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

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XII

Delayed update from Stage 5. Here is the mini-report from Peter Morse:

" The stage was good today. No breaks were allowed to go without the yellow jersey. We tried anyway, but also did the sprint. I was 15th, DD (Daniele Defranceschi) 18th, Shane (Braley) 47th, Bryson (Bowers) 48th. The young guys are learning a lot, as are us older guys.
We're learning more about the sprinters here, we'll continue to go for it in the next stages. DD is getting better with antibiotics, my throat hurts from pollution most likely."

Stage 5 (148km) Results:

1 Shawn Milne (USA) Team Type 1 3.16.32 (45.183 km/h)
2 Marek Wesoly (Pol) Merida Europe Team
3 Sung Baek Park (Kor) Seoul City Cycling Team
15 Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
18 Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
47 Braley R Shane (USA) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
48 Bryson Bowers (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team

General Classification after Stage 5
1 John Murphy (USA) Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis 12.14.26
2 Shawn Milne (USA) Team Type 1 0.07
3 Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) AISAN Racing Team 0.10


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XI

Today's Stage 4 of the Tour de Taiwan 2008 was held under perfect weather in downtown Taichung City.

The city police completely closed down part of a main arterial boulevard to accommodate one side of the classic 4-corner criterium layout. The same road also has a huge public school, so hundreds of lucky kids were let out of class to watch the race pass in front of their school.

Actually, seems the riders were the lucky ones, to have such enthusiastic fans.

Most of the guys from Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling team were in much improved spirits and conditions today. Pete Morse and Bryson Bowers were pretty active in the first half of the race, trying to get in moves and show the team colors at the front of the race.

In the end, it came down to a field-sprint again with Pete acting as Daniele Defranceschi's leadout train. Undermanned and still under the weather with a respiratory ailment, Daniele manged to place in the top-20. Later Daniele said that the course was perfect for him with a long long straightaway to the finish, but his breathing was bothering him the whole race; he did the sprint only on instinct and adrenaline.

The teamwork of the Polish team was pretty impressive in the closing laps, they sent off a lone breakaway with about 5 laps to go and that guy was motoring, which forced the other sprinter's teams to chase hard. That played into the Poles hands, as once their guy was caught with 2 to go, they set up their train and launched their sprinter to victory.

Stage 4 results (preliminary)
1. Jezowski Krzysztof (Pol)
2. Taiji Nishitani (Jpn)
3. John Murphy (USA)
17. Daniele Defranceschi (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
21. Peter Morse (Can),
Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
76. Shane Braley (USA),
Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
84. Bryson Bowers (Can),
Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
Overall after Stage 4 (preliminary)
1. John Murphy (USA)

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part X

Tuesday night, after Stage 3, we took the team into Taichung City to suffer through a session of Chinese foot massage (reflexology) to try to improve the flow of everybody's Qi. Hopefully, the massage and a good night's rest will portend a revival for tomorrow's Stage 4.


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part IX

A brief update from Stage 3.

It was a bit of an ignominious day for the team. Not to make too many excuses, but since the spot to the race was secured at the last moment, the team's overall fitness is a bit under-done compared to the other teams in the race. Consequently, the team has dropped to 20th overall in the G.C. after today.

Peter Morse was the top Jet Fuel finisher today, in the second group...although he did manage to stay on the first page of the results sheet! In other good news, Shane Braley did not break any bike parts today (although he mentioned that he cracked today, he did not say what exactly he cracked.)

Daniele Defranceschi has been getting progressively sicker everyday since Stage 1.
Enrico Traini got shelled out the back today, for good this time. The other guys finished in between those two.


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part VIII

The Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team is riding on these OCTTO PROFESSIONAL GRADE Components at TdT 2008:

Professional Grade Road Handlebar - full carbon monocoque, oversize, clip-on compatible, 225g
Professional Grade Handlebar Tape - enhanced comfort high-purity foam with locking end-plugs
Professional Grade Stem - AL7-forged with anti-rust screws, oversize, 120g
Professional Grade Seatpost - AL7-forged in one-piece, 3D-butted, 225g
Professional Grade Bottle Cage - full carbon water-bottle cages, 24g

PROFESSIONAL GRADE Components have high-performance features and specifications suitable for Pro Tour use, while being low-maintenance enough for Club-level Cat I privateer.

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part VII

Stage 2 preliminary results (via telephone from Peter Morse) . The course was a long flat hot-dog shaped circuit and finished in a field sprint with the main field all in the same time.

