Race: Tour de Taiwan, Stage 1
Start/Finish: Taipei City (circuit), Taiwan
Distance: 52 kilometers
Taipei City, Taiwan — Tour de Taiwan began today with a short stage through downtown Taipei City. The 10.4-km circuit included five laps and three intermediate sprints over the incredibly fast stage. Though the racing didn’t reach its full momentum until the final lap, the average speed was well over 60km/h.
Early in Sunday’s race, attacks failed to escape from the peloton. Eventually, a three-man group gained a 30-second advantage up the road. Such a small group was never likely to trouble the peloton on a flat circuit, and the bunch was easily reeled in on the final lap. Under the momentum of Drapac Professional Cycling, the bunch ramped up the speed in preparation for a sprint to the finish in Taipei City. Wouter Wippert (Drapac Professional Cycling) leapt from a well-timed lead-out to take the win.
“We knew this race was going to be fast from the start, so position was vital,” James Glasspool said. “The guys did a fantastic job getting me into a good position during a technical last 400 meters, but on the second to last corner another rider changed his line, which left me no where to go but into the barriers. Despite the crash, I’m glad to continue the tour tomorrow. Everyone looks in good shape and we hope to have more opportunities to try for results in the next stages.”
Results: Wouter Wippert (Drapac Professional Cycling) sprinted to victory while Aldo Ino Ilešič (Team Vorarlberg) took second and Keon Woo Park (Team Korea) rounded out the podium.
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling squad, makes its World Tour debut later today at Milan-San Remo.
(Photo: ©Sonoko Tanaka)