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Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XVIII

Wrap-up from the Tour de Taiwan.

In the coming days, head over to the Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling website for individual rider reports, it should be interesting to see the different viewpoints of each rider.

For the team, the 2008 TdT went as well as could be expected, and should be considered a success.

The invitation to the race came very late, when a spot opened up at the last minute. With most of the team at their off-season winter fitness, it was very difficult to gain enough fitness with only 6 weeks notice. Normally, the invitation comes many months in advance.

Most of the other teams in the TdT were racing at a very high level. For sure, all the local Taiwan teams were targeting the TdT as one of their primary goals for the year. For the other Asian teams, the TdT is part of the UCI's Asia Tour race series and those teams are in mid-season form. The Aussie team came from mid-summer weather. The other North American and European pro teams do not come all this way without being well-prepared.

So, the goals for Jet Fuel for the TdT were pretty simple: 1. Survive, 2. Race hard and with honour, 3. Gain experience, 4. Get a couple of good stage results. In other words, try to make it through the race even without optimal fitness, but don't ride so conservatively just to finish that the organizers regret the invitation, with the goal of getting invited back next year and having gained the total experience to come to TdT 2009 with proper preparation (fitness, mindset, logistics, etc.). Any good results would be gravy.

Goal 1. was mostly accomplished, we finished with 3 riders out 5 starters. Rico came in the least prepared and was hoping to hang in as a domestique, it didn't happen but it was a valiant effort. Shane, the U23 guest rider, raced hard and aggressively, maybe with a bit too much youthful vigor in the early stage, as he finished 6 stages. Bryson, our other U23 rider showed impressive strength and stamina for a guy who has only been racing for a few years. Pete showed a lot of veteran savvy, while only able to train in the snow before the race, he was the most steady finisher every day, choosing his spots to exert energy. Daniele was really, really ill the whole week with a cold and respiratory problems, that he finished at all is sign of a hard, hard man.

Goal 2. the guys attacked, jumped in moves, got up in the sprints and didn't leave anything in the tank and generally showed the Jet Fuel colors in the race. This is one reason the team finished 20th on G.C., because the guys were trying to get in moves each stage, but at the price of getting popped off the back late in the stage.

Goal 3., the team gained a lot of experience on many levels. For the younger guys, this was their biggest and most professional race ever. Even for the older guys, it was one of the best organized races they ever attended. For all the guys, it's a heck of a way to kick off the racing season, mentally and physically it was great training. For Brian, the rookie manager, an 8-day UCI 2.2 race was a real trial-by-fire...it turns out he really is a witch! Culturally, the team got a chance to check out Taiwan and the Asian racing scene. Finally, for next year's TdT, if the team should have the opportunity to re-attend, the team will be 10x better prepared at every level.

Goal 4. Not great numbers, but not bad signs at all. A few top-twenty stage finishes, and with a hair more luck in a couple of instances, they could've been in the top-10 or even top-5. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, it's easy to say, but the results were encouraging signs nonetheless. And with proper preparation and a full-strength team, they coulda been a contendah!

All in all, it was a fruitful and great experience, as the Jet Fuel team represented Toronto and Canada very well. For the first Canadian team ever in the Tour de Taiwan, and under such interesting circumstances, it should be considered a successful milestone in Ontario and Canadian cycling history.

Well, that's the end of the OCTTO coverage of Jet Fuel's Tour de Taiwan 2008 adventure. Come back to OCTTO often and buy lot's of stuff when our webstore opens! Or ask you local dealer to order our products!


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XVII

In the closing laps of Stage 8, the finale of the Tour de Taiwan 2008, the peloton passes under the shadow of the World's tallest completed building, Taipei 101.

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XVI

Some other good coverage from the last 2 stages here, with good photos here:

Team Type 1's Blog:
Stage 8
Stage 7

Cyclingnews.com of Pete and Bryson dancing through traffic:
Photo 1 Photo 2


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XV

REVISED update from Stage 8, the finale, of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan, a four-corner crit around the world's tallest building, Taipei 101.

With the top five riders on the G.C. separated by only 20 seconds and time bonuses available, the pace was as intense as Stage 7. At one point the pack of 80 riders was stretched out in a line over 200m long.

In the last lap, Peter Morse was comfortably positioned in the top 15, when a crash on the back straight brought him to a complete stop. Accelerating from zero, trying to close a gap caused by the crash, Pete managed to finish in 20th position.

Emerging from the mayhem, Marek Wesoly from the Merida Europe team took the field sprint, their third win that way. His teammate was 2nd.

It's quite interesting to see the 2nd-tier Continental-Level teams from Europe are head-to-head with the 1st-tier North American teams. The team from Health-Net mentioned that they brought their top criterium racers to TdT this year. Oddly, while they won both the G.C. and a tough road stage, they didn't win any of the criterium stages.

Stage 8 - March 16, 60 km Results

1 Marek Wesoly (Pol) 1.22.10 (44km/h)
2 Krzysztof Jezowski (Pol)
3 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn)
20 Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
47 Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
53 Bryson Bowers (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team

Final General classification
1 John Murphy (USA) 17.59.32
2 Shawn Milne (USA) 0.10
3 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Team Meitan Hompo-GDR 0.14
52 Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 4.05
66 Bryson Bowers (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 5.05
75 Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 10.00

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XIV

Stage 7 of the the 2008 Tour de Taiwan was a criterium circuit held on the city block directly in front of the main entrance of the exhibition hall of the 2008 Taipei International Bicycle Show.

Tactically, it was not a key stage as it was simply a flat, 4 corner, 1.5km crit circuit. However, it was hugely important from political terms. Many of the participating teams' title and equipment sponsors are massive Taiwan industrial corporations (i.e. Maxxis, Giant, Merida) exhibiting at the Taipei bike show. As such, there was huge pressure on the those teams to win and create "face" for their benefactors while on stage in front of one of the largest industry gatherings in the world.

Despite being the shortest stage of the Tour de Taiwan at only 58km, it was described as the hardest so far. The speed and intensity of the race was just incredibly high.

Peter Morse mentioned that at one point, the speed was so high that he let a gap go to the rider in front of him. Then, as he was fighting to re-close the gap a massive pile-up occurred in the group that he just let go; the speed was so high and the effort so intense that guys in the pack were so maxed out that they couldn't see straight. Luckily for Pete, that gap saved him from being involved in the ensuing carnage. Unfortunately for some other riders, the crash was so bad that the race had to be neutralised for 9 laps while medical staff attended to injured riders. That's why the average speed is posted as only 44 km/h!

In the end, Hong Kong's Kam Po Wong put on an unbelievable show of strength, breaking away with 3 laps to go towing 5 other riders on his wheel and gapping the field. Then as the field started to catch the break in the finishing straight, he lead out the sprint and won by several bike lengths to take his second stage this Tour.

Stage 7 - March 15: Jingmao - Jingmao, 58 km

1 Kam Po Wong (HKg) 1.19.22 (43.847 km/h)
2 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn)
3 John Murphy (USA)
45 Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
59 Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
62 Bryson Bowers (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XIII

Update from Tour de Taiwan 2008 Stage 6 from Peter Morse:
"I know I was 28th, that's it. Very wet and dirty too."

Stage 6 (127km) Results
Kyle Gitters
28. Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team at 0:36 back
46. Bryson Bowers (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team at 0:36
79. Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team at 2:06
??. Shane Braley (USA) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team