Stage 2 Results
1. Wesoly Marek (Pol) (average ~48km/h)
2. Sung-Baek Park (Kor)
3. Taji Nishitani (Jpn)
29. Peter Morse (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
36. Daniele Defranceschi (Can)
, Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
74. Bryson Bowers
(Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
??. Shane Braley (USA)
, Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
??. Enrico Traini
(Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team

1. John Murphy (USA)
Daniele Defranceschi (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
. Peter Morse (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part VI

Some post-race photos from Stage 1.

Peter Morse and Daniele Defranceschi, shown with Jet Fuel's number 1 Taiwan fan, rocked the field sprint.

Guest rider Shane Braley suffered a sheared pedal-cleat mid-race. He managed to hang on for the last hour of the race while pedalling with only one leg, at 45km/h. The marks on his head are from the industrial-strength Kaoshiung City air!

This rider from Poland got these marks from the industrial-strength pavement! He still managed to finish.


Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part V

Stage 1 of the 2008 Tour de Taiwan was was a nervous affair for the peloton, but gave some encouraging signs for the Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team. The stage standings don't come close to telling the race story. Despite some major hiccups to their battle plans, the team finished the stage with all five riders and with some major panache.

The pre-race plan was to send Shane Braley up the road early, have Pete Morse and Bryson Bowers cover breaks, or prepare Daniele Defrancheschi and Enrico Traini for the final sprint if it came to that. An important goal was to show the organizers that the wild-card invitation was in good faith, that Jet Fuel came to the TdT to represent. That said, this being the first race of the season for the team, and coming after a day's worth of trans-Pacific flying, the other goal was to simply survive the first day intact.

The race started well with Shane showing the Jet Fuel colours in a number of early moves, always active at the front of the race:

Incredibly, mid-way through the race Shane hit a pedal on the ground, the force of which sheared off the entire retaining lip in his Shimano plastic cleat. A bizarre mechanical to say the least and with no hope of finding a spare part in the pits, it looked like Shane's day and entire Tour were sadly done only halfway into the first stage. More amazingly, a despondent Shane regained his resolve and jumped back into the pack, riding the 40+km at race-pace with only one foot clipped in! So despite finishing at the back of the race, his ride was actually one of the best in the race!

Keeping Shane out of the DFL (dead-fffing-last) position was Enrico whose sprinter's build was not acclimatizing well to the Kaoshiung heat and humidity after training in frosty Toronto all winter. Despite getting dropped and then lapped, Enrico battled on and on to stay in the race. Actually, Enrico quickly became one of the most recognizable riders in the race as he soloed OTB (off-the-back). His never-say-die attitude won over the approval of the spectators lining the course.

Bryson's ride was remarkable not because he finished the race, but because he was able to race at all. Last August, he broke his back in a terrible crash at a stage race in the USA. After having 2 titanium rods implanted in his back, he spent the autumn learning how to walk again. Now, only 7 months later, not only back on a bike but, racing in a UCI 2.2 Asia Tour event.

Pete was usually at the front-half of the race, but after effectively losing Shane and Enrico and then with Bryson fading late in the race, the veteran dropped back to protect Daniele and set him up for the impending sprint finish.

Even cyclingnews.com noticed this display of teamwork.

With a few laps left in the race, and the sprinters teams preparing for argy-bargy, a very aggressive move of 6 took advantage of the lull and jumped off the front and quickly built a significant 25 second gap. The break was composed of mostly Asian riders, which was an encouraging sign for Asian cycling fans. The break included the very dangerous and savvy veteran Wong Kam-Po from Hong-Kong as well as a Korean, an Indonesian and two Japansese, with a rider from Poland rounding out the half-dozen.

With 2.2 km to go, the gap was down to 15 seconds so it appeared that the pack still had a chance to close down the break before. However, as the race came around the final corner 100m before the line, the breakaway was still a couple of seconds ahead of the surging peloton! At the same instant that Wong Kam-Po blazed
victorious across the finish-stripe, the sprint of the main pack caught the last rider of the break and both groups were credited with the same time.

Daniele placed 10th spot overall in the finish, but what the results don't show is that he was actually he was an awesome 4th place in the field sprint! Pete, who placed 18th ovcerall was actually 12th in the sprint, even after covering many early breaks and then working for Daniele much of the.

