Lee Rodgers, the Taiwan based British cyclist who writes for Velonews, has another report from the Tour of Langkawi in which he looks for another excuse to mention Taiwan’s famed Wuling ride.
I think I understand what Lee is really trying to say. When you have such a badass climb in your backyard that you know would gain the respect of the sport’s most talented climbers, you take a little local pride in it and then wish you could bring Marco Pantani back from the dead, just to hear him whimper about the final grade to the top.
I get the sense that Rodgers, much like myself, wishes the sport’s elite riders might one day discover the climb to Wuling and validate it as exactly what it could represent to cycling–an iconic climb.
Today, the climb to Wuling gets little respect or recognition beyond our fair island. Sometimes it doesn’t even get respect from local organizers.
The climb that stands to cement Taiwan’s international reputation in competitive cycling as a place where legends are born, is again left out of the Tour of Taiwan (Maybe the Tour of Tai-Yawn might be a more fitting moniker).
So, in reverence of Wuling and in gratitude to Lee Rodgers for his continued salesmanship of my adopted home and its magnificence, here is a pictorial look at the 90km of climbing that makes Hualien to Wuling a must for any cyclist looking to test their mettle.
If you are interested in racing to Wuling from Puli, the Nantou Cycling Association will be holding the Wuling Cup 6/17/2012.
The event will divide the field into a race group and a recreational group. If you can finish the climb in 5hrs 30min. you can qualify for the race group.
This might be a better alternative to the Neverstop Wuling Challenge, which saw 7000 riders converge on the mountain at the same time creating conflict with motorists and potentially dangerous conditions.