The Taiwan KOM Challenge is arguably Asia’s most difficult cycling event. Riders climb from the Hualien Qixingtan scenic area through the deep and wonderful Taroko Gorge, directly up to the highest passable point in Taiwan, atop the Taiwan highway that perches way up on Wuling Mountain. The route goes from sea level, right by the ocean, up to a staggering 3275m over 105 km. The riders follow the coast through the deep rocky canyon of Taroko all the way to the clouds up at the roof of Taiwan .
The well-paved road takes the riders through several different climate zones (from torrid to subtropical, then temperate up to the frigid zone), remaining a steady 7% average gradient or so for the majority of the climb until the last 8 kilometers, which curve and pitch like a hurricane sea up to 27% in places .
Stunning views await the rider as they climb through the gorge at the beginning of the ride, a vista that opens up to offer a birds-eye view of the surrounding landscape in the closing kilometers. It truly is exceptional, this mountain, in every sense of the word, making the Taiwan KOM Challenge one of the greatest climbs on offer anywhere in the world.