The adjusted field sprint standings would look like this:

1 (6th overall) Kirk O'bee (USA) Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis
2 (7) John Murphy (USA) Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis
3 (9) Lofflerstefan (Ger) Giant Asia Racing Team
4 (10) Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
5 (11) Jezowski Krzysztof (Pol) Merida Europe Team
6 (12) Peter Mcdonald (Aus) Drapac Porsche Development Program Team
7 (13) Po Hung Wu (Tpe) Kinan CCD Team
8 (14) Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac Porsche Development Program Team
9 (15) Mifune Masahiko (Jpn) e-MA Cycling Team
10 (16) Sung Baek Park (Kor) Seoul City Cycling Team
11 (17) Vladimir Yesid Lopez Gil (Col) Polygon Sweet Nice Racing Team
12 (18) Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
A pretty awesome result for Daniele and the tiny Jet Fuel club-team head-to-head against the powerhouse American, European and Australian teams.

For the Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team, Stage 1 of the TdT 2008 produced many small victories and an auspicious start to the Tour.

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part IV

Prior to the start of Stage 1 in Kaoshiung City, there was a pensive mood among all the riders. For many of the Jet Fuel Coffee members, not only would this be one of the highest level races of the year, if not their career to this point, but it was also the first race of the season for a some of them. In fact, for some of the snow-bound Toronto residents, it would be their first ride not on an indoor trainer in many many weeks.

Despite the idiom of "saving the best for last", Jet Fuel Coffee was called upon to have the great honour of being the first team allowed to 'sign-on' for the Tour de Taiwan 2008, all the while being filmed for TV coverage by ESPN Asia :

The whole peloton seemed to have alot to prove. The foreign riders
had traveled long and far to participate in the Tour de Taiwan 2008 and were anxious to get the show started to justify the time and expense to participate. Meanwhile the local riders wondered how they would stack up against the foreign powerhouses.

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part III

The organization of the Tour de Taiwan 2008 is proving to be top-notch. It's clear from their attention to small details that the Taiwanese hosts have great aspirations for the TdT to be one of the best and most prestigious events in the UCI Asia Tour.

For example, check out the "bike storage" area at Stage 1...an entire undergroung parking-garage of a 4-star hotel devoted to the shelter of the teams' machines, as well as the classy signage and team vehicles:

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part II

Dr. Octto traveled to Kaoshiung City to meet the Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling team at the Tour de Taiwan (TdT) welcoming party, held by the host Chinese Taipei Cycling Association (CTCA).

Despite the riders being extremely jet-lagged (no irony intended) after 4 legs of travel traversing 12 time-zones (that's halfway around the world if you didn't notice), they were in good spirits and excited to be on the ground in Taiwan as the first Canadian team to participate in this UCI Asia Tour 2.2 event.

In keeping with Jet Fuel's mission as a development, the team sent promising Under-23 level riders Bryson Bowers (Kingston, ON) and Shane Braley (FLA, USA) for some of their first taste of intercontinental competition. Steadying veteran Senior level mentors Peter Morse (Toronto, ON), Enrico Traini (Toronto, ON) and Daniele DeFrancheschi (Windsor, ON) completed the roster. Development at Jet Fuel is not only for riders as Brian Bowers was ready to make TdT his managerial debut.

The Jet Fuel team for TdT 2008 at back from L. to R. (Brian Bowers (manager), Enrico Traini, Daniele Defrancheschi, Bryson Bowers, Shane Braley and Peter Morse.
In the left image with Mr. Lee Kai-Chih (yellow-jacket) the Secretary-General of the host CTCA and other importa
nt Taiwanese dignitaries.
In the right image with Ms. Margaret Tzai (center), the liaison to the team from the host CTCA

Post-party, the team settled in for the night to rest up for Stage 1 the next day, but not before a team meeting to review the race-regulations and hash out some race-tactics.

High above the boulevards of downtown Kaoshiung City, the team preps for the Stage 1.

Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part I

OCTTO Components Toronto is proud to announce that for the first time in the history of the race, the Tour de Taiwan 2008 (TdT) will host a Canadian team: the Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling team.

A part of the prestigious UCI Asia Tour, the race boasts UCI 2.2 status designating it as a Pro/Am international stage race.

The list of teams participating is one of the most diverse in the world; in addition to 4 Taiwan based teams, the other 16 teams are from a staggering 11 different nations. As well as the Jet Fuel Coffee team, the race includes the big players Health Net-Maxxis (USA), Team Type 1 (USA), Shimano-Skil (Japan), Drapac-Porsche (NZL), Merida Europe (Pol) and national teams from Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Japan and Indonesia.

The race starts March 9th in Taiwan's oldest and largest city of
Kaoshiung and finishes 8 days and stages later in the capital with a circuit race around the world's tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101.

OCTTO Components, besides being a simple sponsor, worked behind the scenes for months to liaison with the organising committee to secure this historic invitation for Jet Fuel.