team focused on conserving all their resources to shepard Eric to the finish line. The sprint came down to a bike throw again, with Eric narrowly finishing 2nd on the stage.
The team wrapped up the 2019 Tour de Taiwan as the most successful UCI campaign to date, with gained motivation and confidence heading into the Joe Martin Stage Race and Tour of the Gila.
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